ADHD in Adults
It is a common misconception that kids outgrow ADHD, and 60 percent of children diagnosed with ADHD have symptoms into adulthood. Symptoms of ADHD in adults may be more subtle, but can create significant challenges in daily life.
ADHD is a neurobehavioral disorder that affects the way an individual functions in different settings. A person with ADHD may face life-long challenges in school, work, and personal relationships. Identifying the disorder and finding the best treatment is very important. With proper treatment, many people with ADHD can and do lead successful lives.
Adults often develop strategies to cope with their ADHD. Each day of an adult’s life brings new responsibilities, duties, and challenges which may eventually overwhelm these coping strategies.
ADHD Symptoms Impact Adults Differently Than Kids
Adults and children often share the same core symptoms of ADHD — inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity — which represent deficits in neurobehavioral development. However, the impact of ADHD is different at different ages. The impairments in functioning related to ADHD depend on the life context of the individual and how symptoms are perceived by others.
Recognizing Adult ADHD
While there is no set-in-stone process for the assessing and treating ADHD symptoms, there is a research-based path that is typically followed. Among adults, usually ADHD is presented in three ways.
- Inattentive presentation
- Hyperactive-impulsive presentation
- Combined inattentive & hyperactive-impulsive presentation
- Establishing proper diagnosis is fundamental to get proper treatment.
- Ratings Scales
Ratings scales paint a picture of how a person performs in multiple settings, and identify the behaviors that indicate a disorder.
- Task-Oriented ADHD Tests
Task-oriented tests directly observe key behaviors that the examinee exhibits and provide objective, quantifiable data to help with treatment planning.
When ADHD diagnosis is documented, an effective treatment plan may established by a psychiatrist, and just as each client is unique, as are the methods of treating them for ADHD. In addition to medication and dietary changes, research also has found that working memory and attention training—as well as emotional skill building tools—are highly effective.
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