Medicated Children: A closer look at ADD/ADHD Kim Kling
What is ADD/ADHD:
A biological, brain based condition that is characterized by poor attention and distractibility and/or hyperactive and impulsive behaviors. It is one of the most common mental disorders that develop in children.
What is ADHD caused by:
The exact cause of ADHD has not been determined, however the condition is thought to have a genetic and biological component. ADHD tends to occur among family members. Many research studies currently focus on identifying which genes, or combination of genes, may cause a person to be more susceptible to ADHD.
Difference Between ADD and ADHD:
Attention deficit disorder (ADD) is a general term frequently used to describe individuals that have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder without the hyperactive and impulsive behaviors.
Often does not give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities.
Often has trouble keeping attention on tasks or play activities.
Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
Often does not follow instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions).
Often has trouble organizing activities.
Often avoids, dislikes, or doesn't want to do things that take a lot of mental effort for a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).
Often loses things needed for tasks and activities (e.g. toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools).
Is often easily distracted.
Is often forgetful in daily activities.
Types of ADHD:
There are 3 different types of ADHD
Lack of attention to details/makes careless mistakes
Unable to pay attention for a long time
Poor listening skills
Doesn’t follow through on tasks
Organization is difficult
Avoids tasks requiring sustained mental effort
Difficulty with quiet activities
Often interrupts/intrudes on others
Often “on the go“
Can’t wait his or her turn
Meeting criteria for both inattentive and hyperactive–impulsive types
How Is ADHD Diagnosed?
A child's primary care doctor can determine whether the child has ADHD using standard guidelines developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
It is very difficult to diagnose ADHD in children younger than 5 years of age because many preschool children have some ADHD symptoms in various situations. In addition, children change very rapidly during the preschool years.
The process of diagnosing ADHD requires several steps and involves gathering a lot of information from multiple sources. Parents, the child, the child's school, and other caregivers should be involved in assessing the child's behavior.
A physician can conduct a medical history to help put a child's behavior in context. They will ask what symptoms a child is showing, how long the symptoms have occurred, and how the behavior affects a child and his/her family.
Common ADHD MEDICATIONS:
Some Benefits of stimulant ADHD medication:
Attention to class work
Activity level can decline to within normal limits
Impulsivity can be substantially reduced.
Improved disruptive behavior and peer relationship problems
Interactions between parent and child and between the child and his or her siblings have also been shown to improve.
Academics show clear improvements in the quantity and quality of the work
Some Effects of stimulant ADHD medication:
Direct link between bedtime routines and behavior that mimics ADHD in children.
Children who did not sleep in their own beds ...
Had ADHD-like behaviors seven times more frequently than children who always slept in their own bed.
Hit, pushed, or kicked their parents 13 times more frequently than children who always slept in their own bed.
Children who did not have a regular bedtime ...
Had ADHD-like behaviors eight times more frequently than children who had a regular bedtime.
Hit, pushed or kicked their parents 10 times more frequently than children who had a regular bedtime.
Barkley’s Theory of ADHD
Research supporting best practice in treatment for ADHD can be understood in light of Barkley's (1997) theoretical model in which a deficit in inhibition is identified as the fundamental problem. The combination of psycho-stimulants and behavioral-psychosocial interventions is thought to be most beneficial because psycho-stimulants address the deficit in inhibition directly by altering the chemistry of the brain while behavioral-psychosocial interventions can provide strategies for improving deficit areas and can address family system issues
Statistics found by Russell Barkley
Boys are most likely to be diagnosed ADHD.
75% of boys with ADD are also hyperactive while 60% of girls with ADD are also hyperactive.
40 % of children with ADHD have a parent with ADHD.
50% of children with ADHD also have trouble sleeping.
Children with ADHD develop 30% slower than non ADHD children.
65 % of children with ADHD have discipline problems.
25% of children with ADHD have a serious learning disability.
One half of ADHD children have poor listening comprehension.
Parents of a child with ADHD are three times as likely to divorce.
Teens with ADHD have four times as many car accidents and have seven times as many second accidents.
When necessary, ask the teacher to repeat instructions rather than guess.
Break large assignments or job tasks into small, simple tasks. Set a deadline for each task and reward yourself as you complete each one.
Each day, make a list of what you need to do. Plan the best order for doing each task. Then make a schedule for doing them. Use a calendar or daily planner to keep yourself on track.
Work in a quiet area. Do one thing at a time. Give yourself short breaks. Reward yourself for achieving small milestones along the way.
Post notes to yourself to help remind yourself of things you need to do.
Store similar things together. For example, keep all your Xbox or PS3 games in one place, and DVDs or CDs in another.
Create a routine. Get yourself ready for school at the same time, in the same way, every day.
Exercise, eat a balanced diet and get enough sleep.
Coping tips for children who suffer from ADD/ADHD:
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"Adhd Medications." ADHD Information and Support To Help Your Chi . 2011. Web. 21 Nov. 2011. <http://www.adhdnews.com/adhd-medication.htm>.
"What Are the Symptoms of ADHD?" ADHD Medication and Focalin XR (dexmethylphenidate Hydrochloride) . Web. 21 Nov. 2011. <http://www.focalinxr.com/info/about-adhd/symptoms.jsp>.
"What Is ADHD (attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)?" ADHD Medication and Focalin XR (dexmethylphenidate Hydrochloride) . Web. 21 Nov. 2011. <http://www.focalinxr.com/info/about-adhd.jsp>.
Dominationtn, PopUp. "Self-Regulation and Barkley's Theory of ADHD | SharpBrains." Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health Authority: Market Research and Advisory Services | SharpBrains . Web. 21 Nov. 2011. <http://www.sharpbrains.com/blog/2008/02/23/self-regulation-and-barkleys-theory-of-adhd/>.
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Grohol, John M. "Coping Tips for Attention Deficit Disorder | Psych Central." Psych Central - Trusted Mental Health, Depression, Bipolar, ADHD and Psychology Information . Web. 23 Nov. 2011. <http://psychcentral.com/lib/2010/coping-tips-for-attention-deficit-disorder/>.