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The Main Characteristics Of Adhd Essay

2220 words - 9 pages

ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a neurobiological disorder that affects a person’s ability to control their behavior and pay attention to tasks (Genone 2008). ADHD is one of the most common neurobehavioral disorders found in children and can carry into adulthood if not treated properly. As of yet doctors are not certain what causes this disorder, however it has been suggested that a genetic component is a possibility. The first known ADHD symptoms were described by Dr Heinrich Hoffman in 1845 who later wrote the popular children’s poem ‘The Story of Fidgety Phil’ which demonstrated early signs of hyperactive behavior. In 1901 Sir George Frederic Still, a ...view middle of the document...

In order to be considered for the disease the behaviors must create a real disadvantage in the child’s life in at least two areas such as school, home, the playground, out in the community, or in social settings for at least 6 months and beginning before age 7. Therefore a child who shows symptoms of ADHD but has no underlying problems with schoolwork or friendships would not be diagnosed as ADHD. Likewise with a child who is overly hyper on the playground and at home but functions fine elsewhere. So you can see why it is very difficult to diagnose ADHD especially if inattentiveness is the main issue with the child. In an effort to correctly diagnose children with ADHD, professionals have developed three main types of ADHD to categorize children in. These are predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive-impulsive, and combined type.

A child with predominantly inattentive type ADHD would display problems organizing or finishing tasks, paying attention to details, or following instructions or conversations with others. This child would be easily distracted and forget details of daily routines. A child with predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type ADHD usually talks and fidgets a lot with just an overall feeling of restlessness. They often feel the need to run, jump, and climb constantly when younger. Being impulsive they may often interrupt others by grabbing things away, interrupting conversations, and they have a hard time waiting their turn. This child often has more accidents with injuries than other children due to the impulsiveness. The final type of ADHD, combined type, would be a equally predominant combination of the other two types.
Many people have heard of ADHD, but most do not know that ADHD has no identifying factor. Some even believe that ADHD is not a disorder at all. Rather it is a mere discipline problem. During 1998, the National Institutes of Health Consensus (Smith 2004) on ADHD said, "We do not have an independent, valid test for ADHD, and there is no data to indicate that ADHD is due to a brain malfunction". Not only is there no true identifying factor in most cases the person who diagnosis ADHD is a teacher. Usually the teacher is the first to recognize that a child is hyperactive or inattentive and may consult with the school psychologist for further consulting. Since teachers work with so many children, they come to know how 'average' children behave in learning situations that require attention and self control. However, teachers often fail to notice the quiet predominantly inattentive type because they are quiet and cooperative.

So what causes this disorder? Many parents often ask themselves “where did I go wrong”? The truth is there is no evidence at this time that social or discipline methods cause ADHD. Most research points to neurobiology and genetics as the main culprit. That’s not to say that environmental factors wont influence the severity of the...

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