Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
It is very normal for children to be more active, more energetic, less attentive, and more impulsive than adults. When parents complain that their child has difficulty paying attention, controlling his or her activity, or resisting impulses, others may dismiss these problems quickly as normal behavior and that there is no need for alarm. Behavior problems in areas such as school work, getting along with others, and inability to follow through and complete chores, have become so severe as to impair a child’s adjustment are not likely to be outgrown can hardly be considered normal. Children whose problems with attention, over-activity, and lack of inhibition reach a certain level have a developmental disability known as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. ADHD is a life disability for many children affecting their families, friends, and health and is extremely difficult to diagnose and to treat without having a great number of side
effects that can leave children with complications for the rest of their lives.
ADHD has multiple causes. One cause that has been studied is heredity and genes. If a child has a close relative such as his/her father or mother that have had difficulties in school and academics, the same sort of actions will show in the child. There is good evidence to prove this genetic influence. Identical twins are created sharing the same genetic material. If one twin suffers ADHD, research shows an almost 90 percent chance that the other will also have this problem. An ADHD child of a parent with both ADHD and dyslexia often inherits both the attention and reading problems (Green and Chee, 19).
Another possible cause of ADHD is the role that sugar and other dietary factors play. It has been noted that parents of an ADHD child notice a worsening of hyperactivity and distractibility after the child has eaten a high carbohydrate meal or a lot of candy. There is a diet that ADHD are often put on and must follow to keep their activity down. It is known as the Feingold diet. It demonstrates a significant benefit in children that have ADHD. Some parents believe that their children are reactive to foods containing artificial coloring, flavoring agents and preservatives. While on the Feingold diet, the child avoids apples, candy, luncheon meats, sausages, cake mixes, ice cream, and others like foods. Flavored cold drinks, soda pop, and medicines that contain aspirin are also excluded while on this diet.
Diagnosing ADHD can be very tricky while trying to determine whether there is an attention problem or if the child is just “being a child”. There are many steps that must be done to diagnose ADHD. The child’s behavior must be observed. The professional doing the observation watches the child’s actions towards toys in the office, patience while waiting, and the way the child responds to the professional himself. The talkativeness, the impulsivity, and the way the child...