Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is a common disorder that primarily affects children and adolescents. Approximately 2 to 16 percent of school aged children have been diagnosed with ADHD (Rader, Mccauley, Callen, 2009). Children with ADHD have difficulties paying attention and are more impulsive than other children. The behaviors exhibited by children with ADHD can make it difficult to function at school and at home. Treatment of ADHD can include medication, behavior modification, lifestyle changes, or therapy. Signs and Symptoms
Children with ADHD have a combination of inattentive behavior and hyperactive behavior (Mayo Clinic staff, 2011). The symptoms are more evident when the child is participating in an activity that requires concentration (Mayo Clinic staff, 2011). Some of the signs and symptoms include (Mayo Clinic staff, 2011):
Trouble sustaining focus during tasks
Seems not to listen when spoken to
Has problems organizing tasks
Avoids tasks that require mental concentration, like homework
Has difficulty playing quietly
Always seems to be on the go
Has difficulty waiting for his or her turn
Interrupts others conversations or games
Runs or climbs excessively with it is inappropriate
While these are common symptoms of ADHD, the behaviors displayed can be different in boys and girls. Boys are more likely to be hyperactive, while girls have a tendency to be quietly inattentive (Mayo Clinic staff, 2011). Boys who are inattentive often fidget and squirm while girls daydream (Mayo Clinic staff, 2011). Boys behavior is often more obvious in the classroom than girls because they tend to be less compliant with teachers (Mayo Clinic staff, 2011).
ADHD often occurs with other conditions in children including: having a learning disability, oppositional defiance disorder (ODD), and anxiety and depression (Mayo Clinic staff, 2011). Children with ADHD often struggle with school work so they often fail in academics and face judgment from their peers (Mayo Clinic staff, 2011). They are also face an increased risk of drug and alcohol abuse (Mayo Clinic staff, 2011).
In 2006 the number of school age children that have ADHD in the United States was approximately 5 percent (Pastor & Reuben, 2008). This number is up 3 percent since 1997 (Pastor & Reuben, 2008). The percentage of children with ADHD seems to continue to be on the rise. Older children, 12-17 years old, are more likely than younger children, 6-11 years old, to have ADHD (Pastor & Reuben, 2008). Boys are more likely than girls to have ADHD (Pastor & Reuben, 2008). Hispanic children are less likely than non-Hispanic black and non-Hispanic children to have ADHD (Pastor & Reuben, 2008). Children living in a mother-only family are more likely to have ADHD than those living in a two-parent household (Pastor & Reuben, 2008). Children covered by Medicaid were found to have a higher instance of ADHD than uninsured and privately insured children (Pastor & Reuben, 2008). ADHD is more prominent in children whose mother only has an intermediate education, which means less than a bachelor’s degree (Pastor & Reuben, 2008). Causes
Many parents blame themselves when their child is diagnosed with ADHD. However, it appears that most causes tend to be inherited. There isn’t a lot of information available about the cause of ADHD but here are several factors that appear to contribute.
ADHD seems to run in families, so heredity plays a role (Mayo Clinic staff, 2011). Genes that may be associated with ADHD are currently being studied (Mayo Clinic staff, 2011). Studies of the brain have shown that people with ADHD have less activity in the section of the brain that controls activity and attention (Mayo Clinic staff, 2011). Pregnant women who smoke or abuse alcohol or drugs are more likely to have children with ADHD (Mayo Clinic staff, 2011)....
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