This is a behavioral disorder affecting up to 5% of American children. There are hyperactive and non-hyperactive subtypes, though both are characterized by a lack of concentration that impairs the functioning of the child. The behaviors include: all or most of the following:
- Inability to sit still for more than a few moments at a time
- Difficulty following simple instructions
- Sudden emotional outbursts
- School difficulties, often because they cannot concentrate long enough to get instructions and pursue a task to completion
- Difficulty focusing on a specific task especially when there are other events going on around the child.
- Persistent disobedience
- Tendencies toward talkativeness, disobedience and being demanding By definition, problem behaviors must be present in different settings and must have been manifest before the age of seven.
It is common for children under the age of three to manifest many of these behaviors and not have ADD. Even up to the age of five years, some children will manifest many of the signs of ADD. If you think that your child may have ADD, you should check with your child's doctor. The doctor will examine your child and evaluate his development. There are several different drugs used to treat ADHD. There are a number of unproved therapies, which are often recommended in the lay press. Check with your child's doctor before trying these. Megavitamin therapy and the use of special vitamin and mineral supplements may be harmful.