What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD is a common childhood illness. People who are affected can have trouble with paying attention, sitting still and controlling their impulses. There are three types of ADHD. The most common type of ADHD is when people have difficulties with both attention and hyperactivity. This is called ADHD combined type. Some people only have difficulty with attention and organization. This is ADHD inattentive subtype or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Other people have only the hyperactive and impulsive symptoms. This is ADHD hyperactive subtype.

It is a health condition involving biologically active substances in the brain. Studies show that ADHD may affect certain areas of the brain that allow us to solve problems, plan ahead, understand others’ actions, and control our impulses.

Many children and adults are easily distracted at times or have trouble finishing tasks. If you suspect that your child has ADHD, it is important to have your child evaluated by his or her doctor. In order for your child’s doctor to diagnose your child with ADHD, the behaviors must appear before age 12 and continue for at least six months. The symptoms must also create impairment in at least two areas of the child’s life-in the classroom, on the playground, at home, in the community, or in social settings. Many children have difficulties with their attention but attention problems are not always cue to ADHD. For example, stressful life events and other childhood conditions such as problems with schoolwork caused by a learning disability or anxiety and depression can interfere with attention.

Full list of FAQ’s available at AACAP.org