What is Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder (ADHD)?
Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder, or ADHD, is a common condition that affects children and adolescents and can continue into adulthood for some. The primary symptoms of ADHD are hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention.
Children with ADHD generally have problems paying attention or concentrating. They can’t seem to follow directions and are easily bored or frustrated with tasks.
They also tend to move constantly and are impulsive, not stopping to think before they act. While these behaviors are generally common in children, they occur more often than usual and are more severe in a child with ADHD. The behaviors that are common with ADHD interfere with a child’s ability to function at school and at home.
ADHD is one of the most common behavior disorders in school-aged children. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIHM) estimates that 3% to 5% of children have ADHD; however, some experts say ADHD may occur in 8% to 12% of school-aged children.
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ADHD is typically only diagnosed in school-aged children (ages 6-12) because it’s hard to diagnose in younger children. The diagnostic process has many steps, and you, your child’s school and other caregivers will all need to provide information about your child’s behavior.
The best treatment for ADHD is a typically a combination of behavioral intervention and medication, together with creating an environment for your child at home and at school to make it easier for them to pay attention. Because ADHD is a chronic (ongoing) condition, treatment plans are also ongoing and usually include long-term goals for your child.