Understanding Attention Deficit Disorder and Learning How to Help Attention Deficit Disorder, or ADD, is a neurobiological disorder affecting many people around the world. It is characterized by easy distractibility and a difficulty in staying focused on a task or activity for any period of time. Hyperactivity may or may not be present in persons with ADD, if so this is referred to as ADHD. ADD affects everyone differently. Researchers believe chemicals in the brain that are not working properly cause symptoms of ADD. Medication and psychological treatment may be prescribed to help cope with these symptoms though. Persons with ADD are in need of help from many of the people in their surroundings. They are very dependent on their parents, siblings, teachers, and relatives. With help from everyone persons with ADD can succeed in their environment. History of ADD
ADD is a disorder that for quite some time no one could explain. Until 1902, people thought these types of children were just not good learners. In 1902 it was labeled as Morbid Defect of Moral Control. In 1922 it was called Post-encephalitic Behavior Disorder followed by Minimal Brain Dysfunction in 1960, and Hyperkinetic Impulse Disorder in 1968. It was not until 1980 that it was called ADD+H (Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity) and ADD-H (Attention Deficit Disorder without Hyperactivity). In 1987 it was called ADHD, which mean Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, and then in 1994 there was ADHD and ADD. ADD being Attention Deficit Disorder without the Hyperactivity. ADD has gone through many different names over time. Causes of ADD
Although no one is completely sure what causes ADD, researchers believe the symptoms of ADD are caused by a neurological dysfunction within the brain. Studies have shown the link between a person's ability to pay attention and the level of activity in their brain. ADD is a disorder that can either be acquired or inherited. There are various conditions that cause damage to the brain that can lead to ADD. This brain damage can occur during pregnancy and delivery or sometime after birth. Some of the factors during pregnancy and delivery include the mother using drugs during the pregnancy, toxemia, infectious disease, overexposure to radiation, delivering the child premature, and complicated delivery. Some of the conditions after birth include meningitis, encephalitis, seizures from fever, head injury, and lead toxicity. Recent research shows that ADD is indeed hereditary. Studies have shown that if someone has ADD any one of his blood relatives are 500% more likely to have ADD than other people without a blood relative with ADD. A child may show signs of ADD, but his/her parents do not have the disorder. Just like many other disorders, ADD can be passed on through grandparents, uncles, aunts, or cousins. Assessment
Over the past several years, assessment has moved from a behavioral treatment program to a cognitive-behavioral program. This new treatment calls for not only looking at the child's behavior but also looking at his/her thoughts and feelings that go along with his/her behaviors. Assessment is used to select children appropriate for treatment, identify target behaviors for treatment, and monitor and evaluate the effects of treatment. There are many different steps in the procedure of assessment for attention deficit disorder. One of the main sources of information needed in the process of assessment are the parents. Sometimes parent information can be inaccurate and misleading and the best way to avoid this is through a personal interview. There are three parts to the parent interview. Part one consists of questions dealing with the child's behavior as an infant. Part two contains a checklist of the symptoms of ADD for parents or teachers to check off. Lastly, part three is a slightly altered form of the Home Situations Questionnaire, where parents use a 9-point scale to...
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