ADHD and ADD Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder
What is ADHD? • Biologically based behavioral disorder that affects between three and six percent of elementary school-aged children in U.S. • Defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM –VR) of the American Psychiatric Association • ADD is attention deficit without the hyperactivity.
Causes of ADHD • Environmental factors • Genetics • Brain disturbances
ADHD • All age groups can be affected, from young children to adults. • More boys than girls are diagnosed with ADHD.
ADHD • To be diagnosed with ADHD: • A child must exhibit excessive and/or inappropriate overactivity, inattentiveness or impulsiveness for a period of more than six months. • A child may exhibit all of these traits, or just one or two, to be diagnosed with the condition.
Behaviors of an ADHD Child in the Classroom • ADHD children commonly fail to complete homework assignments • Inattentive to classroom instruction • Often write illegibly • Frequently provoke others physically • Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat (in adolescents this may be limited to subjective feelings of restlessness).
Behaviors • Has difficulty remaining seated when required to do so • Is easily distracted by extraneous stimuli • Has difficulty awaiting turn in games or group situations • Often blurts out answers to questions before they have been completed
Behaviors • Has difficulty following through on instructions from others (not due to oppositional behavior or failure of comprehension) e.g. fails to finish chores • Has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities • Often shifts from one uncompleted activity to another
Behaviors • Has difficulty playing quietly • Often talks excessively • Often interrupts or intrudes on others, e.g. butts into other children’s games • Often does not seem to listen to what is being said to him or her
Behaviors • Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities at school or at home (e.g. toys, pencils, books). • Often engages in physically dangerous activities without considering possible consequences (not for the purpose of thrill-seeking) e.g. runs into street without looking.
How is ADHD Diagnosed? • Most accurate diagnosis is from a team of child-care professionals carefully evaluating a child over a period of time in a variety of settings. • Process usually includes education, psychological and medical assessments.
Process may include the following professionals, as well as parents of the child: • Pediatrician • School teacher(s) • Child psychiatrist • Pediatric neurologist • School psychologist
Conner’s Questionnaire – one instrument used to assist in diagnosis • PET scan • Biological markers within the brain
Brain scan images produced by positron emision tomography (PET) show differences between an adult with Attention deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) (right) and an adult free of the disease (left).
How is ADHD Treated? • Multimodal therapy considered the best treatment approach: • Psychological counseling • Special education • Medication • Dexedrine • Ritalyn • Cylert