What is ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioural disorder which causes people to be inattentive, impulsive and in some cases hyperactive. People with ADHD find it difficult to focus on specific tasks, sit still for long periods of time and control their behaviour. Symptoms of ADHD tend to be noticed at an early age with most people being diagnosed when they’re children, often between 6 and 12 years old.
There are three types of ADHD:
- Inattentive – Also known as ADD, this where the person is inattentive but isn’t hyperactive or impulsive.
- Hyperactive-Impulsive – This is when a person is hyperactive and/or impulsive but not inattentive.
- Combined – This is when a person shows signs of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity.
Due to its ability to affect a Person’s learning, ADHD is commonly thought of as a Learning Disability however ADHD is actually a psychological condition which can be managed with medication and therapy. That’s not to say people with ADHD can’t also have a Learning Disability. Research suggests that around 50 percent of people with ADHD will also have some type of Learning Disability such as Dyslexia. This may explain why someone on ADHD medication can sit still and stay focused but may not improve academically.
What causes ADHD?
Research suggests a number of different factors can contribute to a child having ADHD but no one cause has been identified. ADHD often runs in families but being born prematurely, having a low birth weight and smoking/ drinking alcohol/ using drugs during pregnancy has also shown to have an effect.