What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is medical condition that makes it hard for children and adolescents to pay attention, stay focused and control their behaviors. It is estimated to affect about 5% of school-aged kids, and boys are diagnosed at twice the rate of girls.
ADHD affects children’s ability to organize and remember things and can cause them to feel restless, overstimulated, impatient and like it’s difficult to fit in with other kids. These behaviors can make it challenging for kids and adolescents to function at school and home. As children become teens and young adults, they may have trouble thinking before acting or speaking, keeping track of things and focusing on one thing at a time.
What Causes ADHD in Kids?
There is no one reason that a child may get ADHD. However, research has shown that both genetics and the environment play a role in the presence of ADHD symptoms. For example, a child who is diagnosed with ADHD is likely to have a parent, sibling, or other close relative who also has ADHD. In addition to genetics, several other things have been linked to an increase risk of ADHD:
- Being born prematurely
- Experiencing a head injury
- Exposure to lead as a child
- Exposure to toxins (e.g., cigarette smoke) before being born