Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a childhood behavioral disorder characterized by inattentiveness, over-activity and impulsivity. In a recent interview, Dr. Trevor Valentine, a pediatrician in the Division of Behavioral and Developmental Pediatrics at the University of Maryland Medical Center, answered some frequently asked questions about this disorder. To view his responses, click on the questions listed below or scroll down the page.
ADHD is an acronym for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, which is a neurological disorder that affects a child's ability to sustain attention for tasks, resist distractions in the environment and control impulses.
ADHD is diagnosed in approximately five to seven percent of school-age children.
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) was an older term used by pediatricians to describe this disorder. However, recent research has shown that this disorder actually consists of three subtypes, which resulted in the new terminology. There is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in the attentive subtype (the equivalent of ADD), the hyperactive impulsive subtype, and the mixed type, which is a combination of both subtypes.
Many parents are particularly pessimistic when they're given this diagnosis, but the fact is that, with appropriate intervention, many children can go on to do very well. Management of children diagnosed with ADHD consists of behavioral interventions in the classroom, appropriate educational support and medication. The medications pediatricians use to treat ADHD are very effective and have made tremendous differences in these children's lives.