Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is sometimes called ADHD. It is a chronic condition and the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder among children and adolescents, and affects between 3 and 5 percent of school-aged children in a 6-month period (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1999).

Children and adolescents diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder have a difficult time controlling their behavior in school and social settings. They tend to be accident-prone as well. Many children and adolescents with this disorder may not earn high grades in school, but will have normal or above-normal intelligence.

There are three types of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. They are:

• Inattentive
• Hyperactive-impulsive
• Combined attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (the most common of all three types)

Inattentive type symptoms include:

• Short attention spans
• Easily distracted
• Does not pay attention to details
• Makes many mistakes
• Fails to finish things
• Has trouble remembering things
• Does not seem to listen
• Is not able to stay organized

Hyperactive-impulsive type symptoms include:

• Fidget and squirm
• Unable to stay seated or play quietly
• Run or climb too much or when they should not
• Talk too much or when they should not
• Blurt out answers before questions are completed
• Have trouble taking turns
• Interrupt others

Combined attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms include:

• A combination of the inattentive and the hyperactive-impulsive type symptoms

When is a diagnosis of one of the attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorders made?

• When children have several of the above symptoms that begin before age 7 and last at least 6 months
• In general, the symptoms have to be observed in at least two different settings, such as home and school

Source: SAMHSA’s National Mental Health Information Center

Disclaimer: The information in this article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All health concerns should be addressed by a qualified health care professional.

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Written by: Connie Limon Visit: for more information. Visit: for a variety of FREE reprint articles.