Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is currently the most commonly used term for a syndrome characterized by persistent over-activity, impulsivity and difficulties sustaining attention (APA, 2013). It is well established that ADHD has a neurological basis, affecting some 6 percent of the population. At the core of ADHD is the inability to inhibit distractions, to stay focused on the task at hand, accompanied with organizational difficulties that make a child “absent minded” or forgetful. A list of some of the behaviours or symptoms exhibited by children with ADHD are:

  • inconsistent work and behaviour,
  • poor frustration tolerance,
  • excessive emotionality
  • feeling frequently overwhelmed,
  • trouble with transitions,
  • poor organizational skills and poor sense of time,
  • angers frequently and quickly,
  • inflexible and explosive,
  • trouble paying attention to others, and often with poor reading of social cues,
  • lying, cursing, stealing and blaming others,
  • pushes away those who want to help,
  • trouble learning from mistakes,
  • live in the moment with possible thrill seeking

Children with ADHD are deficient of inhibition, of being able to slow down the process and evaluate the options before reacting. ADHD individuals have problems with executive functioning, such as planning, problem solving, and shifting attentional focus. Children with ADHD can be hard to live with – ask any parent, teacher or family member.

Disclaimer: Resources, information, and links on the Transitional Care Website are provided as a courtesy to our visitors in order to increase knowledge and awareness of issues surrounding childhood mental health. These are not intended to replace or act as professional medical advice. Please consult a mental health professional if you have questions or concerns.



American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.