National ADHD Awareness Month

October is National ADHD Awareness Month, which means this month the community can shine a spotlight on the 17 million children and adults in the United States living with ADHD. Many people still don’t fully understand what ADHD is and how it affects individuals.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) includes a combination of persistent problems, such as difficulty sustaining attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior.

Studies have shown that children with ADHD also struggle with low self-esteem, troubled relationships and poor performance in school. Symptoms sometimes lessen with age; however, some people never completely outgrow their ADHD symptoms. But they can learn strategies to be successful.

While treatment won’t cure ADHD, it can help a great deal with symptoms. Treatment typically involves medications and behavioral interventions. Early diagnosis and treatment can make a big difference in outcome.

If you think your child or someone you love may have ADHD, you should look for the following symptoms and talk to your doctor:

  • Fail to pay close attention to details or make careless mistakes in schoolwork
  • Have trouble staying focused in tasks or play
  • Appear not to listen, even when spoken to directly
  • Have difficulty following through on instructions and fail to finish schoolwork or chores
  • Have trouble organizing tasks and activities
  • Avoid or dislike tasks that require focused mental effort, such as homework
  • Be easily distracted
  • Forget to do some daily activities, such as forgetting to do chores
  • Fidget with or tap his or her hands or feet, or squirm in the seat
  • Have difficulty staying seated in the classroom or in other situations
  • Be on the go, in constant motion
  • Have trouble playing or doing an activity quietly
  • Blurt out answers, interrupting the questioner
  • Have difficulty waiting for his or her turn

It’s important to remember that ADHD is no one’s fault and that there are medications, educational support, behavioral interventions, and psychotherapy that can lessen symptoms.