“ADHD is a disruptive behavior disorder characterized by levels of inattention, impulsivity, and overactivity that are well beyond what is expected and appropriate for a given student’s sex and age. Students with ADHD may have difficulty concentrating on schoolwork, frequently interrupt conversations or activities, and have difficulty remaining seated when required to do so.

Approximately 3%–7% of school-age children in the United States have this disorder. Children with ADHD typically first exhibit symptoms of this disorder during their preschool or early elementary school years, and it is highly likely that these symptoms will continue throughout their lives. Boys are three times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls.

There are three subtypes of ADHD: individuals who exhibit problems only with inattention and concentration (ADHD Predominantly Inattentive Type); individuals who exhibit problems only with hyperactivity and impulsivity (ADHD Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type); and individuals who exhibit problems in both areas (ADHD Combined Type). ADHD is not a learning disability nor is it a manifestation of bad parenting or an impoverished environment; however, other behavioral and emotional problems and many learning disorders include symptomatic behaviors that may mimic ADHD.”
 - George J. DuPaul and George P. White, Lehigh University

Symptoms and Signs of ADHD

Because ADHD covers lots of different things — attention, activity, and impulsivity — it can show up in different ways in different people. Some of the signs of ADHD are:

  • difficulty paying attention or staying focused on a task or activity
  • problems finishing assignments at school or home; jumping from one activity to another
  • trouble focusing on instructions and difficulty following through
  • losing or forgetting things like homework
  • being easily distracted, even when doing something fun
  • problems paying close attention to details
  • making careless mistakes
  • trouble organizing tasks and activities
  • difficulty waiting one's turn
  • interrupting or intruding on other people
  • blurting out answers before questions have been completed
  • fidgeting with hands or feet or having trouble sitting still
  • feeling restless
  • talking a lot and having trouble doing things quietly