Everyone, but especially kids, gets restless and distracted from time to time. However, some children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may find it hard to concentrate and may be unusually hyperactive - to the point where ADHD can interfere with their schooling, friendships or family life.
ADHD is a developmental disorder that begins in early childhood. While it is more common in boys, it is also estimated that between 3 and 5 out of every 100 children in Australia have symptoms of ADHD. Most children eventually grow out of it, but some continue to have ADHD symptoms into their adult lives.
The diagnosis of ADHD seems to be increasing in the developed world, and the reasons for this are unknown. ADHD has recently been a controversial issue among experts, and some are concerned it may be overdiagnosed, leading to increases in the amount of medication being prescribed.
The good news is that ADHD is treatable. Psychological and behaviour therapies, positive parenting techniques and medication can all be effective. The right treatment plan, including support from parents, schools and health professionals, can help children with ADHD to improve their attention and behaviour. Many children with ADHD go on to do well, both at school and socially.
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Last reviewed: November 2016