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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder


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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

  1. 1.  Some kids have a lot of difficulty staying in their seats for very long, and their attention wonders and they can’t seem to concentrate on their school work. These children may have attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  2. 2.  Someone with ADHD is unusually fidgety, impulsive, may have a short temper, is easily affected by stressful situations, and has trouble making and following plans. Kids who have ADHD may have problems getting along with other kids as well as problems with school work.  There may be brain differences in people with ADHD. For example, the part of the brain in the right prefrontal cortex may be smaller than usual. However, any brain differences are small and they are not the same from one person with ADHD to the next.
  3. 3.  It is a little difficult to diagnose ADHD because there are no medical tests, and it is sometimes hard to know how fidgety is too fidgety, for example. Also, there are some other conditions that may have symptoms that look like ADHD such as lead poisoning, fetal alcohol syndrome, epilepsy, allergies to medicines, not getting enough sleep, and some types of brain damage.
  4. 4.  PET scans of someone with and someone without ADHD. The red areas are areas of highest brain activity
  5. 5.  The most common treatment for ADHD today is Ritalin. Ritalin seems to work because it is a kind of amphetamine that increases attention and decrease impulsiveness. Children with ADHD taking Ritalin usually have better school performance and better social skills.  There are also ways to change the environment of someone with ADHD to help with symptoms. Some of the things that can be done is to reduce distractions, have kids use lists and schedules to organized their time better, have kids practice pacing themselves, and having kids learn to relax.