Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a brain disorder characterized by hyperactivity and inattention. ADHD is prevalent among children and is known to affect those who have it well into adulthood. According to the American Psychology Association, around 5% of children in America have ADHD.
The seriousness of ADHD is that it can severely affect a child's ability to focus and control of their behavior and if gone unchecked and untreated, can severely inhibit an adults ability to work efficiently.
ADHD is most commonly identified among children. The average ADHD diagnosis is 7 years of age, but severe cases have been reported earlier. A child with ADHD might:
It is normal for children to have difficulty focusing and behaving from one time to another. However, where an adult can tell if their child has ADHD is whether these symptoms are more severe, occur more often, and interfere with the quality of how they function socially or at school.
Many of ADHD symptoms of inattention are actually impairments of the brain's executive function. The executive function refers to a large range of central control processes in the brain that activate, integrate, and manage other brain functions.
Those who have ADHD will struggle with the following executive functions:
According to the Center for Disease Control, scientists are still uncertain what is the cause(s) of ADHD. Research does show that genetics plays an important role however. Research also shows that commonly held beliefs of ADHD causes like eating too much sugar, watching too much television, parenting, or social and environmental factors such as poverty or family chaos are not major causes. While those things can make it worse, it is certainly not proven to be a cause of the disorder.