Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurobehavioral disorder that affects 3-5 percent of all American children. It interferes with a person's ability to stay on a task and to exercise age-appropriate inhibition (cognitive alone or both cognitive and behavioral). Some of the warning signs of ADHD include failure to listen to instructions, inability to organize oneself and school work, fidgeting with hands and feet, talking too much, leaving projects, chores and homework unfinished, and having trouble paying attention to and responding to details. There are several types of ADHD: a predominantly inattentive subtype, a predominantly hyperactive-impulsive subtype, and a combined subtype. ADHD is usually diagnosed in childhood, although the condition can continue into the adult years.
The usual course of treatment may include medications such as methylphenidate (Ritalin) or dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine), which are stimulants that decrease impulsivity and hyperactivity and increase attention. Most experts agree that treatment for ADHD should address multiple aspects of the individual's functioning and should not be limited to the use of medications alone. Treatment should include structured classroom management, parent education (to address discipline and limit-setting), and tutoring and/or behavioral therapy for the child.
There is no "cure" for ADHD. Children with the disorder seldom outgrow it; however, some may find adaptive ways to accommodate the ADHD as they mature.
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CHADD - Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Works to improve the lives of people affected by attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) through collaborative leadership, advocacy, research, education, and support and offers the National Resource Center on AD/HD at www.help4adhd.org.
Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA)
Non-profit organization focused on the needs of adults and young adults with ADD/ADHD, their children, and families.
Learning Disabilities Association of America
Dedicated to identifying causes and promoting prevention of learning disabilities and to enhancing the quality of life for all individuals with learning disabilities and their families by encouraging effective identification and intervention, fostering research, and protecting their rights under the law.
National Center for Learning Disabilities
Provides information to parents, professionals and individuals with learning disabilities, promotes research and programs to foster learning, and advocates for policies to protect and strengthen educational rights and opportunities.
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NINDS Disorders is an index of neurological conditions provided by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). This valuable tool offers detailed descriptions, facts on treatment and prognosis, and patient organization contact information for over 250 identified neurological disorders.