As a therapist who has worked with kids who have ADHD (and a few who didn't but were classified as such) I know how overwhelming and frustrating a diagnosis of ADHD can be to a parent. This article is great because it explains the different types of ADHD (there are three types and four subtypes of Type 2...whew!). Also, the term ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder is no longer recognized as a diagnosis. It is termed ADHD, inattentive type or ADHD, type 2. This article also goes into that explanation.
On page two of the article is easily explains the difference between ADHD behaviors and simply anxiety, depression, or situational frustration. There is a difference and a way to look at the behaviors in our children and the events around them that have occurred to see how that has impacted or changed their behavior.
I hope that this article is helpful. I thought it was a great explanation in layman's terms.
Click Here to read the article.
Here is the the diagnostic criteria for ADHD from the DSM-IV TR and you can also check out the other links to articles regarding ADHD.
I feel the more education on this subject by the parent, the more armed they are to go into school meetings with an better understanding of their children's behaviors. Just because your child is acting up in school does not mean they are hyperactive or inattentive. However, there is ALWAYS a reason behind acting up behaviors. The key is to find out what those reasons are and dissect them carefully.