Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition of the brain that makes it hard for children to control their behavior. While all children have times when their behavior seems out of control or hyperactive, children with ADHD have frequent and severe behavior problems.
Children diagnosed with ADHD show behavioral problems that interfere with their ability to function at home or school for at least six months. Teachers often first notice a child with ADHD because their student is unable to pay attention in school. Most children with ADHD have normal or above-normal intelligence, yet 40-60% have trouble in school.
Children with ADHD also struggle with social and family relationships. They have a hard time playing with other kids have problems developing relationships, even with family members.
ADHD is characterized by three types of behaviors: inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. A child may have one or all of these different behaviors:
No one knows the exact cause of ADHD, but experts believe it’s a combination of genetics, environmental factors, and problems that occur in the central nervous system at key moments during physical development.
Getting early treatment for ADHD makes a significant difference for children because it improves their ability to be successful. Nine out of 10 children respond well to medication, but mental health treatments, such as behavior management and cognitive behavioral therapy are also effective and often prescribed in combination with medications.
ADHD does not cause other mental health problems, but children with ADHD are at a higher risk for developing additional psychological or developmental problems — another reason why early treatment is vital. They may develop:
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