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What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder of childhood.  It is estimated to affect 3 to 5 percent of school-age children and affects two to three times as many boys as girls. 


  • Inattention 
  • - Inability to focus 
  • - Makes careless mistakes 
  • - Difficulty sustaining attention 
  • - Easily distracted 
  • - Does not seem to listen 
  • - Disorganized 
  • - Often loses things 
  • - Forgetful

  • Hyperactivity 
  • - Fidgets 
  • - Runs around or climbs excessively 
  • - Often "on the go" 
  • - Talks excessively 
  • - Difficulty remaining seated 
  • - Difficulty engaging in quiet activities 

  • Impulsivity 
  • - Acts without thinking 
  • - Blurts out answers before questions have been completed 
  • - Difficulty waiting his/her 


To assess whether a child has ADHD, specialists consider several critical questions:

  • Do these behaviors occur more often than in other children the same age? 
  • Did the behaviors appear before age 7? 
  • Do the behaviors significantly interfere with functioning in at least two settings (e.g., classroom, at home, in social settings)? 
  • Are the behaviors a continuous problem and not just a response to a temporary situation? 
  • Are the behaviors better described as a symptom of a different problem, such as a learning disability or emotional distress?