On average, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects 5% of school-aged children around the world, or about one in every 20 children. ADHD also affects about 4% of adults, or about one adult in 25.
ADHD is a neuro-developmental disorder affecting both children and adults. It mainly involves difficulties with sustaining attention as well as regulating one’s emotions and behaviours (impulsivity/hyperactivity). People with ADHD tend to present with deficits in executive function (the brain’s ability to manage tasks, organize itself, initiate and persist towards a specific goal), working memory, and academic performance.
Individuals with ADHD can be very successful in life. However, when left untreated, ADHD can lead to difficulties with school performance, self-control, memory, emotional regulation, friendships, and relationships with family. These individuals are at increased risk of school drop out as well as presenting with co-occurring disorders (e.g., anxiety, depression). Other aspects of daily living are also negatively impacted (substance use, failed employment, financial problems).
Educating oneself about the disorder and advocating for your child are critical first steps in supporting your child with ADHD. Early identification and treatment are extremely important.
For more information on ADHD, see aboutkidshealth.ca