Case Study: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Learning Team D
Week Six Learning Team Assignment
December 10, 2012
Naomi Hall-Byers, PhD, MPH
University of Phoenix Material
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
1. Outline the major symptoms of the disorder discussed in the case. The major symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are problems with attention; in this area the child seems to ignore detail, they are easily distracted, and they are unable to complete tasks. The next symptom is hyperactive behavior; in this area the child is restless and unable to sit quietly. The third area or symptom is called excessive impulsivity, in this stage the child will constantly interrupt, and can’t seem to wait their turn. The basic criteria for being diagnosed with this disorder is to have a licensed mental health professional start gathering information about the child once the behavior has been observed by parents and/or teachers. “A pediatrician can assess the situation, but most of the time they will refer the child to a mental health specialist with experience in disorders such as ADHD. The specialist will ask questions to see if there is excessive behavior, as well as checking the child’s records at school. A child also may be evaluated to see how he or she acts in social situations, and may be given tests of intellectual ability and academic achievement to see if he or she has a learning disability” (NIMH, 2006, pp. 6). After all this information is gathered and the child meets the criteria, he or she will then be given a diagnosis (NIMH, 2006, pp. 6).
2. Briefly describe the client’s background.
David is a 16-year-old Caucasian male and is currently a high school sophomore. David is into sports, and video games that he plays at least 2 hours a day after school. David is rebellious and incredibly hyperactive. David said that he has been hyperactive for as long as he can remember. He is unable to focus for more than a few minutes. He is on Ritalin for ADHD and also takes Wellbutrin, an antidepressant. His mother allows him to be off of the medication during the summer. He has problems focusing in school and the students ostracize him because he is different. His teachers complain to his mother about his behavior and he has been on the medication off and on. He also finds it difficult to study and says the information jumps around on the page. He believes he is intelligent, but he gets frustrated with his schoolwork and says that he only enjoys school because he can socialize with his friends. His mother loves him but she is overwhelmed. She is a single mother and encourages him to accept his failing grade in math instead of getting a tutor or some type of help, so his mother plays a big role in enabling his unfocused behavior. David says that his medications help, but they make him feel hazy and unsocial. David also has a girlfriend. 3. Describe any factors in the client’s background that might predispose him or her to the disorder. The fast paced world of television watching and playing video games excessively may have been a causal agent in the expression of David’s ADHD. For example, when a child is exposed to this kind of fast-paced world, areas of their brain may calibrate its attentional levels to accommodate to this rapid pace. Because of this, they are better able to cope with rapidly changing stimuli; however, the child may have more difficulty focusing on stimuli that are less interesting or that require more sustained concentration. Furthermore, his mother’s child rearing practices seem somewhat poor; David seems to do what he wants and he does not have much accountability. His mother gives him chores but he says that he forgets to do them and he’s not made to stick to the assignment that has been given to him. David lives with his mother, an ADHD single-parent home, where his mother did not spend a lot of...
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