Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD is a mental condition that affects especially children and youngsters throughout the whole world. It is estimated that ADHD affects 5% of school-aged children and that is two to three times more seen in boys than in girls. As the illness remains under-recognised, less than half of the affected children and or adolescents receive a diagnosis. As a result, even fewer children receive the appropriate treatment.

Left untreated, ADHD can have a negative impact on the wellbeing of a child and his/her family. A child with ADHD who has not been diagnosed and has not been given the right treatment is likely to suffer not only academically, but also emotionally and will experience behavioural symptoms into adulthood.

Diagnosing the condition can be difficult, as a number of symptoms are involved. In most cases one symptom will stand out. Depending which of these symptoms are more prominent, a diagnosis of one of the three subtypes of ADHD will be diagnosed will be reached:

Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive

Predominantly inattentive

Combined ADHD

If you suspect your child suffers from ADHD, the first step is talking to your doctor and your child's teacher(s). Your doctor will be able to provide you with more information and refer you to a specialist healthcare professional. Getting information from your child's teacher will be helpful in assessing your child's problem and reaching a diagnosis where appropriate. The earlier ADHD is diagnosed, the better the outcome for the child.fe