Understanding ADHD

What is ADHD?

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a developmental brain condition that affects attention, although some people also have impulsivity and hyperactivity. Symptoms include challenges with concentration, memory, motivation, effort, social skills, organizational skills and the ability to learn from mistakes.

What causes ADHD?

We don’t know the exact causes of ADHD, but experts believe that genetics play a key role, because children born into families with a history of ADHD are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than those without a family history.

If your child has ADHD, other family members are likely affected and should be evaluated if they show similar symptoms.

What are the symptoms of ADHD?

The three main symptoms of ADHD are:

  • inattention (e.g., trouble staying focused)
  • hyperactivity (e.g., fidgeting, restlessness)
  • impulsiveness (e.g., acting without thinking)

Many other symptoms are associated with ADHD. Children with ADHD, for example, often have problems at school and in relationships with friends, while adults with ADHD have a higher risk of substance misuse, relationship difficulties and problems at work, to name a few.

Is there a cure for ADHD?

There is no cure for ADHD, but many treatments have been shown to decrease impulsivity and increase the ability to focus, work and learn.


Life with ADHD: At home and school