Definition of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is defined by the American Psychiatric Association as a life-long neurodevelopmental disorder that often becomes apparent before age seven.17 ADHD is characterized by poor impulse control, hyperactivity and inattentiveness. It is a constellation of behaviors that impairs school activities and social interaction.17 It is the most common behavior disorder in school-aged children and persists into adolescence and adulthood for approximately 30% of childhood cases.3,16 Analysis of 2012 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that 11% of US children ages 4-17 have ADHD.5,10 The reported male-to-female ratio ranges from 3:1 to 9:1.15,17 Children with ADHD come from all socioeconomic and cultural levels.2 Behaviors associated with ADHD are exacerbated by stress, unstructured or group situations or demands for complex performance. Patients with ADHD are often viewed as willful, disobedient or lazy. They do not realize their behavior is what elicits yelling/scolding from others.17,19