ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is one of the most frequently occurring childhood psychiatric disorders. Symptoms include not staying focused on a task, having trouble sitting still, and acting without thinking. These symptoms usually become evident in preschool or early elementary years, and can continue into adolescence and even adulthood. In many cases, the most effective treatments for ADHD include medications and behavioral therapies.

An Overview of ADHD

In recent years, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been a subject of great public attention and concern. It is one of the most common psychiatric disorders that appears in childhood. Children with the condition can't stay focused on a task or sit still, and often act without thinking. In general, they find it difficult to finish any project or activity they begin.
If left untreated, ADHD can have long-term effects on a child's ability to make friends or do well at school or work. Over time, children with the condition may develop depression (see ADHD and Depression), poor self-esteem, and other emotional problems.
A child with ADHD faces a difficult but not insurmountable task ahead. In order to achieve his or her full potential, the child should receive help, guidance, and understanding from:
  • Parents
  • Guidance counselors
  • The public education system.
ADHD used to be known as attention deficit disorder, or ADD. In 1994, it was renamed ADHD.

Warning Signs

Some of the warning signs of ADHD include:
  • Failure to listen to instructions
  • Inability to organize oneself and school work
  • Fidgeting with hands and feet
  • Talking too much
  • Leaving projects, chores, and homework unfinished
  • Having trouble paying attention to and responding to details.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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