What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?
ADHD is known to be a chronic condition that often follows people from childhood to adulthood. It is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. People with ADHD may have trouble with everyday behaviors including the ability to pay attention, control impulsive behaviors (may act without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active. Although ADHD can’t be cured, the condition can be successfully managed and some symptoms may improve with age. The cause(s) and risk factors for ADHD are unknown, but current research suggests that genetics plays an important role.
It is estimated that between 3% and 5% of the adult population in the United States has ADHD
There are three different types of ADHD, which can be individually identified by which symptoms are most prevalent in the individual with the condition:
- Predominantly Inattentive Presentation: Difficult for the individual to organize or finish a task, to pay attention to details, or to follow instructions or conversations. The person is easily distracted or forgets details of daily routines.
- Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation: The person with this form of ADHD tends to fidget and talk a lot. It is hard to sit still for long (e.g., for a meal or while doing homework). Smaller children may run, jump or climb constantly. Experiences frequent impulsive behavior, which may include interrupting others a lot, grabbing things from people, or speaking at inappropriate times. A person with impulsiveness may have more accidents and injuries than others.
- Combined Presentation: Symptoms of the above two types are equally present in the person.
Because symptoms can change over time, the presentation may change over time as well.
Symptoms and Signs of ADHD
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), children with ADHD may exhibit the following signs and symptoms:
- daydream a lot
- forget or lose things a lot
- squirm or fidget
- talk too much
- make careless mistakes or take unnecessary risks
- have a hard time resisting temptation
- have trouble taking turns
- have difficulty getting along with others
According to the CDC, in most cases, ADHD is best treated with a combination of behavior therapy and medication. For preschool-aged children (4-5 years of age) with ADHD, behavior therapy is recommended as the first line of treatment. No single treatment is the answer for every child and good treatment plans will include close monitoring, follow-ups and any changes needed along the way.
Experiencing one or more of the symptoms listed above does not necessarily mean that you or your child has ADHD. As with many conditions, these symptoms can also be caused by other something else. However, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to get checked by your doctor or healthcare professional to identify the cause and get treatment if necessary.
See below for updated news and information regarding ADHD including new medical research, treatments and advancements.
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