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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) - What Happens

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be hard to identify in a young child. It can be hard to tell the difference between normal behavior and ADHD symptoms in young children.

But after a child starts school, ADHD becomes more noticeable. ADHD is most often diagnosed in children ages 6 to 12. During this time, ADHD can disrupt many aspects of a child's life. Learning, adjusting to change, sleeping, and getting along with others are all potential problem areas.

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About 60 to 85 out of 100 children with ADHD still have symptoms during the teen years.3 These children may be less mature than their peers. They may lag behind in reaching milestones typical for the age group.

Teens with ADHD may also have more problems when they are driving cars. They get more speeding tickets and have serious car accidents more often. They should be watched closely by a licensed adult when they are learning to drive.

Adults with ADHD may have trouble focusing, organizing, and finishing tasks. But they are often able to adjust to the workplace better than they did in the classroom as children.

People with ADHD often have one or more other disorders. These include dyslexia, oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, anxiety, and depression.

Effects on family

Raising a child who has ADHD can be a challenge. Parents must consistently watch their child. They must respond to problem behavior in the right way. If other issues are causing stress within a family (such as divorce, violence, or drug or alcohol abuse), it may be even harder to deal with a child who has ADHD.

Treatment can help control symptoms. It can allow a child to grow and develop normally.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: January 21, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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