Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a neurobehavioral disorder characterized by a combination of inattentiveness, distractibility, hyperactivity, and impulsive behavior.
AD/HD appears early in life. It is estimated that 3 percent to 7 percent of school-age children are diagnosed with AD/HD; boys are diagnosed more often than girls. Untreated AD/HD has been shown to have long-term adverse affects on academic performance, vocational success, and social-emotional development. AD/HD children have difficulty sitting still and paying attention in class and do not do well at school, even when they have normal or above-normal intelligence. They engage in a broad array of disruptive behaviors and experience peer rejection.
As they grow older, children with untreated AD/HD are more prone to drug abuse, antisocial behavior, and injuries of all sorts. More than half the children diagnosed with AD/HD continue to have symptoms during their adolescent years and into adulthood.
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (Adult). Last reviewed 12/31/1969
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