ADHD Overview

Today, between 4 and 7 million children (5-9% of the population) and 9 to 13 million adults (4-6% of the population) in the United States are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A diagnosis of ADHD can be daunting and symptoms can be a challenge for parents and children. But treatment can make a big difference, and most children with ADHD grow up to be normal adults.

There are three types of ADHD:

Type Description
ADHD, predominantly inattentive type  Individual does not display symptoms of hyperactive/impulsive behaviors – simply ADDHas trouble paying attention, finishing tasks, or following directions

Easily becomes distracted; appears forgetful, careless, and disorganized

Appears sluggish and slow to respond and process information

Day dreamy, spacey, shy or withdrawn

Often overlooked and not diagnosed as ADHD

ADHD, predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type  Most common typeIndividual may appear restless, fidgety, overactive, and impulsive

Might “act before thinking” and often “speak before thinking” by blurting out and interrupting others

Talk excessively and have trouble waiting their turns and staying seated

May seem to be perpetually “on the go”

ADHD, combined type  Individuals display both inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive symptoms


*Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a term frequently used to describe individuals that have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder without the hyperactive and impulsive behaviors. For the purposes of this guide, the more general term ADHD will be used to refer to all three types, including that which does not include hyperactivity.

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