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Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity
Disorder
Early Childhood Education
Georgia CTAE Resource Network
Instructional Resources Office
July 2009
Common Behaviors
• Being inattentive (for example, not seeming to
listen when spoken to)
• Being overly active (hyperactive) or having
weak impulse control (impulsive)
Some people with ADHD may be mainly
inattentive or mainly hyperactive. Most people
with ADHD show a combination of behaviors.
Conduct Disorder
• Bullying or threatening others
• Starting fights
• Purposely setting fires or destroying property in
other ways
• Telling lies in order to get things or get out of
doing things
• Stealing valuable items or stealing directly from
a person
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
• Loss of temper
• Refusing to follow rules of adults
• Purposely doing things to annoy others
• Negative, defiant, disobedient and hostile
toward authority figures
Other Conditions
Anxiety disorders
Mood disorders, such as depression
Learning or communication disorders
(trouble with language or other skills,
such as math)
What causes ADHD?
Researchers don’t know the exact cause(s) yet…
• Differences in the brain
• Genetics
• Other possible causes:
Problems during pregnancy or childbirth
Problems in the child’s environment, such as
high lead levels
Diagnosing takes a complete
evaluation…
• A medical exam
 A physical exam
 Lab tests
 Mental health screening tests (for conditions
such as depression)
• A personal and family medical history
 Rule out – or diagnose – other conditions that
may be causing symptoms
 Find out if any other family members may have
ADHD
• Interviews and observations
• Rating scales
ADHD brings many challenges
• At home
 Relationships with family
 Cause stress and low self-esteem
• At school
 Low test scores and grades
 Trouble staying seated quietly, taking tests, writing or
studying
 Disorganization
 Trouble starting or finishing work
 Lose books and assignments
 Become bored easily
• In other settings
 Difficult to make or keep friends
 In later years, success at work may be affected