Essay on Attention Deficit Disorder in American Children

Essay on Attention Deficit Disorder in American Children

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Attention Deficit Disorder in American Children

Approximately 3-5% of all American children have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). ADD is a leading cause of school failure and under-achievement. ADD characteristics often arise in early childhood. As many as 50% of children with ADD are never diagnosed. Boys significantly outnumber girls, though girls are more likely to be undiagnosed with ADD. ADD is not an attention disorder, but a disorder of impulse control (Pfiffrer 184).
Characteristics of Attention Deficit Disorder can include: Fidgeting with hands or feet, difficulty remaining seated, awaiting turns in games, following through on instructions, and shifting from one uncompleted task to another. They also have difficulty playing quietly, they interrupt conversations and intrude into other children's games, appear to be not listening to what is being said, and do things that are dangerous without thinking about the consequences (Mills 23).
Attention Deficit Disorder is strongly considered genetically inherited, however, not all cases of ADD may be genetically linked. Studies have shown that 20-30% of all hyperactive children have a least one parent with ADD. The environment is a big influence on a child during pregnancy and after. Some studies show that smoking, drinking alcohol, and using drugs during pregnancy, influenced a small percentage of ADD cases. Exposure to toxins, such as lead, may also alter the brain chemistry and function (Pfiffner 78). If you suspect that you are suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder you will need to discuss it with your medical doctor. In most cases the doctor will recommend that you visit a psychologist for an evaluation. The psychologist is professionally trained in human behavior and will be able to provide counseling and testing in areas related to mental health. The psychologist is not able to prescribe medication to help you, but may send you to a psychiatrist to prescribe and monitor medication. A neurologist may be consulted in order to rule out neurological conditions causing your symptoms. Your doctor will gather information about your past and present difficulties, medical history , current psychological makeup, educational and behavioral functioning.
Depending on your symptoms, your diagnosis may be categorized
as ADD, inattentive type ADD, or hyperactive/impulsive type ADD (ADHD). After y...


... middle of paper ...


...s, quit a game before it’s done. They may be unable to pay attention to what another child is saying, not respond when someone else tries to initiate an activity, or exhibit inappropriate behavior (Sudderth 75).
I decided to write my essay on Attention Deficit Disorder because my eleven-year old brother has been diagnosed with the disorder. I hope that my relationship with my brother can become closer now that I have a better understanding of what he is suffering from.



Works Cited
Mills, Jerry. Don’t Doubt the Dream. Marquette, Michigan. Impulse Presentations, 1994.

Sudderth, David MD and Kandel, Joseph MD. Adult ADD: The Complete Handbook: Everything You Need to Know About How to Cope and Live Well with ADD/ADHD. Prima Publishing. 1997

Barkley, Russell A. Taking Care of ADHD, Revised Edition. Guilford Press. 2000

Reif, Sandra F. How to Reach and Teach ADD/ADHD Children: Practical Techniques, Strategies, and Interventions for Helping Children with Attention Problems and Hyper. Center for Applied Research in Education. 1993

Pfiffrer, Linda. All About ADHD (Grades K-8). Scholastic Trade. 1999

Reif, Sandra F. The ADD/ADHD Checklist. Prentice Hall Trade. 1998

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