Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects children and teens and can continue into adulthood. ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder of children.
Scientists have not yet reached consensus on a specific cause of ADHD. Studies reveal that a person’s risk of developing ADHD is higher if a close relative also has it. We also know that ADHD is much more common in boys than girls. The scientific community generally agrees that ADHD is biological in nature. Many reputable scientists believe ADHD is the result of chemical imbalances in the brain.
A survey published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), estimates that approximately 6.4 million children (11%) aged 4 to 17 were diagnosed with ADHD in the US by a healthcare professional (as of 2011). This is a rise from 7.8% in 2003. An interesting statistic from the same CDC survey results shows that boys (13.2%) were more likely than girls (5.6%) to have received an ADHD diagnosis.
General signs/symptoms of ADHD in children: the child is restless, overactive, fidgety, constantly chattering, continuously interrupting people, cannot concentrate for long on specific tasks, inattentive and finds it hard to wait his/her turn in play, conversations or standing in line.
The above signs may be observed in children frequently and usually do not mean the child has ADHD. It is when these signs become significantly more pronounced in one child, compared to other children of the same age, and when his/her behavior undermines his/her school and social life, that the child may have ADHD.