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Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD is defined as a pattern of behaviors that a child usually shows before the age of 7 years old Children with this disorder exhibit inappropriate levels of impulsively or hyperactivity ADHD is the most common mental problem of childhood affecting 3 to 5 of the population and is more common in young boys than in girls The ratio of boys to girls with ADHD is between 31 and 91 Swanson 1998 Although it is the most common problem in childhood the cause of ADHD remains unknown However it is known that the behavior these children exhibit results in serious disturbances in their relationships with parents teachers peers siblings as well as many academic problems The symptoms and criteria for a diagnosis of ADHD from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association are described below 1994 Symptoms of Inattention Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork or other activities Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork chores or duties in the workplace Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities Often avoids dislikes or is reluctant to engage in task that require sustained mental effort such as schoolwork or homework Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities ie toys assignments pencils and books Is easily distracted by extraneous stimuli Is forgetful in daily activities Symptoms of Hyperactivity Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat Often leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected Often runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate Often has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly Is often on the go or often
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