Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurobehavioral disorder that interferes with a person's ability to stay on a task and to exercise age-appropriate filters or inhibitions (cognitive alone or both cognitive and behavioral).

There are several types of ADHD:

  • Predominantly inattentive subtype
  • Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive subtype
  • Combined subtype

ADHD is usually diagnosed in childhood. It affects 3% to 5% of all American children. It is important to note that the condition or some characteristics can continue into the adult years.


Signs of ADHD in children include:

  • Failure to listen to instructions
  • Inability to organize oneself and school work
  • Fidgeting with hands and feet
  • Talking too much
  • Leaving projects, chores, and homework unfinished
  • Having trouble paying attention to and responding to details


Most experts agree that treatment for ADHD should address multiple aspects of the individual's functioning and should not be limited to the use of medications alone.

Treatment should include structured classroom management, parent education and training regarding discipline and limit-setting and tutoring and/or behavioral therapy for the child.

Treatment may also include medications such as methylphenidate (Ritalin) or dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine). These drugs are stimulants that decrease impulsivity and hyperactivity and increase attention.

Long-term prognosis

Since there is no "cure" for ADHD and children with the disorder seldom outgrow it, patients and their families are encouraged to find ways to accommodate the ADHD as they mature.

This information was provided by the specialists at Semmes Murphey Clinic. Readers are encouraged to research trustworthy organizations for information. Please talk with your physician for websites and sources that will enhance your knowledge and understanding of this issue and its treatments.

The neuropsychologists at Semmes Murphey Clinic are very experienced with all phases of ADHD and its treatments. Request an appointment for you or your child to be tested and evaluated for ADHD.

Request an Appointment