Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Attention Deficit Disorder without the Hyperactivity (ADD) is a condition of the brain that makes it difficult for children to control their behavior in school and social settings. This condition is also known by various names: hyperactivity, minimal brain dysfunction, minimal brain damage and hyperkinetic syndrome. In 1968 the name was changed to hyperkinectic, meaning wildly fast-paced or excited, reaction of childhood. The focus was on hyperactive children who had a lot of trouble sitting still in the classroom and getting there work completed (Peter Jaska, Ph.D). In the 1980's the name was changed to attention Deficit Disorder because it became recognized that severe attention problems and poor impulse control were characteristic as well. It also became clear that ADHD did not go away in childhood but continue through adulthood. According to Peter Jaska, Ph.D., President of the ADDA, this genetic, inherited condition is not due to brain damage at all but rather to a variation in how the brain functions. All of these terms describe a condition that affects a child's ability to concentrate, to learn, and to maintain a normal level of activity Peter Jaska, Ph.D, 1999 National ADDA. A child with ADHD/ADD has difficulty finishing any activity that requires concentration, they don’t seem to listen, their impulsive, restless even during sleep, they tend to call out in class and have an incredibly hard time waiting their turn in games or groups. The symptoms of ADHD are grouped into two broad categories: inattention and hyperactivity-impulsive behavior. In general, children are said to have ADHD if they show six or more symptoms from each category for at least 6 months. These symptoms must significantly affect a child's ability to function in at least two social settings -- at home and at school. This helps ensure that the problem isn't with a particular teacher or only with parents. Children who have problems in school but get along well at home are not considered to have ADHD. In most children, symptoms appear between 4 and 6 years of age, although they sometimes may occur even earlier. Mayo clinic- Last Updated: May 18, 2007: Most children with ADHD don't have all the signs and symptoms of the disorder. Furthermore, symptoms may be different in boys and girls; boys are more likely to be hyperactive, and girls tend to be inattentive. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder is thought to be more common in boys than in girls, this disorder often develops before the age of seven but is most often diagnosed when the child is between ages eight and ten. (American Psychiatric Association). In addition, girls who have trouble paying attention often daydream, but inattentive boys are more likely to play or fiddle aimlessly. Boys also tend to be less compliant with teachers and other adults, so their behavior is often more conspicuous.
While studies of the effects of ADHD/ADD on children are important, there are many researchers who have suggested other theories. However, their validity has not been established. One theory was that all attention disorders and learning disabilities were caused by minor head injuries or undetectable damage to the brain, perhaps from early infection or complications at birth. Based on this theory, for many years both disorders were called "minimal brain damage" or "minimal brain dysfunction." Although certain types of head injury can explain some cases of attention disorder, the theory was rejected because it could explain only a very small number of cases. Not everyone with ADHD has a history of head trauma or birth complications. Another theory was that refined sugar and food additives make children hyperactive and inattentive. As a result, parents were encouraged to stop serving children foods containing artificial flavorings, preservatives, and sugars. However, this theory, too, came under question. In 1982, the National Institutes...
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