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Clinical research indicates that children who are thought to have ADHD are three times more likely to have visual skills problems. Likewise, children who have visual skills problems are three times more likely to be thought to have ADHD. This is because many of the symptoms used to diagnose ADHD overlap with symptoms of visual skills problems. Below is a listing of the DSM-V criteria for diagnosing ADHD. The symptoms that are italicized and in blue are the ones that overlap with common visual skills problems.
The diagnosis of ADHD has increased dramatically in recent years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 6.4 million children between the ages of 4 and 17 years have received a diagnosis of ADHD. This represents an increase of 41 percent over the past decade. Per a report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, at least one-third of children with ADHD have more than one co-existing condition. One of the co-existing conditions that can make diagnosing ADHD more difficult is visual skills problems. A child who is suspected of having ADHD-like behaviors may actually be suffering from a visual skills problem instead. Alternatively, a child's ADHD behaviors may be worsened by undetected visual skills problems. If that is the case, then the child's ADHD symptoms may be able to be treated without medications. Clinicians and research scientists both recommend that any child thought to have ADHD should have a visual skills evaluation to rule it out as a possible confounding factor. If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD or is suspected of having ADHD, you may go to our Appointments page and schedule an ADHD & Visual Skills exam. This exam is not the same as a routine, yearly eye exam.
|Inattention||Hyperactivity & Impulsivity|
|Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless errors in schoolwork, at work or with other activities.||Often fidgets with or taps hands or feet, or squirms in seat.|
|Often has trouble holding attention on tasks or play activities.||Often leaves seat when remaining seated is expected.|
|Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.||Often runs about or climbs when not appropriate.|
|Often has trouble organizing tasks and activities.||Is often "on the go" - acting as if "driven by a motor".|
|Often avoids, dislikes or is reluctant to do tasks that require mental effort over a long period of time (such as homework)||Often unable to play or take part in leisure activities quietly.|
|Often loses things necessary for tasks and activities.||Often talks excessively.|
|Is often easily distracted.||Often has trouble waiting his/her turn|
|Is often forgetful in daily activities.||Often interrupts others.|
|Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores or duties in the workplace.||Often blurts out an answer before a question has been completed.|
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