Many people may have misconceptions or misunderstandings about what is ADHD. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most commonly diagnosed childhood disorders. ADHD can continue through adolescence and into adulthood.

Children with ADHD have difficulty paying attention, controlling behaviors - they may act without thinking about the result of their action - and, in many cases, are hyperactive. There are three different types of ADHD and these types are dependent upon which symptoms are strongest in the individual: Predominantly Inattentive Type - the child has difficulty with organizing or finishing a task, paying attention to details, or following instructions as well as conversations. The predominantly inattentive child will become distracted easily or forget details of his or her daily routine.

Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type - the child fidgets and is very talkative. He or she cannot sit still for long, such as doing homework or eating a meal. The hyperactive-impulsive child may run, jump or climb constantly, as well as interrupting others frequently, grabbing things from others, or speaking at inappropriate times. It is hard for the child to wait their turn or listen to directions and he or she may have more accidents or injuries than a typical peer. Combined Type - this child presents with the symptoms of the first two types equally.

While it is normal for children to have trouble behaving and focusing at some time in their lives, children with ADHD have difficulty controlling their behavior, although as they enter adolescence, some are able to compensate for their disability. However, ADHD will persist in many instances and can cause difficulty at home, school, and with friends.

The following are some commonly seen symptoms in children with ADHD: difficulty paying attention, daydreaming, not seeming to listen, easily distracted from work or play, forgetting things, constant motion or inability to stay seated, talking too much, acting and speaking without thinking, difficulty taking turns, and interrupting others. While this list is in no way comprehensive, it gives an idea of some of the signs to look for if you think your child may have ADHD.

Scientists are studying the possible causes and risk factors of ADHD in order to find better ways to reduce the chances of a child having ADHD and ways to manage their behaviors. The causes, as well as risk factors, are unknown, however, current research suggests that genetics play an important role. Current research is also focusing on possible risk factors and causes including, brain injury, environmental exposure, premature delivery, low birth weight, and alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy.

Researchers have made it clear that the evidence does not support the popularly held belief that ADHD is caused by too much sugar in the diet of children, parenting, watching too much TV or family chaos. While these things may aggravate the symptoms of ADHD, there is not strong enough evidence that they are causes of ADHD.

There is no cure for ADHD, but there are treatments that can help manage behaviors and give children the ability to have normalcy in their lives at home and at school.