What is Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental condition that can affect family life. The word “neurodevelopmental” refers to the nervous system which includes the brain as it develops across the lifespan. ADHD behavior usually appears by age seven though difficult behavior may show up before this, and ADHD is treatable. With ADHD, children can have trouble with impulsivity, hyperactivity, distractedness, following instructions and completing tasks.
When symptoms of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder occur in childhood, they tend to persist into adulthood in about 49.9% of the cases (about half). Adults with ADHD often find it difficult to follow directions, to remember information and to concentrate on or organize tasks. Without proper acknowledgement and management of these behaviors, ADHD can result in behavioral, emotional, academic, vocational and social problems that decrease the quality of life.
What is the difference between ADHD and ADD (Attention-Deficit Disorder)?
ADHD is the only term assigned to this diagnosis but there are different presentations of ADHD — ADHD Inattentive Presentation, ADHD Hyperactive/Impulsive Presentation, ADHD Combined Presentation (both inattention and H/I behavior) and a fourth type called Unspecified ADHD, a diagnosis used when symptoms are unclear.
How common is ADHD?
About 11% of children between the ages of four and 17 have ADHD. Symptoms of ADHD typically first appear between the ages of three and six years old. The average age of ADHD diagnosis is seven years old. In children, it’s three times more common in young boys than girls. Males are almost three times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than females.
ADHD isn’t just a childhood disorder. About 4% of American adults over the age of 18 contend with ADHD behaviors on a daily basis. In adulthood, it’s diagnosed equally between males and females. During their lifetimes, 13% of men will be diagnosed with ADHD while just 4.2% of women will be diagnosed.