ADHD Awareness – Are You Up to Date?

September is ADHD Awareness MonthOver the past fifty years the childhood cognitive and behavioral problems categorized as disorders of attention, impulsivity and hyperactivity have presented a clinical challenge for physicians, educators, and mental health professionals. This symptom constellation referred to as Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD has become one of the most widely researched areas in childhood, adolescence and increasingly throughout the adult life span. For over thirty years problems arising from this constellation of symptoms have constituted the most chronic childhood behavior disorders and the largest single source of referrals to mental health centers.

Symptoms of ADHD constitute one of the most complex disorders of childhood. Despite efforts to reach a consensus definition and agreement that inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity are the hallmark for the diagnosis, debate continues concerning core deficits, associated problems and consequences. Increasingly it has been recognized that problems with faulty impulse control and self-regulation may lie at the core of problems for those with ADHD. Children with ADHD typically experience difficulty with home, school and community behavior involving family, peers, academics and emotional adjustment. The uneven, unpredictable behavior they demonstrate appears to be a function of knowing what to do but not always doing it. Their problems are one of inconsistency rather than inability. ADHD causes significant and pervasive impairment in day-to-day functioning.

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