Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition where people have difficulty with inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, regulating their mood, and organization.
For example, a child or teen with ADHD may have trouble in school and home with paying attention, concentrating, losing things, following directions, sitting still, acting without thinking, or getting mad and frustrated easily.
Even though the child with ADHD often wants to be a good student, the impulsive behavior and difficulty paying attention in class frequently interferes and causes problems. Teachers, parents, and friends know that the child is misbehaving or different but they may not be able to tell exactly what is wrong. Any child may show inattention, distractibility, impulsivity, or hyperactivity at times, but the child with ADHD shows these symptoms and behaviors more frequently and severely than other children of the same age or developmental level. ADHD occurs in 3-5% of school age children. ADHD typically begin in childhood but can continue into adulthood. ADHD runs in families with about 25% of biological parents also having this medical condition.
A child or adolescent with ADHD often shows some of the following:
- trouble paying attention
- inattention to details and makes careless mistakes
- easily distracted
- loses school supplies, forgets to turn in homework
- trouble finishing class work and homework
- trouble listening
- trouble following multiple adult commands
- blurts out answers
- fidgets or squirms
- leaves seat and runs about or climbs excessively
- seems “on the go”
- talks too much and has difficulty playing quietly
- interrupts or intrudes on others