ADHD (the commonly used acronym for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a common behavioral disorder. Experts estimate that about 10 percent of children in the United States suffer with ADHD – and that boys are three times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with ADHD.
The three primary symptoms of ADHD are an inability to pay attention, an inability to control one’s impulses, and hyperactive behavior. According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the following are the most common ways these ADHD symptoms manifest:
• Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork
• Has difficulty keeping attention during tasks or play
• Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
• Does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace
• Has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
• Avoids or dislikes tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork)
• Often loses toys, assignments, pencils, books, or tools needed for tasks or activities
• Is easily distracted
• Is often forgetful in daily activities
• Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
• Leaves seat when remaining seated is expected
• Runs about or climbs in inappropriate situations
• Has difficulty playing quietly
• Is often “on the go,” acts as if “driven by a motor,” talks excessively
• Blurts out answers before questions have been completed
• Has difficulty awaiting turn
• Interrupts or intrudes on others (butts into conversations or games)
In 2008, Swedish researchers revealed a strong connection between ADHD and bullying (both perpetrators and victims). MSNBC contributor Linda Carroll described the Stockholm study in a Jan. 29, 2008 article:
A new study shows that children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are almost four times as likely as others to be bullies. And, in an intriguing corollary, the children with ADHD symptoms were almost 10 times as likely as others to have been regular targets of bullies prior to the onset of those symptoms, according to the report in the February  issue of the journal Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology.
The study followed 577 children – the entire population of fourth graders from a municipality near Stockholm – for a year. The researchers interviewed parents, teachers and children to determine which kids were likely to have ADHD. Children showing signs of the disorder were then seen by a child neurologist for diagnosis. The researchers also asked the kids about bullying.
The results underscore the importance of observing how kids with ADHD symptoms interact with their peers, says study co-author Dr. Anders Hjern, a professor in pediatric epidemiology at the University of Uppsala in Stockholm. These kids might be making life miserable for their fellow students. Or it might turn out that the attention problems they’re exhibiting could be related to the stress of being bullied.
About 10 months prior to the publication of the Stockholm study, an article in the journal Ambulatory Pediatrics reported that children who have been diagnosed with both autism and ADHD are four times more likely than their peers in the general population to be bullies.