What is attention deficit disorder (ADD)? The term has been renamed and redefined by various disciplines over the years. In the 1960s, a child with an attention problem evaluated by a physician would most likely have been labeled as having minimal brain dysfunction (MBD). The school might have used the term "learning disabled" or "hyperactive". Currently, the term most often used is "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder" (ADHD). Most experts suggest using the more general term "Attention Deficit Disorder" (ADD), because it includes any kind of attention problem, not just those involving hyperactivity.
Commonly cited characteristics of children with ADD are hyperactivity, distractibility and impulsivity. They have difficulty staying on task and focusing on important aspects of conversations or school related tasks. Frequently they do not complete their original task because they are moving rapidly from one activity to another or are distracted by extraneous stimuli.
Difficulty in paying attention is the defining sign of attention deficit disorder .It is among the most common developmental problems of child hood, affecting about 20 percent of all school children, according to some estimates. Other estimates however, suggest a lower figure of 5 to 7 percent. Although many more boys are diagnosed with ADD, this is because boys are more likely to show the hyperactivity component of the.
disorder. It is becoming clearer that many girls also suffer from ADD, but their difficulty lies mostly with inattention, so the diagnosis may be overlooked since they are not being disruptive in the classroom. The disorder can persist through adolescence, and recent follow-up studies show that, for many people with ADD, symptoms often persist into adulthood. Estimates indicate that from 10 to 60 percent of childhood- onset cases of ADD will continue into adulthood. .
Great progress has been made in treatment in recent decades.