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Fact Sheet: Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Definition

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) is a neurobiological disorder. Typically people with AD/HD have developmentally inappropriate behavior, including:

People with AD/HD may also experience problems in the areas of social skills and self esteem.

Incidence

AD/HD is estimated to affect between 3-5 % of the school-aged population.

Characteristics

An individual with AD/HD is often described as having a short attention span and as being distractible. The individual will have difficulty with one or all parts of the attention process:

An individual who has symptoms of inattention often:

Symptoms of hyperactivity include:

Impulsiveness with AD/HD happens when people act before thinking. An individual who has symptoms of impulsivity often:

Note: From time to time all people will be inattentive, impulsive, and overly active. In the case of AD/HD, these behaviors are the rule, not the exception.

Vocational Implications

Planning for the vocational needs of a person with AD/HD begins with an accurate diagnosis. People suspected of having AD/HD must be appropriately diagnosed by a knowledgeable, well-trained clinician. Treatment plans may include behavioral and educational interventions and sometimes medication.

Many people with AD/HD experience great difficulty in environments where attention and impulse/motor control are necessary for success. People with AD/HD tend to overreact to changes in their environment. They respond best in a structured, predictable environment with clear and consistent rules and expectations.

Adaptations which might be helpful (but will not cure AD/HD):

Resources for further information on attention deficit disorders:

CHADD
(Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorders)

499 NW 70th Avenue
Suite 101
Plantation, FL 33317
Voice: (954) 587-3700 or (800) 233-4050
(voice mail to request information packet)
Web site: www.chadd.org

National Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA)

1788 Second Street, Suite 200
Highland Park, IL 60035
Voice: (847) 432-ADDA ; Fax: (847) 432-5874
E-mail: mail@add.org
Web site:www.add.org

Additional resources are listed in the resource section at the end of this manual.

Adapted from NICHCY Fact Sheet Number 19 (FS19), 1998

National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities

P.O. Box 1492
Washington, DC 20013
E-mail: nichcy@aed.org
web: www.nichcy.org
1-800-695-0285 (Voice/TT)

This fact sheet is made possible through Cooperative Agreement #H030A30003 between the Academy for Educational Development and the Office of Special Education Programs. The contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products or organizations imply endorsement by the U. S. Government.

This information is in the public domain unless otherwise indicated. Readers are encouraged to copy and share it, but please credit the National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY).

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