Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurobiological developmental disorders impacting individuals across the lifespan. According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), it is estimated that 5% of children and anywhere from 2.5 to 4% of adults have ADHD. In order to be diagnosed with ADHD, an onset of symptoms must occur before the age of 12 and be present in at least two settings (e.g. school and at home). Some symptoms of ADHD include difficulty paying attention and staying focused, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity (over-activity).

There are three subtypes of ADHD: a predominantly inattentive presentation, a predominantly hyperactive/impulsive presentation, and a combined presentation which apples when there are six or more symptoms of inattention and six or more symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity.

It is important to note, that these symptoms can present differently between males and females and even between children and adults. These differences will be discussed in more detail in the follow sections. How to manage symptoms of ADHD and the ways in which it can impact daily life (e.g. home, school, work, and interpersonal relationships) will also be discussed.

Resource Organizations » Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) » xHarvard

In Massachusetts

Children & Adults with Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD)

Local Chapter: 508-651-2423

National Office: 301-306-7070

Email: metrowest@chadd.net

CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) is the nation's leading non-profit organization serving individuals with AD/HD and their families. CHADD provides information on ADHD through its website and the bi-monthly Attention! magazine, and also sponsors an annual conference. The organization has over 16,000 members in 200 local chapters, which offer support for individuals, parents, teachers, professionals, and others. CHADD's National Resource Center on AD/HD (see separate profile) is a clearinghouse for evidence-based information about AD/HD.

College Internship Program - Berkshire

Toll-Free: 877-566-9247 (8-4pm ET)

Local: 413-243-2576

Email: admissions@cipworldwide.org

The College Internship Program at the Berkshire Center provides individualized, post-secondary academic, internship and independent living experiences for young adults with Asperger's Syndrome, ADHD and other Learning Differences.

Massachusetts Act Early

The Massachusetts Act Early Coalition works to strengthen state and community systems for the early identification and intervention for children with signs of developmental disabilities, such as autism spectrum disorders.  The coalition envisions a future that uses a family-centered model that overcomes geographic, socioeconomic, cultural, and linguistic barriers to assure equal access to developmental screening for all children in the Commonwealth. Massachusetts Act Early aims to educate parents and professionals about healthy childhood development, early warning signs of developmental disorders including autism spectrum disorder, the importance of routine developmental screening, and timely early intervention whenever there is a concern.

School Psychiatry Program and MADI Resource Center

For Children and Adolescents: 617-726-2725

For Adults: 617-724-7792

Email: info@schoolpsychiatry.org

Schoolpsychiatry.org is a joint project of the School Psychiatry Program and the Mood & Anxiety Disorders Institute (MADI) Resource Center, both of the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Schoolpsychiatry.org is committed to enhancing the education and mental health of every student in every school. The Mood & Anxiety Disorders Institute (MADI) Resource Center translates the latest research advances into practical information, helping people work with their clinicians toward the most accurate diagnosis and best possible treatment results. The Center also offers resources and support to help people manage daily living with mood and anxiety disorders and cope with the disorders' effects on family relationships.

Outside Massachusetts

ADDitude

ADDitude has been the leading destination for families and adults living with ADHD and learning disabilities. Founded in 1998 by Ellen Kingsley, an award-winning journalist with a unique ability to convey credible information with empathy and inspiration, ADDitude magazine has provided clear, accurate, user-friendly information and advice from the leading experts and practitioners in mental health and learning for almost 10 years. 

Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA)

(800) 939-1019

Email: info@add.org

The Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA) is the world's leading adult ADHD organization. Our mission is to provide information, resources and networking opportunities to help adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) lead better lives. Our goal is to generate hope, awareness, empowerment and connections worldwide in the field of ADHD. ADDA brings together scientific perspectives and the human experience. The information and resources provided to individuals and families affected by ADHD and professionals who serve them focuses on the diagnosis, treatments, strategies and techniques for helping adults with AD/HD lead better lives.

Learning Disabilities Association of America

(412) 341-1515

Email: info@LDAAmerica.org

Learning Disabilities Association has provided support to people with learning disabilities, their parents, teachers and other professionals with cutting edge information on learning disabilities, practical solutions, and a comprehensive network of resources. They have resources and information for the following concerns: Auditory Processing Disorder, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Language Processing Disorder, Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities, Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit, Memory, ADD/ADHD, Executive Functioning

Learning Disabilities Worldwide

Learning Disabilities Worldwide is the world's leading web site on learning disabilities and ADHD, serving more than 200,000 parents, teachers, and other professionals each month. The site features hundreds of helpful articles, multimedia, monthly columns by noted experts, first person essays, children's writing and artwork, a comprehensive resource guide, very active forums, and a Yellow Pages referral directory of professionals, schools, and products.

Mental Health America

Toll-Free: 800-969-6642

Office: 703-684-7722

TTY: 800-433-5959

Mental Health America (formerly known as the National Mental Health Association) is the country's leading nonprofit dedicated to helping ALL people live mentally healthier lives. With more than 320 affiliates nationwide, they represent a growing movement of Americans who promote mental wellness for the health and well-being of the nation -- everyday and in times of crisis.

National Resource Center on AD/HD: A Program of CHADD

Health Information Specialist: 800-233-4050

The National Resource Center on AD/HD is the nation's clearinghouse for science-based information about all aspects of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD). Funded through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the NRC provides information on this disorder which affects how millions of children and adults function on a daily basis. The NRC was created to meet the information needs of professionals and the general public.

Sibling Support Project

206-297-6368

Email: info@siblingsupport.org

The Sibling Support Project is a national effort dedicated to the life-long concerns of brothers and sisters of people who have special health, developmental, or mental health concerns. The Sibling Support Project believes that disabilities, illness, and mental health issues affect the lives of all family members. Consequently, they want to increase the peer support and information opportunities for brothers and sisters of people with special needs and to increase parents' and providers' understanding of sibling issues. The mission is accomplished by training local service providers on how to create community-based peer support programs for young siblings; hosting workshops, listservs, and websites for young and adult siblings; and increasing parents' and providers' awareness of siblings' unique, lifelong, and ever-changing concerns through workshops, websites, and written materials. Visit the website for local listings of "Sibshops", i.e. sibling support programs.

The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation

Main Line: 646-681-4888

Toll Free: 800-829-8289

Email: info@bbrfoundation.org

The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (formerly NARSAD, the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression) is committed to alleviating the suffering of mental illness by awarding grants that will lead to advances and breakthroughs in scientific research. The BBR Foundation offers news on the research it funds as well as information (documents and videos) about these and other disorders in children and adults. It also provides guidance and resources for families coping with a child or parent with mental illness.