What is Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder [ADD/ADHD]? Some feel it is a neurobiological disorder while others say it is a learning disorder. Ever since 1980 when the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders officially recognized ADD/ADHD as a behavior disorder, the definition has kept evolving and changing. But ADD/ADHD has been around a lot longer than twenty-three years. Some in the medical professions believe “ADHD is a common mental disorder and has been recognized in one form or another for over a century” (Conners and Jett, 1999, p. 3). Teacher oriented literature leans toward classifying ADD/ADHD as a learning disorder of the ‘other health impaired’ type. It was not until the year 2000 that ADD/ADHD could even qualify as an impairment in the eyes of educational law (United States Department of Education, 2000).
At present, there is no cut and dry definition of ADD/ADHD. There is also “no valid neurological or physiological test that can be used to diagnose ADHD” (Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, 1999). What we do have is a list of common symptoms of the disorder. According to Phelan, (1996) there are eight major characteristics that one can look for in a child:
3. Difficulty delaying gratification/Impatience
5. Emotional over arousal
6. Non – compliance
7. Social problems
Inattention/Distractibility is the most important ...
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