Sam was your average 4-year-old boy. He had many friends and was well liked by everyone. All in all he seemed be well adjusted. However, when he started kindergarten, his teacher started sending notes home to his mother telling her that Sam was causing trouble and not following the rules. His mother was concerned, and would constantly try to get him to behave. But no matter how much he tried, Sam just kept on getting into trouble. Finally his mom took him to see a psychologist - maybe he would be able to tell her why Sam was always running around when he was supposed to be sitting, or why he was always fidgeting and not paying attention in class. After the conversation between the psychologist and Sam, which included Sam running around the room three times, knocking over a pile of papers, and a bit of conversing, the psychologist diagnosed Sam with ADHD. Sam’s Mom was relieved to hear that there was a reason for his mischievous behavior, but was anxious to learn more about it. This is what she found out:
Attention Deficit Disorder, or ADD, as it is better known, is an inability to use skills of attention effectively. This results in children who are restless and easily distracted. The situation can be further exacerbated if a child also shows signs of hyperactivity, or an abnormal need for activity. In this case, the disorder is referred to as ADHD.
There are many more symptoms or signs that a child has ADD. For example, if a child, fails to pay close attention and constantly makes careless mistakes, gets easily distracted, talks excessively, is really impatient and relentlessly interrupts others, he most probably has ADHD. However, normal children also tend to have these tendencies, so how can one tell the difference between a normal child and one with this disorder? The National Institute on Mental Health addresses this question.
“Behaviors can be judged as normal, or "problem" ADD by evaluating them in relation to the person's age and developmental maturity. For example, the same behaviors that are acceptable in a 5-year old may be problematic for a 10-year old.
Problem behaviors are also long lasting, tend to occur more often and create more problems as time goes on. Children with ADD/ADHD will have more problems than other children their age experience in the same settings.”1
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...on Mental Health entitled "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) - Questions and Answers." Retrieved Oct.17, 2004, http://www.faqfarm.com/Health/ADD/61
2) The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, (May 1999). CHILDREN WHO CAN’T PAY ATTENTION/ADHD, Retrieved Oct.17, 2004, Kania Enterprises, Inc., http://www.metrodaycare.com/main.asp?content=articles/aacap/conduct-33
3) Robert D. Hunt, (March 2001). Causes of ADHD, Retrieved Oct.17,2004 Pediatric Annals http://www.strattera.com/1_3_childhood_adhd/1_3_1_1_1_causes.jsp
4) Holly Hanke, Tula Karras, and Annette Spence, (2004). What are the possible side effects and what can we do about them?, Retrieved Oct.18, 2004, Baby Center LLC,
5) Saul Kassin, (2004). Psychology and Education – ATTENTION-DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER. New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.
6) Leonard Holmes, PH.D. (2004). Video Games to treat ADD? Retrieved Oct.18, 2004, A PRIMEDIA Company, http://mentalhealth.about.com/cs/biofeedback/a/videoadd.htm
7) David Keirsey, THE GREAT A.D.D. HOAX, Retrieved October 18, 2004, http://keirsey.com/addhoax.html
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