calendar girlMost children and teenagers have a difficult time paying attention, sitting still, or controlling their impulses from time-to-time. For youth with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivty Disorder (ADHD), however, these types of behaviors occur on a daily basis, in multiple settings (e.g., at home, at school, with friends, during extracurricular activities) and result in problems, such as academic difficulties and trouble getting along with parents, teachers, and peers. Symptoms of ADHD are usually present early in development (before age 7).
Persistent inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity are two hallmark symptoms of ADHD.

Common signs of inattention are:

  • difficulty staying on task
  • avoidance of tasks that require prolonged mental effort
  • distractibility
  • disorganization
  • forgetfulness
  • trouble following directions or completing tasks

Common signs of hyperactivity/impulsivity are:

  • interrupting the conversations or activities of others
  • acting without thinking
  • talking excessively or difficulty doing things quietly
  • leaves seat when expected to sit quietly
  • fidgeting
  • always seems to be “on the go”

Most children and teens with ADHD experience difficulty with both inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity, although some youth only experience difficulties in one of the two areas.  Effective treatment for children and teens with ADHD may include behavioral parent training, classroom management strategies, social skills training, and medication.

Check out the following ADHD resources:

  • CHADD is a membership organization, produces the bi-monthly Attention magazine (for members) and sponsors an annual conference. CHADD was founded in 1987 in response to the frustration and sense of isolation experienced by parents and their children with ADHD. The National Resource Center on ADHD (NRC) is the CDC-funded national clearinghouse for evidence-based information about ADHD.