Throughout the United States Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, has become a
common diagnosis among children and adolescents. Any hyper, out of control child in the classroom
may be perceived as having ADHD and many more are being medicated for this disorder each day.
Some people even wonder if ADHD has been created by society to preserve a natural order and
compliance. Aside from parents, teachers are good resources for observing ADHD traits in children that
they teach on a daily basis. Kids go through bouts of hyperactivity and disobedience in school, but at a
certain point this behavior may distract other students away from learning. Teachers should be
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In order to diagnose a child with ADHD, the child must exhibit at “least 6 core
symptoms and these symptoms must cause some impairments in at least 2 setting (such as home and
school), although severe impairment in one setting may suffice” (Parens and Johnston). Core symptoms
of ADHD are broken up into two categories: impulse-hyperactivity and inattention. Impulse-
hyperactivity symptoms include fidgeting, not staying in their seat, blurting out words, and impatience.
Inattentive symptoms include frequent careless mistakes, difficulty paying attention in activities, and
not listening when being directly spoken to. Diagnosis can occur all throughout school years but “most
hyperactive children are referred for assessment in the first three grades of school” (Weiss and
Hechtman). Along with the diagnosis of ADHD, certain other conditions may be diagnosed at the same
time. These are called co morbid conditions and are often found to correlate with attention deficit.
Depression and epilepsy are two of these conditions, although not everyone with ADHD will have them.
Also, before a valid diagnosis of ADHD is made other medical conditions must be ruled out. Some of
these disorders are hypothyroidism, child abuse, chronic illness, and substance abuse. Any of these
problems can share signs and symptoms of attention deficit disorder; therefore, they must not exist in
Once a medical diagnosis of ADHD is made there, there are different ways to manage the disease.
First, behavioral interventions have shown positive impacts on children diagnosed with ADHD. The
potential for drug adverse effects leads many parents to choose this approach. In one study,
“individuals with ADHD displayed a particularly higher profit from social reward than [healthy children],
suggesting that cognitive control in ADHD patients can be specifically improved by social reinforcement”
(Kohls et al). Psychological therapies are often used as well as family therapies. However, family
therapy is rarely notably beneficial because many parents don’t like to face that their child has a
problem. There are also support groups, but those are mainly for parents and other family members of
the attention deficit child. While behavioral treatments are associated with overall improvement, such
as “parent-child interactions and a reduction in oppositional-defiant behavior, their impact on long-
term…achievement has not been carefully studied” (Asgari et al). The next type and most common way
to manage ADHD is medication. Ritalin is the primary drug prescribed among physicians, and “was
approved by the FDA to treat the symptoms of ADHD in children in 1955” (Parens and Johnston). While
it may appear to benefit many children in school, Ritalin “wears off after about four hours, leading to
‘rebound effect’ in the late afternoon or evening for some kids that consists of changes in mood,