Attention Deficit

What Is Attention Deficit Disorder?

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a term used for people who have excessive difficulties with concentration without the presence of other ADHD symptoms such as excessive impulsiveness or hyperactivity.


ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviours (may act without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active.

Signs and Symptoms

It is normal for children to have trouble focusing and behaving at one time or another. However, children with ADHD do not just grow out of these behaviours. The symptoms continue, can be severe, and can cause difficulty at school, at home, or with friends.

Someone with ADHD might:

  • Daydream a lot
  • Forget or lose things a lot
  • Squirm or fidget
  • Talk too much
  • Make careless mistakes or take unnecessary risks
  • Have a hard time resisting temptation
  • Have trouble taking turns
  • Have difficulty getting along with others
  • Learn more about signs and symptoms


Services in both health and social care have been unable to cope with the rising demand from people with complex needs and behaviours that challenge.     


There are three different ways ADHD presents itself, depending on which types of symptoms are strongest in the individual:


Predominantly Inattentive Presentation: It is hard for the individual to organize or finish a task, to pay attention to details, or to follow instructions or conversations. The person is easily distracted or forgets details of daily routines.


Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation: The person fidgets and talks a lot. It is hard to sit still for long (e.g., for a meal or while doing homework). Smaller children may run, jump or climb constantly. The individual feels restless and has trouble with impulsivity. Someone who is impulsive may interrupt others a lot, grab things from people, or speak at inappropriate times. It is hard for the person to wait their turn or listen to directions. A person with impulsiveness may have more accidents and injuries than others.


Combined Presentation: Symptoms of the above two types are equally present in the person.

Because symptoms can change over time, the presentation may change over time as well.

Community placement breakdowns still occur, and out of area placements are increasingly used as a solution. These placements can be very costly even though they are often of poor quality and may be institutionalised.   People who are born with complex needs are now more likely to live into adulthood and have a greater life expectancy. This means both that services are required by more and more people, and that those in receipt of services require them for longer.

Managing Symptoms:

Staying Healthy

Being healthy is important for all children and can be especially important for children with ADHD. In addition to behavioural therapy and medication, having a healthy lifestyle can make it easier for your child to deal with ADHD symptoms.


Here are some healthy behaviours that may help:

Developing healthy eating habits such as eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and lean protein

Participating in daily physical activity based on age.

Limiting the amount of daily screen time from TVs, computers, phones, and other electronics

Getting the recommended amount of sleep each night based on age.