Understanding ADHD

ADHD is one of the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorders of childhood. The disorder is estimated to affect between 6 to 16 out of every 100 school-aged children [2012]. This makes ADHD a major health concern. The disorder does not affect only children. In many cases, problems continue through adolescence and adulthood.

The core symptoms of ADHD are developmentally inappropriate levels of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. These problems are persistent and usually cause difficulties in one or more major life areas: home, school, work, or social relationships. Clinicians base their diagnosis on the presence of the core characteristics and the problems they cause.

Not all children and youth have the same type of ADHD. Because the disorder varies among individuals, children with ADHD won't all have the same problems. Some may be hyperactive. Others may be under-active. Some may have great problems with attention. Others may be mildly inattentive but overly impulsive. Still others may have significant problems in all three areas (attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity). Thus, there are three subtypes of ADHD:

  • Predominantly Inattentive Type
  • Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type
  • Combined Type (inattention, hyperactivity-impulsivity)
  • Of course, from time to time, practically every person can be a bit absent-minded, restless, fidgety, or impulsive. So why are these same patterns of behavior considered normal for some people and symptoms of a disorder in others? It's partly a matter of degree. With ADHD, these behaviors occur far more than occasionally. They are the rule and not the exception.

    More on: ADHD



    Top 2015 Halloween Costumes for Kids
    Will your child transform into a dinosaur, a superhero, or the latest Disney princess on October 31? Take a look at 2015's hottest Halloween costumes for boys and girls of all ages!

    Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
    Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

    8 Not-Too-Spooky Halloween Activities for Kids
    Halloween can be too scary and gory for preschoolers and kids of all ages. Find non-scary Halloween activities and party ideas that make this creepy holiday more kid-friendly.

    Ready for Kindergarten?
    Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

    stay connected

    Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

    Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

    Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

    editor’s picks