ADHD is a problem with inattentiveness, over-activity, impulsivity, or a combination. Many studies suggest that the brains of children with ADHD are different from those of other children. These children handle neurotransmitters (including dopamine, serotonin, and adrenaline) differently from their peers.
ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder of childhood. It affects about 3 – 5% of school aged children. ADHD is diagnosed much more often in boys than in girls. Most children with ADHD also have at least one other developmental or behavioral problem. They may also have another psychiatric problem, such as depression or bipolar.
The symptoms of ADHD are divided into inattentiveness, and hyperactivity and impulsivity. Some children with ADHD primarily have the inattentive type, some the hyperactive-impulsive type, and some the combined type. Those with the inattentive type are less disruptive and are more likely to miss being diagnosed with ADHD.
- Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork
- Has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play
- Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
- Does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace
- Has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
- Avoids or dislikes tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork)
- Often loses toys, assignments, pencils, books, or tools needed for tasks or activities
- Is easily distracted
- Is often forgetful in daily activities
- Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
- Leaves seat when remaining seated is expected
- Runs about or climbs in inappropriate situations
- Has difficulty playing quietly
- Is often “on the go,” acts as if “driven by a motor,” talks excessively
- Blurts out answers before questions have been completed
- Has difficulty awaiting turn
- Interrupts or intrudes on others