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Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Information for Parents and Caregivers

According to John Hopkins Medicine, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and into adulthood. Young people with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are unable to focus their attention and are often impulsive and easily distracted. Most children with this disorder have great difficulty remaining still, taking turns, and keeping quiet. Symptoms must be evident in at least two settings, such as home and school, in order for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder to be diagnosed.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurobehavioral condition that is usually first diagnosed during childhood. More than six million children between the ages of two and 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD. [1] The symptoms of hyperactivity, when present, are almost always apparent by the age of 7 and may be present in very young preschoolers. Inattention or attention-deficit may not be evident until a child faces the expectations of elementary school.

It is normal for children to have trouble focusing and behaving at one time or another. However, children with ADHD do not just grow out of these behaviors. The symptoms continue, can be severe, and can cause difficulty at school, at home, or with friends.

A child with ADHD might:

  • daydream a lot

  • forget or lose things a lot

  • squirm or fidget

  • talk too much

  • make careless mistakes or take unnecessary risks

  • have a hard time resisting temptation

  • have trouble taking turns

  • have difficulty getting along with others

Causes of ADHD:

American Academy of Pediatrics stated attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurobiologic condition whose symptoms are also dependent on the child's environment. ADHD is now one of the most common and most studied conditions of childhood.

Sometimes, going through a traumatic event can cause real attention problems. But trauma and  ADHD can be confused in diagnosis because the symptoms of trauma mimic those of ADHD. They share several symptoms.

Research has shown ADHD may have various causes:   (American Academy of Pediatrics)

  • Brain anatomy and function. A lower level of activity in the parts of the brain that control attention and activity level may be associated with ADHD. 

  • Genes and heredity. ADHD frequently runs in families. A child with ADHD has a 1 in 4 chance of having a parent with ADHD. It’s also likely that another close family member, such as a sibling, will also have ADHD. Sometimes,  ADHD is diagnosed in a parent at the same time it is diagnosed in the child. 

  • Significant head injuries may cause ADHD in some cases.

  • Prematurity increases the risk of developing ADHD.

  • Prenatal exposures, such as alcohol or nicotine from smoking, increase the risk of developing ADHD.

ADHD Hyperactive
Inattentive & Distractable
ADHD Inattentive
Combined Type


These scientifically supported sites are among psychology’s best for helping parents raise their kids.

Choose each topic of interest to view resource: 


       Parenting a Child with ADHD     Toolkit – Diagnosis & Treatment of Children and Teens

       Evaluating Childhood ADHD     Preschoolers and ADHD     Treatment Overview     ADHD & Childcare

8 ADHD Myths & Misconceptions                                          Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

ADHD & Driving Risks: The Link Parents Need to Know      Behavior Therapy for Children with ADHD

ADHD Medication Daily Routines                                          Causes of ADHD: What We Know Today

ADHD and Homework                                                            College Support Services and Accommodations

Adapting a Style of Communication with Your Child           Common ADHD Meds & Treatments for Children

Allergies and Hyperactivity                                                     Common Coexisting Conditions in Children 

Applied Kinesiology and ADHD                                             Common Symptoms of Hyperactivity/Impulsivity


      What is ADHD?      Symptoms of ADHD       Diagnosing ADHD: What Professionals Look At                                       Getting a Diagnosis      ADHD and teenagers      Everyday life for children with ADHD      Risk Factors 

     The Case of Grace

     Summer Activities for Kids With Learning Disorders

     Summer and ADHD: A Survival Guide

     ADHD and Substance Abuse

     Support Kids with ADHD During the Coronavirus Crisis

     Back-to-School Tips for Kids Who Are Struggling

     How to Help Yourself Get Organized

     How to Help Girls With ADHD Manage Periods

     ADHD and Behavior Problems

Reference 1

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). National prevalence of ADHD and treatment: information on children and adolescents, 2016

The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

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