Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental health disorder that can cause above-normal levels of hyperactive and impulsive behaviours. People with ADHD may also have trouble focusing their attention on a single task or sitting still for long periods of time. Both adults and children can have ADHD. ADHD changes over time, but it is rarely outgrown. It was once thought that children simply outgrow ADHD as they develop, mature, and age. While some children may seem to outgrow the disorder (or no longer have symptoms that result in impairment), in most cases children with ADHD grow up to be adults with ADHD.
A wide range of behaviours are associated with ADHD. Some of the more common ones include:
The following disorders are not part of an ADHD diagnosis but sometimes co-occur with ADHD, or get confused with it:
ADHD looks different in every person, so there is a wide array of criteria to help health professionals reach a diagnosis. To receive an ADHD diagnosis, individuals must display a combination of strong ADHD hallmark symptoms, namely hyperactivity, impulsivity, or inattention.