Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

What is it?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a disorder in which inattention, overactivity, impulsivity, or a combination are common. A young person with ADHD will have at least some signs before they are seven years old and the signs will be severe enough to affect their school and relationships.

Signs and Symptoms: 
  • Difficulty paying attention to details
  • Easily distracted
  • Difficulty finishing schoolwork
  • Putting off anything requiring sustained mental effort
  • Disorganized and prone to making mistakes
  • Appearing to not listen when spoken to or follow through on given tasks


Most youth with ADHD continue to have symptoms when entering adolescence. Although hyperactivity tends to decrease as a child ages, teens who continue to be hyperactive may show the following behaviors:

  • Feel restless
  • Try to do too many things at once
  • Choose tasks or activities that have a quick payoff, rather than those that take more effort but provide bigger, delayed rewards
  • Struggle with school and other activities in which they are expected to be more self-reliant
  • Have difficulty sticking with treatment
Support Strategies: 
  • Assess for risk of suicide or harm
  • Listen nonjudgmentally
  • Give reassurance and information
  • Encourage appropriate professional help
  • Encourage self-help and other support strategies
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