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ADHD and Children who can't pay attention

No. 6

(Updated Jan-24-2009)

What is ADHD?

ADHD stands for Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is a name given to a group of behaviors found in many children and even adults. Children and adults who suffer from ADHD have trouble paying attention in school, at home or practically anywhere they go! Another sign of ADHD is hyperactivity or being more impulsive for their age. Obviously, these behaviors could create problems in both learning and behavior. For this reason, children who are considered “difficult” or are having behavior problems might have ADHD. Since ADHD affects 4% to 12% of school-age children, it's considered fairly common, but it's occurs more often with boys than girls. Besides ADHD, another term used is ADD or attention deficit disorder. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) named this disorder in 1994.

What are the symptoms of ADHD?

Children who exhibit 6 or more of the following symptoms might have ADHD:

  • Are distracted easily

  • Appears not to listen

  • Forgetful

  • Has trouble paying attention at school or at home

  • Seems disorganized

  • Doesn't pay close attention to details

  • Doesn't plan ahead

  • Misplaces items at school or at home

  • Doesn't follow directions or instructions

For additional/related information see other Facts for Families:

Learning Disabilities (#16),
Conduct Disorders (#33),
Manic-Depressive Illness in Teens (#38),
Questions to Ask about Psychiatric Medications for Children and Adolescents (#51),
Comprehensive Psychiatric Evaluation (#52).

This article was written by Tim Manasterski who is part of the staff.

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