According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual “ the essential feature of Attention Deficit /Hyperactivity Disorder is a pattern of inattention and /or hyperactivity-impulsivity that is more severe than is typically observed in individuals at a comparable level of development”(DSMIVtm,p.78). The second essential feature is that the symptoms began before the child was seven years old. (DSMIVtm). As the child begins school or gets into early elementary school, when they should be able to focus and sit still and listen, their symptoms become more apparent, and that is usually when they get diagnosed (surgeon general). Another essential feature for diagnosis is that impairment must be in at least two settings. (nimh.nih.gov).
Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, more commonly referred to as simply ADHD, is the most commonly diagnosed disorder among American children today. According to the National Institute on Mental Health an estimated 3 to 5 percent of school age children are affected by this disorder. (1) There are more diagnosed cases of ADHD of in the United States than there are anywhere in the world. The main symptoms of ADHD include "developmentally inappropriate levels of attention, concentration, activity, distractibility, and impulsivity." (1) While the number of people diagnosed with ADHD increases dramatically every year, there is still much about the disorder that is not understood. While scientists have deduced that ADHD originates in the brain, they still have many questions about the nature of it. The classification of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has become quite a controversial topic in American society today. There are some who believe that by recognizing the symptoms associated with the disorder as ADHD; science is simply putting a band-aid on a problem that could be otherwise corrected with behavior modification.
ADHD is broken into three subtypes. The first is those who are impulsive and hyperactive. The second type is made up from those who are inattentive only. The third group is those who display all of these symptoms combined. In the United States, 3-5% of children show signs of this disorder. It has also been shown that the disorder is more dominant in boys. Many children with ADHD do not outgrow this disorder and carry it on into their adult lives. Various studies have shown that two-thirds of children with ADHD still have the disorder in their 20’s making it is a problem which affects children and adults alike.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), more commonly referred to as ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), has only recently come to notice of scientists. It affects 3.5 million people under the age of 18 and 5 million people over the age of 18. Its current cause of existence is due to defects at neurotransmitter sites, rendering patients inattentive and impulsive. However, every year more progress is made in locating the cause and finding more effective treatments. ADHD's first diagnosis was made in 1902 by Dr. George Still. He observed 20 children who were inattentive, impulsive, hyperactive, and showed mood swings. He initially attributed their behavior to mild brain damage. By 1917 ADHD or constantly active was still thought to have this cause. At this time, viral encephalitis seemed to be linked to the disease because, after being infected, children had impaired attention, memory, and impulse control. In 1937 ADHD was known as minimal brain dysfunction and began to be treated with amphetamines, which made children with the disorder much calmer.
In 1998, the National Institutes of Mental Health agreed that attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is indeed a legitimate psychologic condition even though its definition has not been fully pinned down. ADHD is a syndrome generally characterized by the following symptoms that first occur before the age of seven:
It has been known since the beginning of time that not all people have the same brain function, social graces or self control. Children have daydreamed, been distracted, wiggled and have been routinely disruptive in classrooms. The condition dubbed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a new name for old behaviors. It has only been the last 40 or so years that these behaviors have become known as a disorder. They were previously accepted, on the most part, as common childhood behavior that would be outgrown. The controversy over the treatment, Ritalin, during the 1960s is when ADHD became well known (Conrad 563). Before that children and their families managed to survive without the labeling and medicating of children who didn’t fit perfectly into the mold. The brain function of a child with ADHD may be different, but who’s to say that difference needs to be changed. The person with ADHD still gets the job done, just differently, with a lot more effort and creativity. There are many who benefit from an ADHD diagnosis, the child is not always one of them.
Most people have heard of the term Attention Deficit Hyperactive (ADHD) disorder. “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurobiological disorder that interferes with an individual’s ability to attend to tasks (inattention), inhibits one’s behavior (impulsivity), and may interfere with a person’s ability to regulate one’s activity level (hyper-activity) in developmentally appropriate ways (Barkley 19)”. The most important job for teachers and parents is to separate fact from fiction, to clarify what we know and don’t know.
Typically when one hears the term “ADHD” and the potential negative effects that it could have on someone striving towards academic success, they immediately think school age children. Though it is more common for children to be diagnosed and treated, 5% of U.S. adults are living with this condition (American Psychiatric Association, 2012). First ADHD must be defined before coping methods can be explained. ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder is a diagnosis applied to children and adults who consistently display certain characteristic behaviors such as distractibility (poor sustained attention to tasks), impulsivity (impaired impulse control and delayed gratification), and hyperactivity (excessive activity and physical restlessness) (Jaksa, 1998). These are signs that will normally be identified by the child’s educator. Signs and/or symptoms could present themselves differently in adults and affect different aspects of their daily lives.
Many psychologists regard ADHD as a state deficit, where children are highly aroused to compensate for the body’s feeling of under arousal. (Kerns, Eso, Thomson, 1999) Three main features of ADHD are 1.Impulsivity, the children often act before they consider consequences 2.Hyperactivity, the children struggle to sit still 3.Inattentiveness, the children have difficulty focusing on a subject because of the overload of stimuli in the environment. Research may indicate that ADHD has biological origins and set symptoms, such as fidgeting, excessive talking, difficulty maintaining concentration, impulsive behavior, lack of focus and messiness. (http://www.mnsi.net/~collinsw/ritalin.htm) According to the Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology, in a recent conference held by the NIMH, National Institute of Mental Health, the validity of the diagnosis of ADHD was held in question. (www.breggin.com) The cause of ADHD is unknown as of yet, and speculation is all psychologists have to diagnose and treat patients. The DSM-IV has categorized ADHD by the three dimensions listed above and included 18 symptoms under the three categories, which include some listed above. ADHD has undergone significant renaming and evaluation since the last publication of the Diagnostic Statistic Manual. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity, was referred to as ADD or sometimes ADD-H, Attention Deficit Disorder with hyperactivity. (www.journals.cup.org)
Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), once called hyperkinesis or minimal brain dysfunction, is one of the most common mental disorders among children. (Elia, Ambrosini, Rapoport, 1999) It affects 3 to 5 percent of all children, with approximately 60% to 80% of these children experiencing persistence of symptoms into adolescence and adulthood, causing a lifetime of frustrated dreams and emotional pain. There are two types of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: an inattentive type and a combined type. The symptoms of ADHD can be classified into three categories: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. This behaviour stops ADHD sufferers from focussing deliberately on organising and completing a specific task that they may not enjoy, learning new skills or information is proved to be impossible. An example of such behaviour is recognised by the report written by the National Institute of Mental Health where one of the subjects under study was unable to pass schooling examinations due to her inattentive behaviour. Such behaviour can damage the person's relationships with others in addition to disrupting their daily life, consuming energy, and diminishing self-esteem. (National Institute of Mental Health 1999) There are also secondary symptoms which are associated with ADHD, such as learning disorders, anxiety, depression and other mood disorders, tic disorders, and conduct disorders. (Spencer, Biederman, and Wilens 1999 in Monastra V, Monastra D, George, 2002)
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, also commonly known as ADHD is considered a neuro-behavioral disorder. A.D.H.D has different symptoms that can affect each person differently. Common symptoms of A.D.H.D include behaviors such as hyperactivity, impulsiveness, inattentiveness or a combination of all. It is estimated that anywhere between 3 and 7 percent of the population of school age children are affected by this disorder. It is more common that boys are diagnosed with A.D.H.D than girls. The most common ethnicity to be diagnosed with A.D.H.D are African Americans. There has been no evidence found so far that directly correlates A.D.H.D to a cause. A.D.H.D affects all people differently and can affect different parts of a person’s life
The American heritage Dictionary defines Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder as, “an attention deficit disorder in which hyperactivity is present.” Attention Deficit Disorder is defined as, “A syndrome, usually diagnosed in childhood, characterized by a persistent pattern of impulsiveness, a short attention span, and often hyperactivity, and interfering especially with academic, occupational, and social performance.” ADHD is most often diagnosed during childhood and was formerly believed to have lessened and ended as the child matured but recent studies have found that between 35 and 50 % of all cases persist into adulthood.