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Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)


Most children and adolescents have some difficulties sitting still, paying attention or controlling impulsive behavior from time to time—but they usually grow out of these behaviors. Individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), however, are distinguished from others by behavioral symptoms so pervasive and persistent that they cause problems at school, at home or with friends.

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting up to 11% of school-age children and about 5% of adults. Read more research and survey data.

History of ADHD

Children were first documented exhibiting inattentiveness, impulsivity and hyperactivity in 1902. Since that time, the disorder has been given numerous names, including minimal brain dysfunction, hyperkinetic reaction of childhood and attention-deficit disorder (ADD), with or without hyperactivity. The current name reflects the elevation of inattention along with characteristics of hyperactivity and impulsivity—without requiring all symptoms to show up to be diagnosed.

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