Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

What is attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?

ADHD, also called attention-deficit disorder, is a behavior disorder, usually first diagnosed in childhood, that is characterized by inattention, impulsivity, and, in some cases, hyperactivity. These symptoms usually occur together; however, one may occur without the other(s).

The symptoms of hyperactivity, when present, are almost always apparent by the age of 7 and may be apparent in very young preschoolers. Inattention or attention-deficit may not be evident until a child faces the expectations of elementary school.

What are the different types of ADHD?

Three major types of ADHD include the following:

  • ADHD, combined type
    This, the most common type of ADHD, is characterized by impulsive and hyperactive behaviors as well as inattention and distractibility.
  • ADHD, impulsive/hyperactive type
    This, the least common type of ADHD, is characterized by impulsive and hyperactive behaviors without inattention and distractibility.
  • ADHD, inattentive and distractible type
    This type of AHD is characterized predominately by inattention and distractibility without hyperactivity.


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