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Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or attention deficit disorder (ADD), is a neurodevelopmental disorder.

People with this disorder can do everything people without ADHD can, their brain's just have a harder time keeping focussed because their thoughts jump from one thing to the next. They can be very active and find it hard to sit still, and sometimes, can be impulsive (which means doing things or making choices before thinking about whether they are good or bad or have any risks involved.)

Experts think that, throughout the world, about one in twenty children (5%) have ADHD. Some countries have more people with ADHD than others, and not everyone uses the same tests. Psychologists have found more people with ADHD in North America than in Africa and the Middle East. In the United States, about one in every fourteen children has ADHD (7%), including one in every ten boys (10%) and one in every twenty-five girls (4%). This could be because more boys get ADHD, or because fewer girls take ADHD tests.

ADHD is most common in children: fewer adults have ADHD. Some (less than half) people with ADHD in childhood find things get better when they are adults. Their symptoms are less noticeable. In some cases the symptoms go away entirely when they reach adulthood.

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