What Is ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental condition with three core symptoms: attention, impulsivity and hyperactivity.
The symptoms are apparent in early childhood prior to age 12, exist in more than one setting and last longer than 12 months. For most people with ADHD, symptoms will continue into adulthood.
ADHD has three subtypes:
- Predominantly inattentive type
- Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type
- Combined inattention and hyperactive impulsive type
It is estimated that approximately 5% of school age children have ADHD, with more boys
than girls currently diagnosed, but the prevalence of diagnosis in school age children in the UK is only 1.5%.
ADHD rarely exists on its own and is associated with other neurodevelopmental conditions including Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC), Dyslexia, Dyspraxia/DCD, sensory processing disorders and tic disorder/Tourette’s.
ADHD is also associated with mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, self-harm and eating disorders which are particularly likely to take hold if the ADHD is not recognised, diagnosed and well managed when young.
Although ADHD is an internationally-recognised disease, it is still incorrectly blamed on lifestyle, environment or parenting choices and is often trivialised and stigmatised to describe common bad behaviour.
ADHD can lead to problems such as low academic achievement, unemployment, criminal behaviour and drug and alcohol dependency, however studies have shown that early diagnosis and treatment can significantly improve the lives of people with ADHD and reduce the chances of these difficulties occurring and there are many successful people with ADHD and you can find out more about them here.