Understanding Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
One of the most common neurobehavioral disorders of childhood, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, causes inattentiveness, over-activity, impulsivity, or a combination. ADHD can interfere with a person’s ability to stay on a task and to use age-appropriate inhibition.
It is believed that as many as five out of every 100 children in school may have ADHD. Boys are three times more likely than girls to be affected. The symptoms associated with ADHD can cause difficulty at school, home, and in social situations.
Effective treatment for those diagnosed with ADHD often includes a comprehensive approach that includes parent training, behavioral intervention strategies, an educational program, and, when appropriate, medication. Researchers who study the brain believe that some people with ADHD do not have enough of certain chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain to help control behavior.
Until recently it was believed that children outgrew ADHD in adolescence because hyperactivity often diminishes during the teen years. However, many symptoms continue into adulthood. If the disorder goes undiagnosed and/or untreated, adults with the disorder may experience difficulty at work and in relationships.
Although there is no cure, with proper identification and treatment, people with ADHD can be very successful in life. Early identification and treatment are extremely important.
Fact Sheets and Frequently Asked Questions
- The National Resource Center on ADHD, which is a program of Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, or CHADD, has created a comprehensive informational document about AD/HD.
- The National Institute of Mental Health has created an easy-to-read booklet about ADHD.
- The Centers For Disease Control has created a fact sheet about ADHD.
- CHADD, Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder whose mission is to improve the lives of people affected by ADHD, has chapters across the state of North Carolina.