Attection Deficit DisorderBy: Ryan FishTo be nobody-but-myself–in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to makeyou everybody else-means to fight the hardest battle which any human being canfight, and never stop fighting.
-E. E. Cummings, 1958 Attention Deficit Disorder is a long and some what mysterious sounding name that tries to describe something you probably already call Hyperactivity. But, attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is much more that Hyperactivity.
History of ADDIn 1902 children who demonstrated many of the symptoms that are today part of attentiondeficit disorder would be described as children with “morbid defects in moral control”. Inthe 1940’s, children exhibiting this form of behavior were diagnosed with “brain injuredsyndrome” because children with brain injuries from disease or trauma behave in muchthe same way. Any child displaying these behaviors regardless of evidence of brain injurywere diagnosed as having brain injury syndrome. What Causes ADD?ADD may be caused by a abnormally from trauma, disease, fetal exposure to alcohol andtobacco, or high levels of Lead. In parts of the brain there is a diminished activity in themorphology and frontal region of the brain. Statistics of ADDMost of the diagnosis is at childhood.
Experts say that over 2 million (3 to 5%) childrenhave ADD. About 50% of these 2 million children who have ADD are believed to beunderachievers. Also with this 50% the children are believed to have social and academicdifficulties. About 40% of the 2 million have a 40% IQ discrepancy. The glad part is that80% – 90% of these children receive medication for there problem, but most of them stillneed behavior modifications. Most schools help with that.
Behaviors Observed in ADDSome characteristics are: -Makes careless mistakes in school work. -Dislikes tasks that involve sustaining mental effort. -Has difficulty sustaining attention. -Does not seem to listen when spoken to.
-Often loses things. -Does not follow through on instructions. -Often distracted. -Has difficulty organizing tasks.
-Often forgetful in daily activities. Six or more of the following symptoms will result in the diagnosis of peractivity-impulsivity:HyperactivityImpulsivityFidgets or squirmsOften talks excessivelyOften leaves seat in classroomOften blurts out answersOften runs about inappropriatelyOften has difficulty waiting turnDifficulty playing quietlyOften interrupts othersAlso while the person with ADD gets older the Impulsivity gets more consistent. Usually girls don’t show Impulsivity as much as guys. How To Help ADD In The ClassroomResearchers have identified classroom characteristics which promote success for manychildren that have ADD: -predictability-structure-shorter work periods-small teacher to pupil ratio-more individualized instruction-interesting curriculum-use of positive reinforcementsThe teachers attitude is very helpful if she/he has the following characteristics:-positive academic expectations-frequent monitoring and checking of work-clarity in giving directions-warmth, patience and humor-consistency and firmness-knowledge of different behavioral interventions-willingness to work with a special education teacherADD In The ClassroomSchool is where the characteristics of ADD are first noticed.
Most tasks in school arehard for a person with ADD. The student has difficulty: sitting in his/her seat,understanding directions, and often distracted. How To Diagnose ADDOne of the most common ways to diagnose ADD is for the person to stare at a clock. Indoing this the doctor looks for three or more of the following:-Difficulty sustaining attention at the clock.
-Often fidgets or moves excessively. -Difficulty following directions. -Does not seem to listen when spoken to. -Often distracted by other things around him/her. Treating ADD With Common DrugsThe most common way of treating ADD is giving him/her drugs (exp: syler, dexedrine,and the most common ritelin).
There is non-drug related ways of chemically changingthe physiological imbalance of the brain. One of them is a school that is completelydevoted to ADD. Another one is electrical impulses sent to the brain to control his/hermotor skills in both mental and physical. With electrical impulse treatment it seems towork better than drug related practice.