What is Attention Deficiency Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)? It is a disorder marked by extreme difficulty with inattention, impulsivity, or a combination of both. About 3% to 7% of children and teens have extreme difficulty controlling their attention and are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactive disorder, or ADHD (American psychiatric association [APA], 2000). ADHD is the most diagnosed neurodevelopment disorder in children. This condition is diagnosed much more often in boys than it is in girls. Symptoms cannot be cured but may decrease with age. Symptoms can be controlled with medications, such as Ritalin. Medications are thought to help regulate the behavior by altering the neural activity in the frontal-striated area of the brain, which ordinarily inhibits behavior. Research on the ...view middle of the document...
The person is easily distracted or forgets details of daily routines.
Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation: The person fidgets and talks 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. The individual feels restless and has trouble with impulsivity. Someone who is impulsive may interrupt others a lot, grab things from people, or speak at inappropriate times. It is hard for the person to wait their turn or listen to directions. 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. Symptoms can change over time, so the presentation may change over time as well.
The cause(s) and risk factors for ADHD are unknown, but current research shows that genetics plays an important role.
In addition to genetics, scientists are studying other possible causes and risk factors including:
• Brain injury
• Environmental exposures (e.g., lead)
• Alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy
• Premature delivery
• Low birth
Research does not support the popularly held views that ADHD is caused by eating too much sugar, watching too much television, parenting, or social and environmental factors such as poverty or family chaos. Of course, many things, including these, might make symptoms worse, especially in certain people. (CDC)
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