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Facts about ADHD

Dr. M. Vijayalakshmi, M.D (Peds), M.D (USA), F.A.A.P

"Content Source: American Academy of Pediatrics, Medical Journals"
Facts about ADHD

ADHD is a condition of the brain that makes it difficult for children to control their behavior. It is one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood. It affects 4% to 12% of school-aged children. About 3 times more boys than girls are diagnosed with ADHD.

Symptoms and behaviours associated with ADHD

ADHD includes three groups of behavior symptoms: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. The table below explains these symptoms.

Symptoms :How a child with this symptom may behave
  • Inattention
    • Often has a very hard time paying attention, daydreams.
    • Often does not seem to listen
    • Is easily distracted from work or play
    • Often does not seem to care about details, makes careless mistakes
    • Frequently does not follow through on instructions or finish tasks
    • Is disorganized
    • Frequently loses a lot of important things
    • Often forgets things
    • Frequently avoids doing things that require ongoing mental effort
  • Hyperactivity
    • Is in constant motion, as if "driven by a motor"
    • Cannot stay seated
    • Frequently squirms and fidgets
    • Talks too much
    • Often runs, jumps, and climbs when this is not permitted
    • Cannot play quietly
  • Impulsivity
    • Frequently acts and speaks without thinking
    • May run into the street without looking for traffic first
    • Frequently has trouble taking turns
    • Cannot wait for things
    • Often calls out answers before the question is complete
    • Frequently interrupts others
Types of ADHD
  • Inattentive only—Children with this form of ADHD are not overly active. Because they do not disrupt the classroom or other activities, their symptoms may not be noticed. Among girls with ADHD, this form is most common.
  • Hyperactive/Impulsive—Children with this type of ADHD show both hyperactive and impulsive behavior, but can pay attention. They are the least common group and are frequently younger.
  • Combined Inattentive/Hyperactive/Impulsive—Children with this type of ADHD show a number of symptoms in all 3 dimensions. This is the most common type of ADHD.

How you can tell if your child has ADHD

Remember, it is normal for all children to show some of these symptoms from time to time. Your child may be reacting to stress at school or home. She may be bored or going through a difficult stage of life. It does not mean she has ADHD.

Sometimes a teacher is the first to notice inattention, hyperactivity, and/or impulsivity and bring these symptoms to the parents' attention.

If your child has shown symptoms of ADHD on a regular basis for more than 6 months, discuss this with your pediatrician.

Remember, there is no substitute for medical advice that comes from a pediatrician after they have evaluated your child. This document is only for informational purposes and is not a substitute for medical advice.