What is AD/HD?

AD/HD (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder) is a very common condition, affecting millions of children and adults in the USA, resulting in difficulties involving attention span and hyperactive, impulsive behavior. This causes an impairment of function that may affect the academic abilities, behavior, social skills, one’s self-esteem, or vocation/occupation.

The prevalence of this disorder is about 10%. Different studies report prevalence rates of 1.7% to 17.8%. The difference in these frequency rates is related to recognition of the disorder and to issues of quality of life, since in some societies certain impairments such as learning impairments may be considered less important. A “significant degree of impairment” is required for the diagnosis, but may be considered differently. The higher the socioeconomic status, the more important the academic performance. The environment we live in may greatly influence the determination of “an impairment” and who meets criteria for the diagnosis and treatment for AD/HD.

The slash (“/”) in AD/HD, indicates that in order to qualify for the diagnosis, one may have attention deficit alone, hyperactivity alone, or any combination of the two. Other terms, such as ADD are outdated and no longer in use as an official medical diagnosis.