Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity (ADHD) disorder affects between 3% and 7% of all school-age children and is the most commonly diagnosed mental health condition for children in the United States.  For a child to be diagnosed with ADHD, symptoms must be present before the age of seven; occur across locations (i.e., school and home); and persist for at least two weeks.  While some people outgrow ADHD after adolescence, approximately 60% of those with the condition continue experiencing symptoms into adulthood, although hyperactivity and impulsivity tend to decrease with age.


Common symptoms of ADHD include:


•difficulty concentrating and paying attention
•distractibility
•impulsivity
•low frustration tolerance
•restlessness and fidgeting
•forgetfulness and disorganization

Those with the hyperactive sub-type may also:


•have difficulty staying seated
•interrupt frequently
•struggle with tasks requiring sustained attention
•talk excessively

ADHD is a neurobiological disorder.  The condition tends to run in families, suggesting a strong genetic link.  Children with ADHD who receive treatment during childhood are less likely than those who go untreated to engage in negative behaviors as adults such as drinking and drug use.


Treatment for ADHD usually involves cognitive-behavioral therapy and social skills training combined with stimulant medication.  Concerns regarding side effects, however, have led an increasing number of parents to seek alternative solutions.  A study published by researchers at the University of Illinois-Urbana, for example, found that allowing children with ADHD to spend time in green spaces such as parks and playgrounds helped reduce symptoms.  Meditation, educational software products, reducing sugar and caffeine intake, and increasing foods and supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids are just some of the alternative approaches that have proved helpful for some children and adults.


Books


Children

ADD/ADHD Behavior-Change Resource Kit

Driven to Distraction

How to Reach and Teach Children with ADD

Parenting Children with ADHD


Adults

ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life

Delivered from Distraction

Finding Your Focus

Understanding Women with AD/HD

You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid, or Crazy?


Organizations

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Attention Deficit Disorder Association

Children and Adults with ADD/ADHD (CHADD)

National Resource Center on ADHD


Websites

ADDitude magazine

Internet Special Education Resources

LD Online

My ADHD.com



                    Wylie Goodman, Psy.D.   .   275 Seventh Avenue   .  New York, NY  .  10001  .  917.601.5010

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