ADHD – Definition and Stats
Welcome to ADHD Awareness Month! There is so much to unpack with this neurological disorder! Let’s start with a simple definition by the ADHD editorial board (as found in ADDitude Magazine):
ADHD is a neurological disorder that impacts the parts of the brain that help us plan, focus on, and execute tasks. ADHD is a developmental impairment of the brain’s self-management system — it’s executive functions. “Attention deficit” is, some experts assert, a misleading name. “Attention deregulation” might be a more accurate description since most people with ADHD have more than enough attention — they just can’t harness it in the right direction at the right time with any consistency. And so individuals with ADHD hyperfocus and lose track of time, or misplace their keys, or blurt out an unrelated thought when their focus breaks free from its chains.
Let’s check out some updated statistics on ADHD from the CDC:
6.4 Million Children ages 4-17 have been diagnosed
- Average age of diagnosis: 7
- Males are 3 times more likely to be diagnosed
- 11% of children ages 4-17 have been diagnosed
- 42% increase in diagnosis in the past 8 years
- 6.1% are medically treated
- 3/10 students in the classroom on average are diagnosed with ADHD.
Thinking about these numbers, it’s imperative we help continue the dialogue and dispel the myths about this neurological disorder. ADHD may get better over time as the brain develops, but it doesn’t go away.
When I read these numbers and think about how many lives are impacted by ADHD, there is MUCH to accomplish, MANY to help, and MORE conversations needing to happen in the home and education system. If you had a heart condition, wouldn’t you want to be educated to take action and live a healthy lifestyle to avoid a potential heart attack? I would think the answer would be a resounding “YES!” It’s no different with a diagnosis of ADHD.
Here are some ways you can be informed and involved in October for ADHD Awareness Month:
With Much GrADDitude (and more ADHD awareness),