Attention deficit disorder, or ADD, is a neurological condition that affects behavior and learning abilities. In the early years, it may manifest itself as an inability to set still. While the hyperactivity component may eventually wear off, problems with attention span usually continue. Other characteristics of ADD include impulsive behavior, interrupting others, mood swings, sleep disorders, and outbursts of temper. The child may be easily distracted, have trouble staying on one topic, or find it difficult to concentrate on anything for very long. Time management issues are also common, such as procrastinating, being late, and missing deadlines. Because ADD is so destructive to learning, early detection is important. By identifying the problem, you can take steps to treat it, or compensate for it. ADD is believed to occur in about five to ten percent of the population. However, because of the current hype surrounding this condition, there's a tendency to describe any high-spirited behavior as ADD. Therefore, it's vital that your child be assessed by an expert, such as a child psychiatrist, along with your pediatrician. He or she can help determine the true nature of their condition.
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