Welcome to AdultsWithADD.net!
We hope that you will find the information on this website interesting and valuable. ADD and ADHD affect adults and children alike, and there are a multitude of treatment options and resources available to those looking for answers and relief.
Please be sure to check out our Resources page for reviews and links to effective testing resources, books, medications, and other products.
Definition of Attention Deficit Disorder
ADD and ADHD are problems with short attention span (or inattentiveness), over-activity, impulsivity, or a combination of all of these. ADD and ADHD are most commonly associated with children, especially boys. However, many adults are diagnosed as well. For these problems to be diagnosed, they must be out of the normal range for a child’s age and development.
In adults, there may be some variation in the way symptoms present themselves. For example: an adult may experience physical restlessness instead of overt hyperactivity. In addition, adults with ADD and ADHD consistently have problems with interpersonal relationships and employment.
Prevalence of ADD & ADHD
ADD and ADHD are the most commonly diagnosed childhood behavior disorders. Based on a recent study done by the Mayo Clinic, it is believed that more children have ADD and ADHD than was previously thought. The most common statistic pegged frequency at about 3 – 5% of school-aged children, with diagnoses much more prevalent for boys than for girls.
More recent studies cite percentages up to 7.5% in children. Studies done in recent years suggest that about 50% of adults diagnosed with ADD or ADHD as children will continue to experience and exhibit symptoms into adulthood.
Causes of Attention Deficit Disorder
ADD and ADHD may run in families, but it is not clear exactly what causes it. Whatever the cause is, it appears to step from differences in brain development in the early stages of life. Imaging studies suggest that the brains of children with ADD and ADHD are different from those of other children. This holds true for adults as well. To read more about the the causes of ADHD, click here.
Symptoms of ADD
There are many symptoms of ADHD and ADD. Some children and adults express symptoms differently and with varying frequency and severity. The main symptom of ADD and ADHD is the inability to pay attention.
Children with ADD and ADHD tend to avoid activities that require sustained concentration or that might be boring. The component that differentiates ADD from ADHD is hyperactivity.
Children may run and climb on things constantly, even when indoors. When they are seated, they tend to squirm, fidget, or bounce. Some kids with ADHD talk excessively and find it difficult to play quietly.
A third symptom is impulsiveness: cutting in line, interrupting others, or blurting out answers before the teacher finishes a question. This aspect of ADHD makes it difficult for children to wait their turn or think before they act.
Impact of ADHD On Daily Life
Without treatment, ADD and ADHD can affect a child’s development socially and academically. The inability to focus often leads to poor performance in school. Kids who interrupt or cut in line may have trouble making and keeping friends.
These setbacks can lead to low self-esteem and risky behaviors. ADD and ADHD also increase the risk of childhood depression and anxiety disorders.
Testing For ADD and ADHD
Children and adults suspected of having ADD or ADHD should be carefully examined by a doctor to rule out possible other conditions or reasons for the behavior. There are a number of different psychological and educational evaluation methods available to health professionals who specialize in the diagnosis of ADHD and treatment of these disorders.
ADD Treatment Options
Treatment for ADD and ADHD can come in the form of Medications, talk therapy, behavior modification programs at school, work, and home, goal setting, school and work accommodations, assistive technology, and others.
It has been found that the most effective treatment plans include some combination of the above. More information on treatment options can be found throughout this website, as well as on the Resources page.