I. Clinical definition
The Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is considered to be a problem that characterizes the behavior of a person in terms of absent-mindedness, over-occupation, hyperactivity, irresponsibility, or a mixture of the mentioned symptoms that make it difficult for a person to control the personal demeanor. In order to identify this problem, there is a need to examine the person on the conventional behavior, as well as the age and development patterns.
This kind of disorder is common for the vast majority of people from adolescence to the adulthood. There are three types of Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder: (1) predominantly hyperactive-impulsive, (2) predominantly inattentive, and, finally, (3) combined hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive (Coghill and Seth 653).
The predominantly hyperactive-impulsive behavior could be characterized by different kinds of over-activity, as well as the problems to pay attention in any situation. The predominantly inattentive behavior could be illustrated with the examples of hyperactivity and impulsivity that are usually followed by the troubles to get along with other people. Finally, the combined hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive type, which is met in most cases, can be described as having both inattentiveness and hyperactivity or impulsivity.
Based on the findings, “Treatments can relieve many of the disorder's symptoms, but there is no cure”. This means that people with this disorder can live a normal life and cannot be considered being sick. The research shows that today scientists are working on the new treatment to relief the power of the brain for those, who have the Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder in order to make the medication more effective (Khan and Faraone 354).
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The symptoms are split into the three different categories, such as the lack of attention, over-activity and impulsive behavior. Usually, children have a mixture of symptoms that characterize all the types of behavior. In more details, the symptoms of all the three groups can be differentiated with the following aspects of the behavior (Coghill and Seth 241).
Those children, who have the inattentive symptoms, usually are not attentive to the details and make mistakes at school. They have difficult time paying attention to the general tasks, such as listening to the teacher or speaking directly to the class. At the same time, it is hard to follow the overall guidelines and instructions in terms of numerous daily activities that require standard efforts. Such children could be easily distracted and, as a result, lose different personal things, as well as forget about the activities that are necessary for the regular scholars.
The children with the hyperactivity symptoms usually play with toys on the seats, or alternatively, they can leave the seats, when it is least expected. They often run into the unfortunate situations and are not silent while playing with other children, as if driven by a motor.
Finally, those, who have the impulsivity symptoms, mostly burst the answers out even before the questions have been finished. They have a hard time waiting for other people and can regularly interrupt or intrude on others during the talks or leisure activities.
The standard sign of the ADHD is that people are difficult to interact with others, while having problems with learning, countless daily activities, as well as the constantly mood switching. Thus, the overall diagnosis could be concluded based on the deep investigation of the specific symptoms in numerous situations. Typically, the number of such symptoms is about six or seven of every category. When the children grow older, the state of their symptoms falls in the remission and could no longer be identified as a complete disorder. So, the formal diagnosis of the Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder could be evaluated on the series of tests or questionnaires, psychological assessment, IQ testing, and complete development testing that combines the spheres of “mental, nutritional, physical, and psychosocial examination” (Khan and Faraone 132).
III. Cause of the disorder
In most cases, it is not possible to identify the true cause of the Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder. The most probable reasons for the development of the ADHD include the genes, food and nutrition, environment, brain injury and many others (Coghill and Seth 267). In the vast majority of cases, the genes play a significant role in the emergence of the ADHD. The most researches and cases of people, who have ADHD, state that it is associated with the brain activities along with the lower level of the brain chemical dopamine. “Children with ADHD have a particular version of a certain gene with a thinner brain tissue in the areas of the brain associated with attention”. The research states that this is not permanent and when the children mature, their brain tissue develops to an average level of width (Coghill and Seth 203).
The food and nutrition is another possible cause of the Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder. Based on the findings, “Certain components of the diet, including food additivesand sugar, can have clear effects on behavior”. It is perceived that some of the additives in the meals could even worsen the ADHD behavior. For example, the refined sugar could be one of the causes of such an irregular performance; though, there is no strong evidence regarding this statement. A different study by the scientists states that the Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder’s symptoms could occur for the reason that children have not enough omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fats are vital for the proper development of the brain and its functions. Lack of these fatty acids could result in numerous developmental disorders.
The modern environment could be another reason for the Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder development. Some experts say that there is a connection between the ADHD and parental smoking. As a result, “nicotine can cause hypoxia or the lack of oxygen in the utero”. Moreover, the “lead exposure could be a contributor to ADHD”. The fact that the children live in the old buildings could “expose different toxic levels of lead from old paint or plumbing” (Khan and Faraone 97).
One more possible cause is the injury of the brain; though, not many children have the ADHD, as a result of brain wounds. It could be related to the “exposure of to toxins or physical injury, either before or after birth”. The experts state that “Head injuries can cause ADHD-like symptoms in previously unaffected people due to the frontal lobe damage”. Other possible causes are connected with the frontal lobes brain areas that control the “problem-solving, planning, understanding other people’s behavior, and restraining different impulses” (Khan and Faraone 97).
The best actions to cure the Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder are to combine the health care measures, predict the gene specifics of the parents, and use different therapies for the positive expectations of the ADHD. In other words, it is essential to set explicit objectives for the therapy, start the proper medication treatment along with the behavior therapy. Besides, it would have positive effect to habitually complement with the doctor and check on the potential goals, possible results, and any probable side effects after the medications. Moreover, these details should be collected from a number of sources such as “parents, teachers, and the child in particular” (Coghill and Seth 631).
In case the treatment does not work, it is important to check whether the child has the ADHD or there are other possible causes of the improper behavior. The doctor should check the alternative remedial illnesses that can have comparable symptoms. Also, it would be correct to check if the treatment was actually followed. Consequently, there is a need to use the proper medications that could treat the behavior accordingly. Such medications can be used in the two ways: alone and in combination. The most common drugs that are used to cure the ADHD are the psycho-stimulants that work to calm down the child’s behavior. The most used drugs are the Amphetamine-dextroamphetamine (Adderall), Dexmethylphenidate (Focalin), Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine, Dextrostat), Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse) and Methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, Metadate, Daytrana) (Khan and Faraone 295).
Some medicines that are used to cure the Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder could have a negative effect and cause various heart problems; so the doctor should check the drugs individually in order to make sure they will work best for the particular child. In this case, the behavior therapy is used to measure the ADHD symptoms. Such a method could be helpful for both the child and family members. It would work to help to understand and control the behavior in different situations. The well-known system of rewards and consequences could help the parents to monitor the behavior of their child. In turn, the troublemaking behavior should be met in the position of support and understanding. This could also serve as a link between the children with equal ADHD symptoms (Khan and Faraone 390).
The doctors have some more suggestions in regards to help the child to get along with the Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder’s symptoms. It would include regular communication with the teachers, the habit to follow the schedule of home and outdoor activities on a regular basis, the attempts to keep the child away from possible disturbances in the environment, health and timely food and nutrition, sufficient time for sleeping, positive emotions that offer any essential reward for the proper behavior. Furthermore, the behavior therapy could be combined with the alternative treatments for the ADHD such as “herbs, supplements, and chiropractic treatments”. This could have some more benefits for the child and lead to positive expectations of the treatment (Coghill and Seth 706).
V. Case Study
The case represents a story of a 10-years-old boy diagnosed with the Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder at the HANDLE Center. The example illustrates that this child had different behavioral and education problems at school that were getting worse every year. It appeared that the “child’s birth was traumatic and after 36 hours of labor, the doctors had pulled the client out so forcefully that he received a black eye”. This was followed by the sensitive behavior, frequent infections and early development milestones. As well, the child is “sensitive to the certain fabrics, hyper-sensitive to tactile stimulation and extremely stressful in difficult situations”; this adds on with the “difficulties to pronounce the “k” sound” and “problems with the vestibular system”. These symptoms reveal “different signs of visual irregularities that is demonstrated in the distrust of his visual perception and memory for complex tasks”.
The child was treated with the proper program personalized for his needs, including the strengthen activities, exercises and nutrition recommendations aimed at improving the functions of various human systems. Such an approach was supported with a special massage to address the over-activity, hyper-sensitivity and muscle characteristics (Studies 3).
There are different organizations and treatment centers in the world that aim to improve the situation with the ADHD. Here is the list of sources by ASHA: A.D.D. Warehouse, Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), NIMH-Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, LD Online, and One ADD Place.
There are various statistical data towards the Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder; in the table below there are the most frequent facts that are worth paying attention to (Center 1).
To conclude, the Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder has a tremendous effect on both family and society, and people should learn how to predict this illness. It is important to know that ADHD may result in drug and alcohol abuse, failure to study at school, different problems on the job and with the law. People should remember that it is always better to prevent any disorder than to cure it.
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