Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children (ADHD in Children)

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ADHD in children facts

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental-health condition that has characteristics of difficulty concentrating, controlling impulses, and/or excessive activity.
  • Though there is no particular cause of ADHD, there are many social, biological, environmental factors that may raise one's risk of developing the disorder.
  • There are three kinds of ADHD: predominately inattentive type, predominately hyperactive/impulsive type, and the combined (inattentive, hyperactive, and impulsive) type.
  • While medications are often prominent in the treatment of ADHD, behavioral treatments are important in improving the child's ability to function as well.
  • The most common medications used to treat ADHD are the stimulant medications.
  • About 85% of children with ADHD are at risk for having the disorder in adulthood.
  • Much of the latest research on ADHD in children focuses on how exposure to environmental toxins may increase the risk of developing this condition.

What is ADHD?

ADHD, also often called ADD, refers to a mental-health condition called attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. People with ADHD have problems with impulse control, excessive activity, and/or concentration. Statistics show that up to 7% of children and teens are thought to suffer from this disorder at any time, with up to 11% of children being given the diagnosis at some point during their childhood. Physicians diagnose boys with this condition at a rate of more than twice that of girls. That is thought to be at least partly due to the diagnosis in girls being missed because of gender differences in ADHD symptoms.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/28/2014

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ADHD in Children - Diagnosis Question: How did physicians diagnose ADHD in your child?
ADHD in Children - Symptoms and Signs Question: What ADHD symptoms and signs does your child have?
ADHD in Children - Treatment Question: What treatments have been effective for your child's ADHD?
Many of the symptoms of ADHD are also symptoms seen during normal childhood.

Tips for Parenting a Child With ADHD

What should I do if I am concerned that my child might have ADHD?

Many of the symptoms of ADHD are also symptoms seen during normal childhood and development, and exhibiting one or more of the symptoms does not mean that a child has ADHD. In particular, the symptoms of ADHD are very common in toddlers and preschool children, so it can very hard to differentiate ADHD behaviors from normal developmental behaviors in young children. For this reason, the diagnosis of ADHD is more difficult in preschool children than in early school-aged children.


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