What is ADHD?

adhd-something-shiny-went-byADHD, better known as Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder, is quickly becoming one of the most diagnosed conditions. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) there are nearly 1.6 million cases of ADHD diagnosed every year. The diagnoses doesn’t just affect children, there are more and more adults also being diagnosed with the disorder.

So what exactly is ADHD?  Believed to be a neurodevelopmental disorder, ADHD is related to brain development that can lead to a multitude of reactions. The disorder causes hyperactivity, impulsive reactions and issues with being able to pay attention. Thought of as mainly a behavioral issue, studies have shown that it is mainly due to the neurological aspect.

ADHD is not fully understood even to this day doctors are not sure what causes this disorder to develop. There are factors, which they have attributed to one being more susceptible to the disorder such as:

  • Being premature at birth
  • Genetics
  • Brain infections
  • Head injury
  • Toxin exposure in-utero
  • Lead poisoning


The problem with diagnosing ADHD is the fact that most children exhibit some of the symptoms of ADHD at some point in their adolescence. Children are known to be hyper, impulsive and generally not pay attention or have a short attention span. In the case of ADHD, these very normal behaviors are exaggerated and become a problem for the parent in trying to control them.

The normal behavior of a child can generally be changed when given direction form the parent; a child with ADHD cannot easily change their behavior without therapy.

Children with ADHD may exhibit an extreme shift in the following attention deficit behaviors:

  • Easily distracted, forgetful and indecisive
  • Have a issue with keeping their attention on one particular activity
  • Easily or quickly becomes bored with an activity
  • Organizational skills are non-existent
  • Ignores people or daydreams often
  • Cannot follow instructions

Children that seem to be hyperactive may show the following behaviors:

  • Excessive moving or fidgeting
  • Talking quickly about many topics
  • Extremely impulsive

There are other symptoms that are common in extreme cases of ADHD and they include:

  • Inappropriate language
  • Anger issues
  • Physical violence


Unfortunately, there isn’t a definitive test in place to diagnose ADHD; it is something that a doctor will assess. If the child’s behavior is extreme they will often refer you to a behavioral specialist. If your pediatrician has a developmental record of your child they may be able to see the subtle changes in your child to better diagnose it.

It is important to understand that ADHD is very noticeable, even though the symptoms can be sometimes confused with normal behavior in children, ADHD children will exhibit these behaviors in an extremely exaggerated fashion. Once a child is diagnosed, the disorder can carry on through to adolescence and adulthood if not treated or managed properly.

Most parents will find there is a problem with their child’s behavior once the child is in school. This is where the disorder thrives since it is such a structured atmosphere and children with ADHD have an extremely hard time following direction.

If your child has been diagnosed, it is important to get all of the information you can and learn ways how to proceed in ensuring your child leads a productive and happy life.