It is normal for children to experience some degree of inattention and high energy, however, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) manifests as a persistent pattern of excessive inattention, often coupled with notable hyperactivity and impulsivity that impairs optimal functioning.

In younger children, ADHD may manifest in a variety of symptoms: the inability to focus on one activity for a sustained period of time, difficulty paying attention to details, and difficulty following through with tasks. This is often accompanied by hyperactive behaviors, like excessive fidgeting, as well as impulsive behaviors, such as continual interrupting and blurting out answers. In older children, some of the hyperactive-impulsive behaviors may have diminished, leaving residual feelings of internal disquiet and restlessness. While ADHD is often first observed during childhood, symptoms may go undiagnosed and persist into adulthood. Therefore, it is important to screen for adult ADHD as well.

Psychiatric interventions first seek to establish the specific type of ADHD exhibited (predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive-impulsive, or both). Once a diagnosis of ADHD has been made, medication is recommended. Additionally, non-pharmacologic interventions help to build resiliency, enhance self-esteem, and create opportunities for success.