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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

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Essay title: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

“ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is like living in a fast moving kaleidoscope where sounds, images and thoughts are constantly shifting.” (NIMH-ADHD) ADHD can be very frustrating and difficult for children. Medication and treatment are available and have been proven effective. Parents can also get frustrated and they could do something wrong. ADHD is effectively treated with medication and therapy.

There are three basic types of ADHD. They are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. (NIMH-ADHD) A child may have one, any combination of two or even all three of these types. If a child has a hard time keeping their mind on one thing or if they get bored easy they have a type of ADHD that is called inattention. If the child has hyperactivity ADHD, they are always moving, can’t sit still, and talk incessantly. They squirm in their seat or pace around the room. If the child has impulsive ADHD they are unable to think before they do something. They might run out into the street without looking, or blurt out something completely inappropriate. Parents must understand that everyone shows signs of ADHD at times, so the DMS (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) has a specific guideline for determining ADHD. (Aschenbrenner, Diane S.) Showing signs of ADHD could mean the child is suffering from chronic fear of mild seizures. If the child has problems in school it could mean one of three things. One is the child actually has ADHD. The child has trouble paying attention and may get frustrated with school. Two, the child does not have ADHD the child is just bored with the subject because of the ease of it and therefore shows signs of ADHD. Or three, the child again does not have ADHD, but is having trouble because they are just not developmentally ready for the material.

There is no direct link from ADHD to bad parenting or inadequate home-life. Although, if the child does have ADHD, good parenting and support is necessary. Bad parents only make things more difficult for both the children and the parents. Parents often ask, “What did I do wrong?” but in fact the question is often times irrelevant. Scientists have learned a lot about ADHD in the past decade. They have determined things that do not cause ADHD that people usually blame right away. They are too much television, food allergies, excess sugar, poor home-life, and poor schools. Scientists have evidence that ADHD comes from biological causes and not by home environment. Scientists believed, for a while, that ADHD was caused by minor head injury. Although some children who had ADHD have had head injury, not all did, so that theory was disproved quickly. (Attention Deficit Disorder Association) The NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) linked a person’s ability to pay attention to the level of brain activity. (Attention Deficit Disorder Association)

Now that the scientists sort of know what causes the disorder, they can treat it. There are many programs and methods out there to help children with ADHD and their parents. Parents must realize that, “Medication alone is not the answer, research has shown that the most effective treatment and management of ADHD is a combination of medication and behavior modification programs [or therapy].” (About ADD) This is the most important statement an ADHD parent could hear. The type of drugs used are called stimulants or psychostimulants, they are both the same. Stimulant medications are used to control the symptoms of ADHD. They are not used to control behaviors. (About ADD) What they do is Alter the level of neurotransmitters in the brain. (Attention Deficit Disorder Association) They were first used in 1937. Effects of stimulant medications usually take effect right away. A common stimulant medication is Ritalin. People thought that was an addictive drug. In fact stimulant medications do not cause dependence. (Attention Deficit Disorder Association) “People diagnosed with ADHD, who were properly treated with stimulant medications such as Ritalin, have lower risks of developing problems with alcohol and other drugs than the general public.” (Attention Deficit Disorder Association) Stimulant drugs actually help out in other ways than helping them focus and reduce hyperactivity. They also improve physical coordination, such as handwriting and ability in sports. (Attention Deficit Disorder Association) Stimulant drugs other than Ritalin are Adderall, Dexedrine, and Cylert. The problem with any stimulant drug is that the child only gets beneficial effects from the drug for a short time, like three months. Then the child needs to switch to another drug. “It’s hard to keep up with the medication, they change so often and are sometimes worse.” (Parent of ADHD child) The most common drug, Ritalin, usually lasts all day

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