Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a problem that affects 5% to 10% of all children. ADD affects more children than any other childhood problems except asthma. It is estimated to be the largest single cause for first referrals to child guidance clinics throughout the country, making up as many as 40% of those cases. Many ADD cases are not diagnosed because the problem most often does not show in the doctor’s office.
Current estimates suggest that approximately 50 to 65% of the children with ADD will have symptoms of the disorder as adolescents and adults.
In 1902, George Frederick Still believed the dilemma of the problem child was linked to a biological defect inherited from an injury at birth and not the result of the environment.
Through 1930-40's stimulant drugs were first used to successfully treat many behavior problems due in part by Still's hypothesis. In 1960, Stella Chess researched in the field by writing about the "hyperactive child syndrome." She took Still's hypothesis further stating that the resulting behavior problems stem from a biological cause, although it is linked to a genetic inheritance rather then a birth defect from an injury. Finally, in 1980, the syndrome was named Attention Deficit Disorder, due in large part to Virginia Douglas's work to find accurate ways to diagnose it (Hallowell 2).
This is currently how it exists today, with the addition of a new category Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and there sub types. Most scientists now believe that an abnormality in brain chemistry could be to blame for the symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder. The frontal lobes of the brain are believed to be responsible for the regulation of behavior and attention. They receive information from the lower brain, which regulates arousal and screens incoming messages from within and outside of the body. The limbic system, which is a group of related nervous system structures, located in the midbrain and linked to emotions and feelings then sends the messages to the frontal lobes. Finally, the frontal lobes are suspected to be the site of working memory, the place where information about the immediate environment is considered for memory storage, planning, and future-directed behavior.
Scientist believe the activity in the frontal lobes is depressed in people with ADD. Studies also show, a decrease in the...
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...etection is difficult, often the symptoms are likened to some other cause in an effort to explain the behaviors. This has lead to many misdiagnoses. However, new studies on ADD and ADHD are in the works and with the Human Genome Project's completion in 2003 there is hope more light will be shed on this disorder.
Bibliography Baliey, W.J. Attention Deficit Disorder. 9 May 1997. Online Internet. 10 November 2000. http://www.execpc.com/~calliope/ Clark, C.G. Children Who Can’t Pay Attention. 5 October 1998. Online Internet. 10 November 2000. http://www.aacap.org/publications/factsfam/noattent.htm Hallahan, Daniel & Kuaffman, James. Exceptional Child. 1999. Online Internet. 10 November 2000. http://borntoexplore.org/ Hallowell, Edward M. & Ratley, John J. Driven to Distraction. 13 April 1997. Online Internet. 10 November 2000. http://www.livingwithadd.com/ Wender, Pual H. M.D. The Hyperactive Child, Adolescent, and Adult. 15 November 1998. Online Interent. 10 November 2000. http://www.attn-deficit-disorder.com/ Weiss, Lynn M.D. Attention Deficit Disorder in Adults. 4 January 1999. Online Interent. 10 November 2000. http://www.mentalhealth.com/dis/p20-ch01.html
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