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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or hyperkinetic disorder is used to describe children who have three main kinds of problems: 

  • overactive behaviour (hyperactivity),
  •  impulsive behaviour, and
  •  difficulty in paying attention.

Young children have lots of energy and like to be active. Young children also tend to have a short attention span - they soon get tired of an activity and want to move on to something new. But if your child is very active and has behavioural problems most of the time, they may have ADHD.

Children with ADHD often find it difficult to fit in at school because they are overactive and impulsive. These difficulties can continue as they grow up, particularly if they and their families do not get the help they need.

 Research has shown that a significant number of children diagnosed with ADHD will continue to have symptoms of the disorder that significantly interfere with their social and working lives as an adult.  Many adults may remain unidentified and untreated.

Research suggests that ADHD occurs in approximately 5% of school-age children and approximately 2-4% of adults. More children are now being diagnosed with ADHD as more people get to know about it. Boys are more often affected than girls. Girls more commonly display symptoms of inattention while boys more commonly display symptoms of hyperactivity.