Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common condition that affects children and adolescents and can continue into adulthood for some. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that 3% to 5% of children have ADHD. Some experts, though, say ADHD may occurs in 8% to 10% of school-aged children.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is not limited to children -- 30% to 70% of children with ADHD continue having symptoms when they grow up. In addition, people who were never diagnosed as children may develop more obvious symptoms in adulthood, causing trouble on the job or in relationships. ADHD in adults follows a slightly different pattern than in children. Adults may be chronically late for work or important events. Adults may realize that their tardiness is undermining their goals, but they just can't seem to be on time. Some adults with ADHD can focus intently on things they enjoy or find interesting -- the ability to hyperfocus. But they struggle to pay attention to tasks that bore them. The trouble is that many tasks necessary for success in everyday life are dull, from making a grocery list to filing documents at work. People with ADHD tend to put off boring tasks in favor of more enjoyable activities.