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Nursing Student
Chareese Sims
Mrs. Kathleen Kvinge
English 1101 (60649)
July 20, 2012

ADHD: A Life-Altering Disorder That Has Affected More Than 5% of American School Children
For many people, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, also known as ADHD or ADD, does not exist. Many people including, some psychologists and scientists, believe that psychologists are confusing natural behaviors of children with a disorder, that not only does this disorder not exist, but it gives parents and teachers with misbehaving children an excuse, a reason, to put children that are naturally energetic on medication that they do not need. This is more than some coincidence, some escape, or misdiagnosis. This disorder is more than real and it has affected more than 5% of America’s school children in our population. If parents and teachers do not pay proper attention to this matter, it will result in a catastrophe for many. Unless treated immediately it will have some life-altering effect on American children’s lives and also on America as a whole.
Thanks to many psychiatrists, children have been able to be properly diagnosed and treated for this disorder. Even though adequate research has not been conclusive on the long-term effects of ADHD and treatment medications, they have come a long way, and any progress is better than none at all. Even though this disorder has potential to have life-altering effects, there are many well- studied solutions to this widespread issue. Before analyzing different medications and solutions, it is very necessary that this disorder is understood. may ask yourself what is ADHD, and what are some visual warning signs that you may be able to notice within your child.
“According to the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a book published by the American Association we are now able to separate ADHD into three main categories”. Hyperactivity is the first and most obvious sign of ADD/ADHD. While many children are naturally quite active, kids with hyperactive symptoms of attention deficit disorder are always moving around or just moving. They may try to do several things at once, bouncing around from one situation to the next. Even when forced to sit still which can be very difficult for them their leg is shaking, their foot is tapping, or their fingers are drumming.
Children in this category may have trouble sitting still, controlling their impulses or waiting their turn. This does not mean diagnose your child with ADHD just bc their having a moment of excitement or maybe having had too much sugar for the day. This subtype of the disorder would be your child reacting this way consistently without any enablers. We all know kids who can’t be still, who never seem to listen, who don’t follow instructions no matter how clearly you present them, or who blurt out inappropriate statements at inappropriate times. Sometimes these children are labeled as troublemakers, or criticized for being lazy and undisciplined. However, they may have ADD/ADHD.
The next category of ADHD is characterized by inattention. Children diagnosed under this category tend to be very forgetful, easily distracted, and may have a hard time following simple instructions and completing task. The third Category exhibits both the hyperactivity as well as the inattentive symptoms of ADHD. Although, most ADHD research have focused on the combined symptoms relevant in people there are doctors that focus on the child’s disorder individually.
Unfortunately there are no definitive tests for ADHD. Because most doctors are not able to monitor children on a daily basis, their parents or guardians would be the key to detecting the symptoms and relaying them to the doctor. For a child to be diagnosed with ADHD, most of the time a child must show at least six symptoms of inattention and or six symptoms of hyperactivity in two or more settings beginning before age seven.
Statistics prove that children who were diagnosed and watched throughout treatment by experts were more likely to show improvement than children who were diagnosed and treated by regular family physicians. These results seem to be because most experts kept a close eye on the medication the children were taking and they saw first-hand how it was affecting their behavior. What does this say about family care physicians? Some family care physicians are not communicating enough with the parents about signs of improvement or change within their children on medication or simply diagnosed with this disorder. This is one reason why it’s so hard to find a doctor to diagnose you or provide you with prescriptions for the treatment of ADHD.
On the other hand there are a few ways to treat children with this disorder. One common factor would be medicine. For many children, ADHD medications help aid in restlessness, impulsivity, and inattention well enough for them to flourish at school, at home and in many other social settings. Unfortunately there are some down sides to the drugs such as side effects. Some of these side effects may include low appetite, sleep problems, or even stomach pains. There are even really serious side effects like liver problems, heart problems, or even suicidal thoughts, but these symptoms are very rare and are only seen in extreme cases. “The majority of the medication-related side effects are mild and temporary in nature. But there are a few side effects that are more severe and that need to be addressed immediately,” says, Murat Pakyurek, an associate clinical professor at the University of California-Davis Medical Center department of psychiatry and the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute’s ADHD program.
Through research we have evidence to support the fact that medications are helpful, but we are not sure of the long term effects medications have on children. We are also not sure if medications are capable of helping children in the long run or if they are just simply temporary fixes. So with that said parents with children with ADHD may choose alternatives or combined efforts to treat this Disorder. Behavioral therapy aka behavioral modification would be used and combined with medications. Behavioral Therapy has been highly successful in many cases. Research has even shown that children who combine medications with behavioral therapy were capable of lowering their dosage of medication. Behavioral therapy consists of reinforcing desired behaviors through rewards and praise and decreasing problem behaviors by setting limits and consequences.
Children with ADHD also suffer significantly socially. Children with this disorder typically tend to be outcast, most of the time it’s because of their behaviors, so one healthy way to help them would be to put them in a social skill training class. Social skill training classes are normally in a group setting. In this class the therapist displays several every day scenarios and acts out how the children should act when faced up against these everyday situations. After the therapist gives an example the children are then required to practice repeating them. A social skills group teaches children how to “read” others’ reactions and how to behave more acceptably.
And last but not least the parents have a huge influence over treatment and method of helping this disorder. Evidence shows that doing things like eating a healthy diet or getting plenty of exercise, and making other smart daily choices can help your child manage the symptoms of ADD/ADHD. That means you don’t have to wait to start helping your child recover from ADHD symptoms these things start right from home.

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