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ADHD: Resources are Available

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurobehavioral disorders of childhood. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. Children with ADHD have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors (may act without thinking about what the result will be), and in some cases, are overly active. It is normal for children to have trouble focusing and behaving at one time or another. However, children with ADHD do not grow out of these behaviors. The symptoms continue and can cause difficulty at school, at home, or with friends.

Several recent reports suggest that ADHD rates are on the rise (MMWR, 2010, Akinbami, 2011). Approximately 9.5% or 5.4 million children 4-17 years of age had been diagnosed with ADHD, as of 2007, representing a 22% increase in four years. Rates may be increasing because of greater knowledge and awareness about the condition, more frequent behavioral screening of children, or unidentified factors that may be causing more ADHD over time.

Photo: Children playingThere is help available!

While ADHD can't be cured, it can be successfully managed. In most cases, ADHD is best treated with a combination of treatments (i.e., medication, behavior therapy, parent training, and school supports). A recent review [PDF - 2.5MB] found that for preschoolers, behavioral treatments are effective ways to help children. Parents and doctors should work closely with everyone involved in the child's treatment — teachers, coaches, therapists, and other family members. Taking advantage of all the resources available will help you guide your child towards success. Remember, you are your child's strongest advocate!

If you have concerns about ADHD, you should visit your child's health care professional. You can also contact your local early intervention agency (for children under 3) or public school (for children 3 and older). To find out who to speak to in your area, contact the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities at 1-800-695-0285.

Photo: Children playingIn addition to visiting your health care professional, there is a wealth of information that you can access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities has been partnering with Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) for over ten years. Through this partnership, the National Resource Center on AD/HD (NRC) was developed. The purpose of the NRC is to link to evidence-based information and resources for people with ADHD and their families. The NRC operates a web-site and a call center with trained staff to answer questions about ADHD. Resources are available in English and Spanish. To reach the NRC, call 1-800-233-4050 or visit

Resources available at the NRC include:

  • What We Know Factsheets
  • Ask the Expert Chats
  • Latest News about ADHD
  • A lending library
  • A link to find local family support chapters in your area

In order to make sure your child reaches his or her full potential, it is very important to get help for ADHD as early as possible. Evidence-based resources can help!

More Information

  • Page last reviewed: August 23, 2012
  • Page last updated: August 23, 2012
  • Content source:
    • Office of the Associate Director for Communication, Digital Media Branch, Division of Public Affairs
    • Page maintained by: Office of the Associate Director for Communication, Digital Media Branch, Division of Public Affairs