What is ADHD? ADHD is a disorder of self-regulation, self-control. ADHD is a disorder is characterized, to paraphrase Russell Barkely, Ph.D., where individuals have difficulty consistently doing what they know, rather than being a disorder characterized by deficits in knowledge and skills. To use a simple example, adolescents with ADHD “know that they should do their homework, know that their grades matter for their future, and yet do not do their homework consistently. Why? Because at the moment they find it boring, are distracted by more interesting activities, and have difficulties stopping and thinking through the implications of their actions. As one college age student told me, “I do really well in school when I am engaged.” but he then went on to note that he fails classes that he is not engaged or interested in because he does not do the work and skips lectures, if he finds them boring.