Difficulty with attention, concentration, memory, impulsivity, hyperactivity, and social skills — these are among the signs of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which affects millions of Americans. ADHD Awareness Month, sponsored by the Attention Deficit Disorder Association and observed each October, highlights the latest research and clinical studies with the goal of bringing more effective treatments. Its guiding principle is that life can be better for those with ADHD and for those who love or work with someone with ADHD.
ADHD Awareness Month timeline
The first edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is published — but fails to recognize ADHD.
Hyperkinetic Impulse Disorder is changed to Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) after scientists determine hyperactivity is a symptom of ADHD.
Due to better tools for doctors to diagnose ADHD, there is a spike in the number of adults and children identified with the disease.
The three subtypes of ADHD — combined type ADHD, predominantly inattentive type ADHD, and predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type ADHD — are established.
How to Observe ADHD Awareness Month
You may have ADHD and not know it. If you're prone to procrastination, have trouble focusing on a task, or otherwise lack motivation, you may have a form of ADHD. The World Health Organization offers a test with 18 questions that can help make a diagnosis.
Share your story
The American Deficit Disorder Association invites those diagnosed with ADHD to share their stories so the public can see the human face of the disorder. The best way to reduce the stigma is for those challenged by it to share their stories.
ADHD associations throughout the country sponsor support groups for kids and adults who suffer from attention deficit disorders. Find out if there's a local group in your area and learn what you can do to support efforts to bring the latest treatments to those who need them.
4 Symptoms Of ADHD By Age Group
Preschool through 2nd grade
Has trouble getting started and needs to stop and listen.
Grades 3 through 7
Rushes through homework assignments and produces sub-par work.
Has a hard time remembering assignments and often forgets to write them down.
Easily distracted from day-to-day tasks and often loses things like wallets, phones and keys.
Why ADHD Awareness Month is Important
It affects a wide variety of people
No demographic is immune from ADHD. It's found in people of all ages and backgrounds. Nearly 10 percent of children will be diagnosed with ADHD and more than four percent of adults will exhibit symptoms.
No one is to blame for ADHD. It's a brain-based disorder that is often genetic. Family history can can play a role in children who are diagnosed. Prenatal risk is a factor — along with environmental toxins.
ADHD contributes to other problems
They include the loss of productivity at work or school, relationship problems, obesity, and legal troubles. It's likely one of the costliest medical conditions in the U.S.
ADHD Awareness Month dates