ADHD in children is described as a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that gets in the way of daily life or typical development. Children with ADHD may also have difficulties with maintaining attention, executive function (or the brain's ability to begin an activity, organise itself and manage tasks), and working memory.
ADHD symptoms in children often overlap with symptoms of other conditions. When a parent reports, "He can't focus," or "She can't finish her homework," is the underlying cause ADHD, anxiety, a reading problem, or within developmental norms?
To assess ADHD and develop treatment plans, clinicians evaluate specific symptom areas and try to determine how long the symptoms have been present and how much impairment they cause.