Emily is a board-certified science editor who has worked with top digital publishing brands like Voices for Biodiversity, Study.com, GoodTherapy, Vox, and Verywell.
Learning math and performing math computations can often be a challenge for students with ADHD. Impairments in working memory, inattention, impulsiveness, disorganization, and slower processing speed can all contribute to weaknesses in math.
If your child is struggling with math, the first step is to pinpoint the areas where breakdowns in learning are occurring. The next step is to incorporate teaching strategies and accommodations that will help your child to be more successful.
Work closely with your child’s teacher. Their understanding of these concepts is essential, as is taking the time to incorporate effective learning strategies. This can be challenging in some educational settings with overcrowded classrooms and other seemingly more pressing issues like behavior problems in class. Effective parent advocacy for your child is critical, and the support of pediatricians and psychologists is essential.
Suggested Accommodations for ADHD Students
These are some of the general accommodations that are often helpful for students with ADHD who are experiencing academic difficulties in math.
- Allow the student to use desk copies of math fact sheets or charts (for example, a multiplication table fact sheet that can be kept on the desk when needed) to help compensate for memory difficulties and increase recall while solving math problems in class, at home, and on tests.
- Provide the student with a handout of clear steps and procedures to follow for multi-sequence computations. Allow the handout to be used as a guide when solving problems in class, during homework time, and on tests.
- Provide models of sample problems and permit the student to use these models as a reference when solving problems in class, during homework, and on tests.
- Allow use of a calculator in class, during homework, and on tests, when appropriate.
- Allow the student extra time on tests to prevent rushing and careless mistakes. Another strategy that is often helpful during test-taking is to break up tests into several sections and allow the student to complete each section with short breaks in between to move about, get water, and refocus.
- Decrease the number of math problems assigned to what is essential for the student's understanding and practice of math concepts. For example, rather than assigning problems 1 – 20, have the student complete the even numbers.
- Provide the student with frequent feedback about progress and set up regular "accuracy checks."
Example: Have the student check in with you after completing a row of problems. Check to make sure the student is solving problems accurately, and if all is well, the student can resume work on the next row, etc. Checking in frequently like this allows you to make adjustments if breakdowns are occurring, gives the student a little break between problems, and reduces frustrations of having to do the whole paper all over again when there are errors not caught early on.
How ADHD typically affects women, and how to cope with it.
A girl with ADHD may be labeled Chatty Cathy — the enthusiastic school-aged girl who is always telling stories to friends. Or she could be the daydreamer — the smart, shy teenager with the disorganized locker.
But what happens when she grows up? Or when her ADHD isn’t diagnosed until she’s a woman? Is her experience different from what men with ADHD go through?
ADHD has not been widely researched in women. Much more is known about how it affects children. But there seem to be some patterns that differ between men and women with ADHD.
Women, Men, and ADHD
The issues adults with ADHD have mirror those in the population as a whole, says Stephanie Sarkis, PhD, a psychotherapist in Boca Raton, Fla.
For example, she says men with ADHD tend to have more car accidents, suspensions in school, substance abuse, and anger and behavioral issues, compared to women with ADHD. But men are more prone to these kinds of issues in general, regardless of ADHD.
Women with ADHD are more prone to eating disorders, obesity, low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety. But they do in the general population, as well.
These challenges also often play out in different areas of their lives. Men with ADHD may have problems at work, unable to complete their tasks or getting mad too easily at subordinates, says Anthony Rostain, MD, professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
Women, on the other hand, are more likely to see conflicts at home. Kathleen Nadeau, PhD, a clinical psychologist and director of the Chesapeake ADHD Center of Maryland in Silver Spring, says her female ADHD patients, especially mothers, come to her in a “constant state of overwhelm.”
“Society has a certain set of expectations we place on women and ADHD often makes them harder to accomplish,” Nadeau says. She points to women’s traditional societal roles. “They are supposed to be the organizer, planner, and primary parent at home. Women are expected to remember birthdays and anniversaries and do laundry and keep track of events. That is all hard for someone with ADHD.”
Roots in Childhood
Many women with ADHD remember having these issues for a long time. “A lot of women tell me that (in school) they would look straight at the teacher so they wouldn’t get in trouble, but had no idea what was going on,” Nadeau says. “They are underfunctioning, but bright . their symptoms are more subtle.”
ADHD is one of the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorders in children, and it is a chronic, often lifelong condition. It affects an estimated 3% to 9% of U.S. children.
The hallmarks of ADHD are hyperactivity, lack of focus, and impulsive behavior.
But there are different shades of ADHD. The most pronounced is the hyperactive-impulsive form, where children have trouble sitting still and completing tasks like school work. They may be overly emotional or randomly blurt out inappropriate comments. Another type of ADHD is inattentive, with symptoms like lack of focus, forgetfulness, boredom, difficulty with organization, and daydreaming.
Though there are always exceptions to the rule, many experts say boys tend more toward hyperactive-impulsive and girls toward inattentive symptoms. “Females tend to be more the inattentive type and internally distracted by thoughts and guys tend to be more hyperactive,” says Fran Walfish, PsyD, child and adult psychotherapist in Beverly Hills, Calif. “I have seen boys who are dreamy and some girls who are hyperactive, but those are the exceptions.”
Women’s ADHD sometimes gets overlooked until college, when they begin to show a lack of self-regulation and self-management, Rostain says.
“Risks for them include things like being influenced by a sorority or the recreational drug scene,” he says. “And they are not as wild as the guys [with ADHD], but compared to other girls, they are more risk-taking.”
The underlying mechanisms of ADHD are the same in males and females. Both have difficulties with planning, organization, recalling details, and paying attention.
But how ADHD plays out in symptoms is where the gender differences often lie. And the reason for that is likely social.
Because inattention is much more subtle than hyperactivity, this may be why boys are almost three times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with ADHD. By the time they reach adulthood however, that gap shrinks to two to one. This is likely because girls are often diagnosed later in life, compared to boys.
Girls may “slip through the cracks” and get diagnosed later, Walfish says, because they may be able to cover up their ADHD symptoms.
Women With ADHD: When Life Overwhelms
For women, responsibilities including family and work can make it difficult to cover up or manage ADHD. But there are some things women can do to cope with life’s demands.
Nadeau recommends making sure family and friends understand ADHD so they will be more supportive and have realistic expectations. Women should also simplify wherever possible: Reduce unnecessary stresses and commitments and negotiate with their family and partner to take over tasks that challenge them most.
It may also help to hire a professional organizer or work with a coach to develop good organizational habits and systems. One of things Sarkis recommends is hiring an assistant who can come in for 6 to 8 hours a week to do light cleaning, go through papers, and help organize things.
“I have people tell me that it will be too expensive, and it may be, but people with ADHD can’t afford not to have help,” Sarkis says.
Kathleen Nadeau, PhD, director, Chesapeake ADHD Center of Maryland, Silver Spring, Md.
Fran Walfish, PsyD, child and adult psychotherapist, Beverly Hills, Calif.; author,The Self-Aware Parent.
Stephanie Sarkis, PhD, psychotherapist, Boca Raton, Fla.; author, Adult ADD.
Anthony Rostain, MD, professor of psychiatry and pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
Daniel B. Block, MD, is an award-winning, board-certified psychiatrist who operates a private practice in Pennsylvania.
If you have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you may notice that you have strong emotional reactions to things that other people seem to take in stride. Heightened, over-the-top emotions with the disorder are very common, in both positive and negative situations. It is also not unusual for individuals with ADHD to feel physically hypersensitive to touch, sounds, light, even the tags on clothing.
Research shows that many people with ADHD have trouble with emotional regulation, experiencing symptoms such as low frustration tolerance, impulsivity, temper outbursts, and significant mood fluctuations. These are associated with lower quality of life in adults with ADHD, including reduced marital status and a higher risk of traffic accidents and arrests.
Watch Now: Strategies for Living Well With ADHD
Emotional Sensitivities and ADHD
Emotional self-control, particularly as it relates to difficult emotions like frustration, anger, or sadness, can be very challenging for someone with ADHD. It is painful to experience negative feelings so deeply and have little ability to control your response. What’s more, emotional sensitivities can often affect social interactions when others are on the receiving end of these strong emotions.
When a person is impulsive they simply react driven by the intensity of the moment. To be able to delay a response allows a person to separate a bit from the emotions and react in a more objective way. This ability to delay response is sometimes very difficult for those with ADHD.
At this point, it is unclear whether the symptoms related to emotional dysregulation are caused by ADHD itself, or comorbid psychiatric conditions, which many people with ADHD have.
It is also possible that because of past experiences and growing up with all the negative labels that can be associated with ADHD, some people with ADHD may simply feel more sensitive to negative statements or complaints or even gentle suggestions from others than a person who did not grow up with ADHD.
ADHD and Physical Sensitivities
Many people with ADHD are also hypersensitive to their physical surroundings. Sounds as subtle as the humming of the air conditioning or lights from a flickering candle or the scratching from a tag on a shirt can become major distractions. When a person is unable to filter and inhibit their responses to incoming stimuli—like sights and sounds—everything becomes a distraction.
Instead of having problems with inattention, this person may pay attention to everything whether it is relevant or not. This can be very disorienting. Difficulties integrating sensory input may also contribute to physical sensitivities.
A simple pat on the shoulder from a caring teacher may feel irritating to some students with ADHD. As a result, the reaction creates problems for this child and confusion for the teacher. For adults with ADHD, these sensitivities around touch and sensory stimulation can also create quite a few problems in intimate relationships.
Coping with Hypersensitivity in ADHD
While hypersensitivity and heightened emotions can feel like a burden at times, you can learn techniques to help you cope and use these traits to your advantage. People with ADHD are often very creative and empathetic, characteristics that can be big assets in our society.
Awareness and understanding of these sensitivities that are often associated with ADHD is a good first step—as is recognizing that they are part of your disorder, rather than you simply being overly emotional. This can help you avoid unnecessary and unconstructive self-criticism.
Additional Tips to Cope With ADHD
- Build regular exercise into your life.
- Note when you may be more prone to exaggerated reactions, such as during hormonal fluctuations, affect many women with ADHD.
- Schedule routine downtime every day.
If these issues continue to be troublesome for you, talk with your doctor and, together, develop strategies for managing these sensitivities in your daily life.
ADHD Foundation Australia is a non-profit organisation dedicated to empowering and assisting the ADHD communities all across Australia. Don’t be concerned that our registered office is in NSW we cover all corners of Australia.
In 2021 the team at ADHD Foundation Anywhere in Australia have identified the needs of our ADHD community. The Community said that they needed one central place to find reliable and accurate scientifically researched information and so we have established one, our new website that provides accurate and reliable ADHD information. The next major gap in services highlighted was a national ADHD Helpline where ADHD specific trained staff are able to provide ADHD Up To Date and reliable information, referrals to ADHD specific medical practitioners and other support services. Here at ADHD Foundation the team are proud and delighted to announce the birth of an ADHD Foundation National Helpdesk.
To contact us the number for the helpline is
1300 39 39 19
Our foundation works with the ADHD and medical community to provide a multitude of resources to people with ADHD and their families. These resources involve community support groups online and offline, working with the government, private enterprises, schools etc to improve working, living, and learning conditions for people with ADHD.
We are here to ensure that nobody slips through the cracks and is not permitted to excel in life. People with ADHD are strong, hardworking, and capable of having fulfilling lives and careers in whatever domain they please. They are multifaceted, bright, and rare. We all deserve an opportunity to shine like the amazing diamonds that they are.
ADDults with ADHD Inc.
Adult ADHD Support Group
Email: [email protected]
Parents of Teens with ADHD Support Group
Email: [email protected]
A National Support Group that provides regular speaker events face to face and virtual and is open
Parents for ADHD Advocacy Australia – PAAA
Newcastle ADHD Parent Support Group
ADHD Done Differently – Resourcing you to get ADHD Done Differently
Email: [email protected]
Macquarie ADHD Parent Support Group Inc.
Email: [email protected]
Fairy Meadow and Dapto ADHD Support Groups
– ‘Capable Kids’
– Adult ADHD Support
Email: [email protected]
Office: 02 4284 4414
Miller ADHD Parent Support Group
Office tel: 02 9732 6502
Canberra/Queanbeyan ADHD Support Group
Email: [email protected]
Office tel: 08 6457 7544
Email: [email protected]
Nepean-Penrith ADHD Parent Support Group
Facilitator: [email protected]
Blacktown ADHD Parent Support Group
C/- Junaya Family Development Services
Email: [email protected]
Office tel: 9621 3922
Associated Support Groups
Gifted LD/ADHD support group
Email: [email protected]
Gifted Families Support Group
Email: [email protected]
Menai Family Connections
Monthly parent support for ADHD/ASD/Dev Disorders
Learning Difficulties Coalition NSW Inc.
Parent LD/ASD Helpline
Office Phone: 02 9806 9960
Email: [email protected]
Office: 02 4284 4414
Adult Aspergers Social Group
Bi Polar Australia
Email: [email protected]
ADHD Foundation is wherever you are in Australia, we are here to help. No joining Fee, connect with us for free, on https://adhdfoundation.org.au/ sign up and join our community. Phone: 1300 39 39 19 or email us on [email protected]
ADHDWhisperer | Groups | Facebook
An informative and supportive place to learn, educate, share and support people with ADHD, their families and friends.
A place to dispel myths and stop stigma relating to ADHD, and the co-morbid conditions that co-exist with ADHD.
A place for inspiration on how to cope and understanding of the difficulties associated with ADHD
Brisbane Adult ADHD (B.A.D.H.D) Support Group
A social support group for adults living with ADHD/add living in South East Queensland Australia.
This group is a safe space for adults with adhd, no violence, abuse or aggressive behaviour will be tolerated.
Adult ADD/ADHD Support Australia
This is an Australian support group for adults who have ADHD.
This includes adults who suspect they may have ADHD, and children with ADHD capable of behaving like adults, but otherwise please find a different group to join.
Parents for ADHD Advocacy Australia
Parents of ADHD Advocacy Australia aim to improve the outcomes for children with ADHD, and their families, through awareness-raising, education and advocacy. We are a national community group that is run on a volunteer basis by a small group of dedicated parents of children with ADHD.
Inattentive ADHD Australia Support Page
This is a private members support group
ADHD Australia Support
This group has been created for Australian citizens only, or live in Australia permanently. We are here to discuss problems and solutions around people we know with ADHD, or ourselves if we have ADHD, in a private way.
AAAA Australian Adults with ADD/ADHD ( Support and chat)
A support group & general hangout – for adults who have (or think they might have) ADHD or ADD
ADHD Support Group Penrith Area
A closed group to share and support one another without judgement and share the journey together.
ADHD Melbourne – Community Group
The aim of ADHD Melbourne is to provide a supportive, nurturing, and fact-based educational environment online for first of all for people in Melbourne and regional Victoria with ADHD
Answer the quiz questions below to see if you have symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Who Is This ADHD Quiz For?
This simple assessment is for adults who think they may have symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). To learn more read our guide “Tell Me All I Need to Know About ADHD.”
Below is a list of questions that relate to life experiences common among people who have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. Please read each question carefully, and indicate how often you have experienced the same or similar challenges in the past few months.
How Accurate Is It?
This quiz is NOT a diagnostic tool. Mental health disorders can only be diagnosed by qualified mental health professionals.
Psycom believes assessments can be a valuable first step toward getting treatment. All too often people stop short of seeking help out of fear their concerns aren’t legitimate or severe enough to warrant professional intervention.
How Is ADHD Treated?
Treatment for Adult ADHD typically involves medication, psychotherapy, and/or psychoeducation. There is no cure for ADHD, but a combination of these treatments can effectively reduce symptoms and improve work and home life. To learn more read our adult ADHD article.
Your privacy is important to us. All results are completely anonymous.
FAQs for Our ADHD Assessment
I thought ADHD was only in kids. How many adults have ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD is primarily diagnosed in children ages 4–17 but according to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 4.4% of adults aged 18-44 have ADHD. ADHD is a neurological disorder present from birth and has a strong genetic component. If your symptoms are being caused by ADHD, they may have been present but not noticed in childhood. Many parents of children with ADHD are diagnosed when their child starts to struggle at school and are referred to a specialist.
Is ADHD a mental illness?
ADHD is a neurological condition. While it technically falls under the umbrella of mental illnesses most practitioners see it as a behavior disorder rather than a mental illness. ADHD is associated with behavior problems caused by working memory and executive functioning deficits (i.e. the ability to plan and be organized). It also commonly co-occurs with mental illnesses including bipolar disorder, social anxiety disorder, substance use disorder, and learning disabilities. Another term that is gaining acceptance that may more accurately describe ADHD is neurodiversity. Neurodiversity is a term that describes people who think and learn differently.
What is ADD behavior?
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is one of the three subtypes of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and is no longer an acceptable acronym (in the clinical sense). Today it is referred to as ADHD predominantly inattentive type. While it has many overlapping symptoms, ADHD predominantly inattentive type lacks the hyperactivity piece but includes distractibility, impulsivity, trouble focusing (unless it’s something you find very interesting), and executive functioning challenges, meaning you have trouble planning, following instructions, and being organized.
Is it possible to have a successful life when you have ADHD?
Absolutely. Many people with ADHD thrive and often it’s because of (not despite) their ADHD symptoms. People with ADHD in business are known to be strategic, outside-the-box thinkers who have an enviable ability to handle many different tasks. People with ADHD are often very creative and have a unique ability to make connections others fail to see. Celebrities like swimmer Michael Phelps, Will Smith, Justin Timberlake, Emma Watson, and Zooey Deschanel all have ADHD
Is ADHD something you can develop as an adult?
No, if you are experiencing symptoms of ADHD as an adult you had it in childhood and either found ways to work around your difficulties or had mild enough symptoms they were overlooked. This is especially true in women/girls females who often manifest their symptoms by turning inward and keeping their problems hidden. They also typically lack the hyperactive component. It’s important to note that depression, anxiety, and some mood disorder can resemble ADHD so it’s important to rule out those causes of your symptoms. Research shows that ADHD is largely hereditary so if you have a child diagnosed with ADHD, you or the child’s father may have it as well. Untreated ADHD can strain relationships and contribute to other challenges so if you suspect you have ADHD seek the guidance of a licensed mental healthcare provider.
How accurate is this ADHD quiz and what do I do with the results?
This online assessment is not a diagnostic tool. Only a licensed mental health provider or doctor can properly diagnose ADHD. You can use the results of this ADHD test as a way to start a conversation with a partner, relative, therapist, or medical doctor.
Who can diagnosis ADHD?
ADHD cannot be diagnosed by a blood test. Share your symptoms with your doctor who can conduct a physical exam, review your medical history, and rule out other causes of your symptoms. You may be referred to an ADHD specialist for further testing after an initial consultation with your doctor.
ADHD, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, is a behavioral condition that makes focusing on everyday requests and routines challenging.
People with ADHD typically have trouble getting organized, staying focused, making realistic plans, and thinking before acting. They may be fidgety, noisy, and unable to adapt to changing situations.
Children with ADHD can be defiant, socially inept, or aggressive.
Families considering treatment options should consult a qualified mental health professional for a complete review of their child’s behavioral issues and a treatment plan.
More about ADHD
Littman has been instrumental in increasing the public’s understanding of ADHD — and the chances that girls and women with this often debilitating condition will get help.
A psychologist and a health economist team up to explore the nation’s skyrocketing rates of ADHD diagnoses — and how a global push for performance may be partly to blame.
The FDA-cleared device produced a meaningful reduction in ADHD symptoms in a clinical trial
Coaching helps clients cope with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder while helping psychologists flourish without relying on insurers
Psychologists are using research-backed behavioral interventions that effectively treat children with ADHD.
Everyone has trouble at times with paying attention, listening, or waiting. But people with ADHD have trouble with these things almost all the time. They’re not doing it on purpose. ADHD is a medical condition that affects a person’s attention and self-control.
Because of ADHD, people have a harder time staying focused. They may be more fidgety than others. ADHD can make it harder to control behavior, so kids and teens may get into trouble more. ADHD can affect how they get along with other people.
ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. That’s the medical term for difficulties with attention and self-control that can make someone fidget and move around a lot.
What Are the Signs of ADHD?
People with ADHD might:
- have trouble listening and paying attention
- need lots of reminders to do things
- get distracted easily
- seem absent-minded
- be disorganized and lose things
- not sit still, wait their turn, or be patient
- rush through homework or other tasks or make careless mistakes
- interrupt a lot, and talk or call out answers in class
- do things they shouldn’t, even though they know better
- feel restless, fidgety, frustrated, and bored
If someone has a lot of these signs, and the problems happen most of the time, it might be ADHD.
How Do Doctors Tell if a Person Has ADHD?
Deciding if someone has ADHD starts with a doctor visit. There are no lab tests or blood tests for ADHD. Doctors are trained to know what signs to look for.
If you go to a doctor to get checked out for ADHD, the doctor will ask about what’s going on in your life and at school. The doctor will ask things like if you have trouble doing homework, sitting still, slowing down, or listening — and how long that’s been going on.
The doctor will check to make sure another health or learning issue is not the cause. The doctor will probably ask your parents and teachers to fill out checklists about signs they may have noticed.
How Is ADHD Treated?
If a doctor finds out you have ADHD, you will get treatment to help. This can be a big relief. It can be hard to feel like you’re always struggling with things that others seem to have no trouble doing.
To help teens with ADHD, doctors might:
Prescribe medicine. Medicine can boost the brain’s ability to pay attention, slow down, and be more patient.
Provide therapy. Therapists can help people learn attention skills, cope with feelings, and gain self-control. They can help people with ADHD see the best in themselves and figure out how to use their strengths.
Help parents learn what to do. Parents play a big part in ADHD care. They can help teens do things like listen better or be more organized. Parents can also give encouragement, love, and support.
It’s not just doctors and parents who help teens with ADHD. Sometimes schools give students a learning plan called an IEP that’s designed just for them.
Teachers can also do these things to help teens with ADHD do well in class:
- Break schoolwork into parts.
- Help students organize their things.
- Make sure students sit where they are less likely to be distracted, like away from a window or door.
- Give students quick breaks to get up and move during class.
There are things that people with ADHD can do to help themselves too, like:
- Eat healthy food.
- Get enough sleep.
- Be active every day.
- Practice mindfulness exercises and breathing exercises.
What Causes ADHD?
ADHD is caused by differences in the brain’s ability to pay attention, slow down, and be patient. It’s not clear why these differences happen, but doctors know that ADHD is in a person’s genes. Most teens with ADHD have a parent or relative who also has it.
ADHD is not caused by eating too much sugar or anything else a person does.
What’s It Like for People With ADHD?
Having ADHD can be difficult sometimes. Kids and teens may get scolded for things they can’t help — like not listening, losing their temper, or doing things too fast. That can make people feel bad about themselves or mistakenly blame themselves for ADHD. But ADHD is not your fault.
Parents, teachers, and therapists can help you get better at paying attention, slowing down, and gaining self-control. They can teach you to use your strengths and energy in good ways. With the right help and support, people with ADHD can improve their attention and self-control, do well in school and activities, and feel good about themselves.
Dr Valentino Pironti
“Having spent some considerable time researching a clinician who fit criteria that involved qualifications, expertise, and location, I chose Cambridge Adult ADHD Clinic. My consultation was incredibly thorough, exacting and I had a full sense of confidence that whatever results would come to pass, they would reflect a robust examination. I felt Dr Pironti was emphatic, appropriately judicious in his collection of information and put my mind at ease that no conclusions would be reached before everything that he needed was examined…”
“I was initially sceptical about approaching a private clinic but was reassured to find that Dr Pironti had worked in the Cambridge NHS service for several years and published research in peer-reviewed journals. I found Dr Pironti down to earth and understanding while clearly possessing genuine expertise in relation to ADHD. After completing and submitting the required paperwork my assessment via Skype was comprehensive and I appreciated the explanation of the process that was given once Dr Pironti had reached his conclusion…”
“I started my journey with diagnosing possible adult ADHD in May 2017, having spent around 9 months struggling with various NHS departments I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands…”
“Dr. Pironti is a wonderful professional. Genuine, patient, comforting and incredibly supportive. I highly recommend him to anyone looking for diagnosis for ASD”
“Dr Pironti has provided me with insightful and useful advice for dealing with my attention deficit. Our work together has helped me cope with stress and busy nature of my day to day life as a finance executive. Finding adequate care for adult ADHD is difficult, especially in the UK where many health professionals seem to have a limited understanding of the condition. Dr Pironti is not only an expert on the subject, but his open empathetic manner also greatly contributes to the quality of his consultations.”
With a wholehearted commitment to making our customers’ lives better and brighter, we’re the ADHD Foundation with a focus on ADHD. Our team of experienced, qualified and knowledgeable professionals apply a customer-centric approach to all that we do.
At the Foundation, we work to make the lives of people with ADHD better, easier and simpler. Whether it’s accessing much-needed support, speaking to a trusted and professional community which can provide advice or simply being a safety network.
So, whether you’re interested in learning more, you’re looking for a way to subscribe or you’re interested in supporting the foundation, we’re here to help. Simply give us a call, say hello on our socials or send us an email and we will get back to you as soon as possible!
What’s more, if you’re looking for professional support relating to ADHD, the National ADHD Foundation Helpline is a trusted source for any queries or questions you might have. Plus, the helpline is always available and ready to help you find the answers that you’re looking for.
WHAT IS ADHD?
ADHD is defined as the most common neurodevelopmental disorder. It is characterised by symptoms of inattention, impulsivity, and in some cases excessive levels of hyperactivity. ADHD can have lifelong impacts on individuals, their families and society, although with early diagnosis and quality treatment can improve individual outcomes substantially. Caring for those who learn and think differently can take time, energy and additional resources.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), also known as ADD is a complex, lifelong neurodevelopmental condition, which again, can be successfully managed with an individual treatment plan.
Studies demonstrate that ADHD can have negative impacts on virtually every aspect of daily life, social, emotional, academic and work functioning. A person with ADHD may have their life significantly impacted including education, family, social situations, friendships and in the workplace. ADHD is persistent throughout the lifespan although some patterns may change.
ADHD is a mental health condition that is defined through analysis of behaviour. People with ADHD show a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity–impulsivity that interferes with day-to-day functioning and/or development.
Definition & Diagnosis
The relied on definition is set out by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. These criteria are presented in shortened form and are for information only. Diagnosis can only be done by a medical professional.
Six or more symptoms of inattention for children up to age 16 years, or five or more for adolescents age 17 years and older and adults; symptoms of inattention have been present for at least 6 months, and they are inappropriate for developmental level:
Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or with other activities.
- Often has trouble holding attention on tasks or play activities.
- Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
- Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (e.g., loses focus, side-tracked).
- Often has trouble organising tasks and activities.
- Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to do tasks that require mental effort over a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).
- Often loses things necessary for tasks and activities (e.g. school materials, pencils, books, tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, mobile telephones).
- Is often easily distracted
- Is often forgetful in daily activities.
Hyperactivity and Impulsivity
Six or more symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity for children up to age 16 years, or five or more for adolescents age 17 years and older and adults; symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity have been present for at least 6 months to an extent that is disruptive and inappropriate for the person’s developmental level:
- Often fidgets with or taps hands or feet, or squirms in seat.
- Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected.
- Often runs about or climbs in situations where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults may be limited to feeling restless).
- Often unable to play or take part in leisure activities quietly.
- Is often “on the go” acting as if “driven by a motor”.
- Often talks excessively.
- Often blurts out an answer before a question has been completed.
- Often has trouble waiting their turn.
- Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or game
In addition, the following conditions must be met:
- Several inattentive or hyperactive-impulsive symptoms were present before age 12 years.
- Several symptoms are present in two or more settings, (such as at home, school or work; with friends or relatives; in other activities).
- There is clear evidence that the symptoms interfere with, or reduce the quality of, social, school, or work functioning.
- The symptoms are not better explained by another mental disorder (such as a mood disorder, anxiety disorder, dissociative disorder, or a personality disorder). The symptoms do not happen only during the course of schizophrenia or another psychotic disorder.
Diagnosing ADHD in Adults
ADHD often lasts into adulthood. To diagnose ADHD in adults and adolescents age 17 years or older, only 5 symptoms are needed instead of the 6 needed for younger children. Symptoms might look different at older ages. For example, in adults, hyperactivity may appear as extreme restlessness or wearing others out with their activity. If you are an adult looking for indications that you might have ADHD you can take the WHO screener survey here.
There is a persistent thought form some parts of the general population that ADHD requires some form of hyper-activity. This is not the case. Based on the above criteria there are three kinds (presentations) of ADHD can occur. Because symptoms can change over time, the presentation may change over time as well.
Combined Presentation: if enough symptoms of both criteria inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity were present for the past 6 months
Predominantly Inattentive Presentation: if enough symptoms of inattention, but not hyperactivity-impulsivity, were present for the past six months
Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation: if enough symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity, but not inattention, were present for the past six months.
Childhood ADHD: In the UK, a research survey of 10,438 children between the ages of 5 and 15 years found that 3.62% of boys and 0.85% of girls had ADHD [Journal of Attention Disorders]. Global prevalence is considered to be between 2 and 7% with an average of 5%. [The Lancet]. The challenge for getting an exact incidence is that different countries, organisations, and professionals draw the line in different places for where they consider impairment to start, and therefore where they consider naming ADHD. Research conducted in Newcastle showed prevalence of 11% when asking about the symptoms but not looking for impairment. Then with impairment they found 6.7% with moderately low impairment, 4.2% for moderate impairments, and 1.4% for severe pervasive impairment. [European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry]. Regarding the gender split (roughly 4:1 boys:girls) there is an active discussion about whether female ADHD is under-diagnosed and if so the reasons for that.
Adult ADHD: ADHD changes with age (see below). It is thought that some children no longer have impairments; however, the majority around 65% retain some impairments in adulthood. The same study estimated prevalence of adult ADHD at 4.4%. [The American Journal of Psychiatry].
How the impact of ADHD changes with age
The impact of ADHD differs with age reflecting both the changing maturity of the individual and the changing circumstances and expectations on them. As they mature an individual may be better able to cope but they may continue to struggle due to the increased behavioural expectations on them. [ Disorders of attention and activity ]. For those with hyperactivity a child may command incessant and demanding extremes of activity; then as an adolescent moving to fidgeting instead of larger movements, and as adult having a sustained inner sense of restlessness. Inattention may diminish in absolute terms, and attention span normally improves with age, but it usually lags behind that of unaffected people, and behind the level that is expected and needed for everyday attainments [ NICE guidelines p16 ]
What causes ADHD?
There is no one cause of ADHD. It is considered to be a result of an often complex interplay between genetic and environmental factors – with genetic factors being responsible for 70%-80% of the probability [ Journal of Learning Disabilities] .
Treatment plans are dependent on an individual’s specific circumstance. The options, used individually or together, include:
AN OVERVIEW GUIDE OF ADHD Everybody can have difficulty sitting still, paying attention or controlling impulsive behavior once in a while. For some people, however, the problems are so pervasive and persistent that they interfere with every aspect of their life: home, academic, social and work. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting 11 percent of school-age children. Symptoms continue into adulthood in more than three-quarters of cases. ADHD is characterized by developmentally inappropriate levels of inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity.
INFORMATION FOR ADULTS WITH ADHD Approximately 10 million adults have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In early adulthood, ADHD may be associated with depression, mood or conduct disorders and substance abuse. Adults with ADHD often cope with difficulties at work and in their personal and family lives related to ADHD symptoms. Many have inconsistent performance at work or in their careers; have difficulties with day-to-day responsibilities; experience relationship problems; and may have chronic feelings of frustration, guilt or blame.
INFORMATION FOR PARENTS AND CAREGIVERS OF ADHD CHILDREN While ADHD is believed to be hereditary, effectively managing your child’s symptoms can affect both the severity of the disorder and development of more serious problems over time. Early intervention holds the key to positive outcomes for your child. The earlier you address your child’s problems, the more likely you will be able to prevent school and social failure and associated problems such as underachievement and poor self-esteem that may lead to delinquency or drug and alcohol abuse. Although life with your child may at times seem challenging, as a parent you can help create home and school environments that improve your child’s chances for success.
INFORMATION FOR EDUCATORS ABOUT ADHD ADHD can affect learning and development from a very young age. Child Find, public school systems, some private schools and even colleges and universities are required to help students with ADHD and other disabilities rise to meet educational challenges.
INFORMATION FOR PROFESSIONALS WORKING WITH THOSE WITH ADHD An estimated 15 million individuals in America have ADHD. Without identification and proper treatment, ADHD may have serious consequences, including school failure, family stress and disruption, depression, problems with relationships, substance abuse, delinquency, accidental injuries and job failure. Early identification and treatment are extremely important.
Recursos en español
Hojas de información sobre el TDAH El Centro Nacional de Recursos del TDAH se estableció por medio de un acuerdo de cooperación con los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC), el Centro Nacional de Defectos Congénitos y Discapacidades del Desarrollo (National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, NCBDDD), para prestar el servicio de centro nacional de coordinación de la información más reciente basada en la evidencia sobre el TDAH. La misión de Centro Nacional de Recursos es ofrecer información, educación y programas basados en la ciencia para aumentar la aceptación y reducir el estigma asociado con el TDAH; promover la salud y el bienestar de los niños y adultos con el TDAH y de sus familias; y fortalecer la capacidad de los profesionales para trabajar de manera efectiva con aquellos afectados por el TDAH.
Contact ADHD Specialist
THE NATIONAL RESOURCE CENTER ON ADHD HELPLINE The NRC is the only national resource where people can receive an individualized response from a Health Information Specialist knowledgeable in the full range of issues concerning ADHD. We receive inquiries from all over the United States and more than 20 countries. Our English and Spanish-speaking Health Information Specialists respond to queries Monday–Friday, 1–5pm EST. If you have a question or would like to talk to somebody about ADHD call 1-866-200-8098
Find a Local CHADD
CHADD has a nationwide network of Affiliates. We encourage you to find a group in your area. This is the best way to connect with local resources and find people who you can share with. We also have a number of resources for individuals who would like to form a Chapter. We can help you setup your Chapter and teach you how to grow your membership.
I’m Dr Raj Tanna. I’m a leading Psychiatrist in Perth bringing local and international expertise in Psychiatry and Psychotherapeutic medicine to my practice, including early intervention of mental health.
I help adults 18 years and older to manage and heal from ADHD or ADD related issues.
As a family member of people with mental illness I understand the complex needs for recovery. The core of my approach is individualised care to create positive lifelong change. My work is driven by a belief that every person has the right to mental wellbeing to realise their own abilities and the right to ethical and high-quality care.
Throughout my career I’ve improved, modernised, and led award-winning community mental health services in Perth and London. I’ve led several initiatives to reform service cultures and improve the quality of individual care, including as Head of Services at Joondalup Community Mental Health and to Western Australia Country Health Services.
For more than 17 years, I’ve been a Consultant and Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and an accredited member of the Faculty of Psychotherapy. I’m also an accredited Mentalization-Based Therapy Practitioner with the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families in London.
I completed my primary medical degree from University College London and a Bachelor of Science scholarship specialising in cognitive neurosciences, including research with American-British neuroscientist and Nobel laureate John O’Keefe. I’ve trained psychiatrists to enhance the practice of individualised care, including reforming how medication is prescribed. I’ve held academic posts at the University of Western Australia and the University of Notre Dame.
Here are a few programs I’ve contributed to over my career that I’m proud of :
Creating the Headspace Youth Early Psychosis Program – Perth
As Senior Advisor to Black Swan Health in 2014, I was heavily involved in the planning, service design and development of the Headspace Youth Early Psychosis Program in north Perth, a world-first model of early intervention and specialist support for young people. I collaborated with Headspace and Orygen, the world-renowned National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health.
Supporting People with complex mental health issues – Peel Rockingham and Kwinana
In 2013 my team provided innovative community treatment for adults with highly complex mental health and social difficulties. We used more integrated approaches within the community. In only six months, hospital stays reduced by 40 per cent. This program won a prestigious Good Outcomes Award from the Mental Health Commission of the Government of Western Australia.
Improving Early Intervention in Psychosis – London
In 2005, I helped develop a comprehensive care service for Early Intervention in Psychosis based on local and international evidence. Creating person-centred programs, we helped dramatically improve individual access and recovery. I then became an advisor on a leadership committee to introduce this service in all London boroughs. The service was cited in the Health Service Journal as an exemplar of innovation.
Treating Adult ADHD
It’s a struggle I often hear from people presenting with ADHD in adulthood. If you feel this way, you’re not alone. More adults live with ADHD than you might realise — up to 60 per cent of children with ADHD suffer from symptoms as they get older, resulting in difficulties in many aspects of life. Life can feel more easy. I’m here to help you to thrive again and feel your best. Read my article in Medicus, a WA medical magazine: A focus on ADHD in Adults
What is Adult ADHD?
ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It can present with or without strong features of restlessness. Individuals have an impaired ability to inhibit and regulate attention, behaviour, and emotions, often resulting in impulsiveness, procrastination, distraction, and poor organisation. ADHD can also often present with depression and anxiety features, areas where I can offer expert guidance.
How does someone get ADHD?
Most adults diagnosed with ADHD will have had some symptoms during their childhood. Complex genetics play a leading role—Adult ADHD is 70 per cent heritable. Other factors play a role like environment, or problems through prenatal development. Rather than focus on the cause, which can’t be wholly pinpointed, we can focus on the solution to help you start feeling better.
Will ADHD be lifelong?
ADHD can present as a lifespan disorder. If left untreated, people can suffer poorer, lifelong outcomes. With treatment and medication, where necessary, the disorder can be managed to embrace your strengths and interests. Remember, you’re not the disorder. You have a unique personality to cherish. We work together to help you thrive.
How do I know if I have ADHD?
The first step is to complete the adult self-report scale ASRS to assess signs and symptoms—it’s short and easy. It screens for how often symptoms are present in your life. The second step is to book a review with your GP who can refer for specialist assessment if indicated.
Neuropsychological tests aren’t required before an assessment, since they don’t screen for ADHD. They cannot establish a diagnosis of ADHD. Diagnosis can only be made through a detailed clinical assessment by a mental health specialist. After assessment, I can advise if further testing is required to aid interventions.