Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is a Neurodevelopmental Disorder, with symptoms that begin during childhood and can persist across the life span.
Not all individuals with ADHD are diagnosed as children. The symptoms of ADHD are just one piece of the diagnostic picture and often, what prompts the assessment process is when someone (a parent, teacher, spouse, employer or the individual) recognizes the impairment that symptoms are causing in daily life.
This can happen at different ages and life stages, depending on many factors (e.g., intelligence, temperament, academic skills, family and social support, learning environments, coping strategies and many more).
The symptoms (and related impairment) of ADHD often become most apparent during times of change or transition, when the demands placed on an individual may increase (e.g., entering high school or university, entering the work force, starting a new job or starting a family) and they experience difficulty meeting expectations or demonstrating their potential. Many individuals also pursue an Attention Assessment after a family member has been diagnosed (e.g., child or grand child) and they see similar traits in themselves.
Recognizing core symptom and related impairment: Common challenges associated with ADHD may include:
Difficulty getting started on academic or work place tasks.
Difficulty staying focused and seeing work through to completion.
Difficulty sustaining attention during lectures, work meetings or in conversation.
Challenges with planning, organization and time management. Underestimating how long a task will take and over committing time.
Difficulty prioritizing tasks or meeting deadlines. Difficulty knowing where to start and feeling overwhelmed.