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What Is ADHD?


Question: What Is ADHD?
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a behavioral and developmental disorder.

  • ADHD usually becomes apparent during the preschool and early school years.

  • Children with ADHD have difficulty paying attention and controlling their behavior.

  • Some estimates show that between 3 and 5 percent of children have ADHD, or approximately 2 million children in the United States.

  • Based on these estimates, at least one child in a classroom of 25 to 30 children is likely to have ADHD.

History of ADHD

Dr. Heinrich Hoffman in 1845 first described ADHD in a children's book, The Story of Fidgety Philip, which contained an accurate description of a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

In 1902, Sir George F. Still provided the first clinical description of the disorder in a series of papers about a group of children who displayed impulsivity and behavior problems. According to Still, these symptoms were caused by a genetic dysfunction and not by poor parenting. Since that time, a wealth of research on the symptoms, causes and treatments for ADHD has been published.

Next: The Symptoms of ADHD

Reference: (1996) Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder National Institute of Mental Health

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