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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Essay

5443 words - 22 pages

IntroductionAttention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a disruptive behavior disorder of childhood characterized by persistent patterns of inattention and/or hyperactivity/impulsivity. Approximately 3-7% of school-age children have the disorder (APA, 2000). The Gale Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders (2003) says that Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that affects more often boys than girls, and is characterized by distractibility, hyperactivity, behaving impulsively, and not being able to remain focused on tasks or activities.PrevalencePineda, Ardila, Rosselli, and Arias (1999) say that determining the prevalence of ADHD is controversial, but it is often thought that it affects three to ten percent of school-age children. The male to female ratio ranges from 4:1 to 9:1 depending on the population, and it is thought that the ratio may be caused by biological differences. Barzman, Fieler, and Sallee (2004) say that boys tend to express the hyperactivity-impulsivity criteria more than girls and that the biological differences may be from an overproduction of dopamine receptors in boys that is not seen in girls. Pineda et al (1999) say that it is thought that there is a problem of underdiagnosis in girls, which may lead to the large difference in prevalence when comparing gender.Signs and SymptomsThe symptoms of ADHD include inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. The symptoms of inattention include failing to give close attention to details or making careless mistakes in work or activities, having difficulty sustaining attention during tasks, not seeming to listen when spoken to, not following through on instructions and failing to finish tasks, having difficulty organizing, avoiding tasks that require mental effort, losing things necessary for tasks, being easily distracted, and being forgetful in daily activities. The symptoms of hyperactivity include fidgeting with hands or feet and squirming in one’s seat, leaving one’s seat in situations in which staying in one’s seat is expected, running or climbing in situations where it is inappropriate, having difficulty playing or engaging in activities quietly, being constantly on the move, and often talking excessively. The symptoms of impulsivity include blurting out answers before questions have been completely asked, having difficulty waiting one’s turn, and often interrupting or intruding on others (APA, 2000).A child with impulsiveness will act without thinking. A child with hyperactivity cannot sit still, walks, runs, or climbs when others are still, and talks when others are talking. A child who is inattentive will daydream, get sidetracked, or seem to be in another world (nimh.nih.gov).ADHD inattentive type can be mistaken for other difficulties. The National Institute of Mental Health website says that “parents and teachers can miss the fact that children with symptoms of inattention have the disorder because they are often quiet...

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