Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder which is also referred to as ADD or ADHD is a brain based biological condition characterized by distractibility or poor attention or impulsive and hyperactive behaviors. This is among the most common metal disorders affecting children throughout the world. Sometimes the symptoms of the disorder continue into adolescence or even adulthood. In fact if it is not attended to in time, it could lead to poor work/school performance, low self esteem, poor relationships. Generally, this is not a new disorder in human life. It has been recognized over the centuries (Bell et al 23). The only thing that might have changed is its name. For instance it was once referred to as brain damage syndrome, attention deficit disorder, hyperkinetic impulsive disorder and minimal brain dysfunction. Although the names might have changed, they all referred to the same condition.
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Generally, between 5-8 percent of school going children are affected by the disorder. This is approximately 2 million kids in the US meaning that in a class of about 30 students, there will be at least one of the students with this condition (David 62). It is also estimated that between 30-70 percent of children with the disorder move with it to adolescence and then into adulthood. On the same note between 2-4 percent of the total adult population are also affected. There are three main characteristic of ADHD; hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity. A child that does not pay attention to whatever that goes around normally shows signs and symptoms of the most dominant characteristic. For instance, those with ADD/ADHD might be impulsive and hyperactive but be able to pay attention. They may also be inattentive but not impulsive or hyperactively. However, they might still be inattentive, impulsive and hyperactive which is most common with ADHD patients.
Most people overlook children with inattentive symptoms because they are never disruptive making it difficult to suspect that they could be suffering from the condition. However, there are normally severe consequences for inattention. The most common one has to be underperformance in schools. Kids with this conditions will in most cases get onto the wrong foot of the teachers and parents not because they want to but because they do not really pay attention to the instruction that might have been given. Similarly, they also clash with other kids most of the time because they do not pay attention to the rules of the game. You might find a child playing soccer with others yet he runs over the demarcations of the field not knowing that he is actually out of the field (David 66).
There is no definite cause of ADHD just yet but the condition is said to have a biological and genetic component. In most cases, it occurs among family members. It is believed that for every four children with this condition, there is at least one with another family member suffering from the same condition. There is so much research going on to determine the combination of genes or the genes that may cause some individuals to be more susceptible to the disorder than others (Rutledge 56). It is also believed that physical differences in the brain could be linked to the disorder. Early brain trauma or injury or other effects that might hinder normal brain development could result to a child being affected with ADHD.
Some habits such as smoking during pregnancy could cause an array of complications in infants ADHD being one of them. It is therefore advisable that pregnant women refrain from smoking since it increases the chances of the child being affected with the disorder. Similarly, the environment in which children play in has a very fundamental role to their development (Capaccio 67). Exposure to a number of environmental toxins exposes children to a number of behavioral and developmental problems.
In the past, it was believed that chemical imbalance in the brain was the main cause of ADD. During this time, most of the patients who were diagnosed with ADD exhibited low level of a chemical known as dopamine which is responsible for the relay of messages to part of the brains responsible for motivation, movement and attentiveness. After a number of brain scans, it is now believed that the path that the messages follow in the brain may interfere with proper receipt of information regarding organization, impulse and attention (Capaccio 69). Parents should therefore do everything they can to protect children from factors that could lead to ADD/ADHD.
Inattentive symptoms of ADHD/ADD
Children with the disorder will only pay attention when dealing with an issue that they do enjoy or when talking about a topic that is interesting to them. However, when a task is boring and repetitive, they will quickly tune out. In addition, children with the disorder will often jump from one task to the other without really completing any of the task (Rutledge 45). They could also necessary steps that ought to have been followed when dealing with the task. This normally leads them into trouble with the instructors of people in charge e.g. parents or teachers.
Sometimes you would find that a child goes to school and he is very aware of the homework he is supposed to submit. However, the child does not organize his homework in the right manner so that the teacher could know where he began from and exactly he might have done. Such as child would most likely be suffering from ADD/ADHD (Armstrong 29). These kids also find it difficult to concentrate on their task while other things are going on around them. They normally want an environment that is calm an quite for them to sustain attention.
Hyperactive symptoms of ADHD/ADD
Hyperactivity is the most obvious sign of the disorder. Naturally most children are quite active, kids with ADHD are always moving from one place to other making them more active than they are supposed to be. For instance a child with ADHD might want to do so many things at the same time and end up doing nothing in real sense (Armstrong 33). They often bounce from one activity to the other before completing the previous one and end up not completing any of them. It is never easy to convince a child with ADHD to sit still. In most of the time, you will find their feet tapping, their fingers drumming or their legs shaking. In other words they will at least be doing something to disrupt calmness.
Impulsive symptoms of ADHD
In most of the time, the impulsivity of kids with the disorder causes problems with self control. Considering that they do not censor themselves as other children do, they will quite often interrupt conversation without really bothering its effect to the people involved. In addition they will invade other peoples' spaces and make tactless observations. In addition they could also ask irrelevant questions. This makes other children to view such kids as weird, disrespectful or even needy (Capaccio 84).
Regardless of the symptoms, it is important that parents provide support to their children as a way of treating the disorder (Steven 32). Clear communication and reward for their behavior is one way that parents could support children with the disorder to encourage them. Considering that its somehow difficult for children with ADD/ADHD to concentrate in class, parents should provide these children with school equipment to help them familiarize with class environment early enough. On the same not teachers should also encourage such children to work harder by not being hard on them.
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