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CDC.gov (www.cdc.gov) is your online source for credible health information and is the official Web site of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC is committed to achieving true improvements in people’s health. CDC applies research and findings to improve people’s daily lives and responds to health emergencies—something that distinguishes CDC from its peer agencies. Working with states and other partners, CDC provides a system of health surveillance to monitor and prevent disease outbreaks (including bioterrorism), implement disease prevention strategies, and maintain national health statistics. CDC also guards against international disease transmission, with personnel stationed in more than 25 foreign countries.
Facts About ADHDADHD is one of the most common neurobehavioral disorders of childhood. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. Children with ADHD have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors (may act without thinking about what the result will be), and in some cases, are overly active. Signs and SymptomsIt is normal for children to have trouble focusing and behaving at one time or another. However, children with ADHD do not just grow out of these behaviors. The symptoms continue and can cause difficulty at school, at home, or with friends.A child with ADHD might: * have a hard time paying attentionclassroom of children * daydream a lot * not seem to listen * be easily distracted from schoolwork or play * forget things * be in constant motion or unable to stay seated * squirm or fidget * talk too much * not be able to play quietly * act and speak without thinking * have trouble taking turns * interrupt others TypesThere are three different types of ADHD, depending on which symptoms are strongest in the individual: * Predominantly Inattentive Type: It is hard for the individual to organize or finish a task, to pay attention to details, or to follow instructions or conversations. The person is easily distracted or forgets details of daily routines. * Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type: The person fidgets and talks a lot. It is hard to sit still for long (e.g., for a meal or while doing homework). Smaller children may run, jump or climb constantly. The individual feels restless and has trouble with impulsivity. Someone who is impulsive may interrupt others a lot, grab things from people, or speak at inappropriate times. It is hard for the person to wait their turn or listen to directions. A person with impulsiveness may have more accidents and injuries than others. * Combined Type: Symptoms of the above two types are equally present in the person. Causes of ADHDScientists are studying cause(s) and risk factors in an effort to find better ways to manage and reduce the chances of a person having ADHD. The cause(s) and risk factors for ADHD are unknown, but current research shows that genetics plays an important role. Recent studies of twins link genes with ADHD.1In addition to genetics, scientists are studying other possible causes and risk factors including: * Brain injury * Environmental exposures (e.g., lead) * Alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy * Premature delivery * Low birth weightResearch does not support the popularly held views that ADHD is caused by eating too much sugar, watching too much television, parenting, or social and environmental factors such as poverty or family chaos. Of course, many things, including these, might make symptoms worse, especially in certain people. But the evidence is not strong enough to conclude that they are the main causes of ADHD. Did you Know? While some individuals, including many professionals, still refer to the condition as "ADD" (attention deficit disorder), this term is no longer in widespread use. For those who may have been diagnosed with ADD, the corresponding diagnostic category, using current terminology, would most likely be "ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Type".
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