Human Growth & Development
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder also known as ADD, ADHD, or simply hyperactivity can be shown among childhood, adolescents, and even adults. ADHD is one of the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorders of childhood and is characterized by sustained inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Stepping back to have a wide scale view of the issue, this makes AD/HD a major health concern. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is one of the most common mental disorders of childhood. Many children grow out of ADHD by adolescent or adult years, but many do not. Studies show ADHD in adulthood is more severe and may cause long term effects. I experience first-hand with the diagnosis because I was diagnosed in fourth grade with ADD. I was held back for a second year of fourth grade due to my lack of focusing. It’s been twelve years since I’ve been diagnosed with ADD; and I think it is very important for people to understand the causes, treatments, and the symptoms of ADD/ADHD.
Behaviors associated with ADHD usually cause difficulties on one or more major life areas: home, school, work, or social relationships. In classrooms, school settings require children to behave in ways that are at odds with the symptoms of the disorder (Kos, Richdale, & Hay, 2006; Salmelainen, 2002). Not all children and youth have the same type of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, because the disorder varies among individuals, children with AD/HD won’t all have the same problems. Diagnosing ADHD is very difficult, because most children are inattentive, hyperactive, and impulsive at least some of the time. When diagnosing ADHD, there is no blood test, or written test to determine if ADHD is present. All there is are guidelines and an educated guess. The guidelines include, " A disturbance of at least six months during which at least eight of the following are present: 1. often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat. 2. Has difficulty remaining seated when required doing so. 3. Is easily distracted by extraneous stimuli 4. Has difficulty awaiting turn in games or group situations. 5. Often blurts out answers to questions before they have been completed 6. Difficulty following instructions from others. 7. Has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities 8. Often shifts from one uncompleted activity to another 9. Has difficulty playing quietly 10. Often talks excessively 11. Often does not seem to listen to what is being said to him or her 12. Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities at school or at home (e.g... pencils) 13. Often engages in physically dangerous activities without considering possible consequences (not for thrill seeking purposes) e.g... Runs into the street without looking. The above items are listed in descending order of discriminating power based on data from national field trial of the DSM-III-R criteria for Disruptive Behavior Disorders," contributed Sam & Michael Goldstein to Managing Attention Disorders in Children. In order to diagnose ADHD, these symptoms must occur more frequent than children of the same age and must occur in more than one sitting. When observing these three different characteristics, they reveal to share some of the same similarities: Inattention: People affected with AD/HD have problems concentrating on specific things and paying attention to them. Many things or activities that “normal” people find interesting would be considered boring by those with AD/HD. People who suffer more of the inattention characteristic do not like or prefer things that comprise many details and oftentimes fail to listen to what is being said to them. As a result, these people become forgetful and fail to learn well. Hyperactivity: People with AD/HD typically have excess energy. These people are uneasy,