Adhd Essay

2279 words - 10 pages


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is a very complex condition that generates a great deal of debate. The debate surrounding this disorder is intense. Debates encompass issues such as, what causes it, how to assess ADHD, and how to deal with it effectively. This essay deals with some of the debates in an attempt to simplify the issues. The first question that needs to be answered is what is ADHD? It is behavioural problems revolving around three main symptoms. One main symptom that an ADHD person displays is the inability to keep their attention focused on something. They are easily distracted, forget instructions and have a poor short term memory. The second main ...view middle of the document...

Also, according to Corydon C. Clark, M.D., two-thirds of childhood cases of ADHD continue into adulthood. He claims that “the symptoms may be as severe at age 45 as they were at age 5 or 10”. Thus, ADHD is a problem which effects children and adults alike. One of the debates surrounding ADHD is how to assess and diagnose ADHD successfully. In the DSM IV, (Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – 4th Edition, 1994), it is stated that in order to properly diagnose ADHD, a child must show at least six symptoms. Some examples of symptoms are, one, difficulty in sustaining their attention to tasks or play activities. Two, does not appear to listen when spoken to directly. Three, talks excessively, and four, runs and climbs in inappropriate places. These symptoms must have existed for at least six months “to a degree that is not consistent with developmental level”. Some of these symptoms must have appeared before the age of seven. These symptoms must be present in two or more settings. There must be clear evidence of social, and academic problems. These symptoms must not be part of another disorder such as autism. The need to have a specific guideline to diagnose ADHD is that children can show many of these symptoms due to other reasons. For example, exceptional students in unstimulating academic situations become bored and, therefore, become inattentive. Children with learning difficulties, such as dyslexia become disengaged with work and, therefore, cannot keep up. So, they find it difficult to pay attention in reading. Therefore, these problems could be seen as ADHD symptoms, when infact they are not. Hence, the need for a specific guideline for assessment, in order for a proper diagnoses of ADHD to be made. Statistics show that there are 70,000 children, aged six to sixteen in England and Wales who meet the diagnostic criteria for ADHD. The debate on what causes ADHD is a fairly broad one. The bottom line is, there is no exact known cause. There has been many theories, and even some evidence to back up these theories. However, there has not been strong enough evidence to pinpoint an exact cause of ADHD. One theory is that there is a problem in the neurology of the brain in an ADHD person. The lower portion of the brain contains an area known as the Reticular higher activating system. This keeps the brain centres alert and ready for input. Some evidence shows that in ADHD people, this part of the brain is not working properly. Thus, it is believed that hyperactivity, then, is the brain’s attempt to generate new stimulation to maintain alertness. A man named Larry Stein in 1964 performed research into the neurophysiological aspect of the brain. He showed that humans experiences are hinged on their past, present and future experiences. This is because the brain stores memories of these experiences. When this mechanism is working properly, people are organised in time and in their behaviour. This is because people tend to repeat good...

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