Although the exact prevalence of ADHD is unknown, studies thus far reveal that the condition, marked by inattentiveness, difficulty getting work done, procrastination, and/or organization problems, according to epidemiological data, involves approximately 4% to 6% of the U.S. population. It usually persists throughout a person's lifetime; approximately one-half to two-thirds of children with ADHD will continue to have significant problems with ADHD symptoms and behaviors as adults, which impacts their lives on the job, within the family, and in social relationships.

The conditions present in adulthood follow the same diagnostic criteria as ADHD in children. The neurological basis of ADHD is a lifelong condition. The prevalence in adults as a clinical disorder is difficult to gauge because individuals differ in their level of affliction. Those who seek treatment as children, and others, over time, may develop coping skills which make the disorder less noticeable; indeed, if the underlying conditions do not cause functional problems in their lives, they may no longer meet the diagnostic criteria at all. However, those whose symptoms continue to significantly negatively affect their functioning in adulthood can be labeled as having the adult version of ADHD. Although the disorder may not have been diagnosed in an individual during childhood, for adults to be diagnosed, the criteria require that they must have had symptoms in childhood.

"Adult ADD" or AADD are alternate terms commonly used to describe the neurological disorder attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) when it occurs in adults. Clinically speaking, ADD and ADHD constitute a single disorder. The ADHD label was an update to the overall syndrome in the DSM-IV (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition); ADD (Attention-Deficit Disorder) with or without hyperactivity is the older term from the DSM-IIIR. Approximately one-third of people with ADHD do not have the hyperactive or overactive behavior component. This leads to some preference for using the ADD and AADD terminology when describing individuals lacking the hyperactivity component, and some clinical professionals believe Adult ADD should be categorized as a separate condition, even though it may have arisen from a childhood ADHD diagnosis.

AADD (aka ADHD in adults) is recognized as a disability under U.S. federal legislation including the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Appropriate and reasonable accommodations are sometimes made in the workplace for adults with ADHD, which help the individual to work more efficiently and productively.

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia © 2001-2008 Wikipedia Contributors (Disclaimer)
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Author's Bio: 

This definition is part of a series that covers the topic of Adult ADD/ADHD. The Official Guide to Adult ADD/ADHD is Bonnie Mincu.

I'm Bonnie Mincu, a personal and business coach specializing in working with ADD - AD/HD adults. I came to specialize in this area after being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder myself in my mid-40's. Like many people, I did not fit the commonly known stereotype of hyperactive AD/HD, and had gone most of my life without being diagnosed. I had been a successful corporate manager, and didn't run into difficulties until I left the structure of corporate consulting to open Mincu & Associates, my own coaching/consulting/training practice.

Website Directory for Adult ADD/ADHD
Articles Directory for Adult ADD/ADHD
Products on Adult ADD/ADHD
Discussion Board
Bonnie Mincu, the Official Guide to Adult ADD/ADHD