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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Imagine living in a fast-moving kaleidoscope, where sounds, images, and thoughts are

constantly shifting. Feeling easily bored, yet helpless to keep your mind on tasks you

need to complete. Distracted by unimportant sights and sounds, your mind drives you

from one thought or activity to the next. Perhaps you are so wrapped up in a collage of

thoughts and images that you don¡¦t notice when someone speaks to you.

¡§Tommy can¡¦t sit still. He is disruptive at school with his constant talking and clowning

around. He leaves the classroom without the teacher¡¦s permission. Although he has

above-average intelligence, Tommy has trouble reading and writing. When he talks, the

words come out so fast no one understands him¡¨ (Rees, 1994). For many people, this is

what it¡¦s like to have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. They may be

unable to sit still, plan ahead, finish tasks, or be fully aware of what¡¦s going on around

them. To their family, classmates or coworkers, they seem to exist in a whirlwind of

disorganized or frenzied activity. Unexpectedly¡Xon some days and in some situations

they seem fine, often leading others to think the person with ADHD can actually control

these behaviors. As a result, the disorder can mar the person¡¦s relationships with others in

addition to disrupting their daily life, consuming energy, and diminishing self-esteem.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) comes from the standard diagnostic

reference of the American Psychiatric Association (APA). ADHD is a diagnosis applied

to children and adults who consistently display certain characteristic

Understanding ADHD 4.

behaviors over a period of time. Hyperactiv...

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...s and services to be provided to meet

the child¡¦s unique needs created by each disability.

ADHD, once called hyperkinesis or minimal brain dysfuntion, is on of the most

common mental disorders among children. It affects 3 to 5 percent of all children,

perhaps as many as two million American children. On average, at least one child in

every classroom in the United States needs help for the disorder. A child should be

evaluated by a physician who will do a thorough physical examination and look for the

three primary behavior patterns of the hyperactivity syndrome: inattention, hyperactivity,

and impulsivity. These characteristics help distinguish hyperactivity from normal

behavior, specific learning disabilities, or mental retardation. Physicians and parents

have found it useful to combine drug therapy with family counseling, or behavior

modification.
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