Attention Deficit Disorders: Diagnosis and Treatment of Public School Children
Way back when, ... a child that disrupted the class continuously was called a child that needed discipline. A child that had difficulty concentrating was a child that needed to focus. Today those characteristics are called Attention Deficit Disorder. For some parents, the diagnosis and introduction of medication for ADHD has been a blessing, however many parents find themselves encouraged and often times feel pushed to seek medication for their children when ADHD may not be the problem.
This page is designed to provide information concerning ADHD to help parents educate themselves about the characteristic behaviors associated with ADHD, the diagnosis procedure, and the treatment for this disorder.
What is Attention Deficit Disorder?
According to the American Association of Pediatrics, ADHD is a condition of the brain that makes it difficult for children to control their behavior in school and social settings. It is one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood and affects between 4 and 12 percent of all school-age children. About 3 times more boys than girls are diagnosed with ADHD.
Children with ADHD may experience significant functional problems such as school difficulties, academic underachievement, troublesome relationships with family members and peers, and behavioral problems. Different children have different symptoms or problems with ADHD.
Born to Explore! The Other Side of ADD Born to Explore.org
(excerpt) The National Association of School Psychologists states, "We believe that the construct of ADD/ADHD has come to act like a set of blinders...The many other potential sources of inattention are often times bypassed and not even considered."
Teaching Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
(excerpt) According to the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (3rd ed., rev.) (American Psychiatric Association, 1987), to be diagnosed as having ADHD a child must display, for 6 months or more, at least eight of the following characteristics prior to the age of 7:
- Fidgets, squirms or seems restless.
- Has difficulty remaining seated.
- Is easily distracted.
- Has difficulty awaiting turn.
- Blurts out answers.
- Has difficulty following instructions.
- Has difficulty sustaining attention.
- Shifts from one uncompleted task to another.
- Has difficulty playing quietly.
- Talks excessively.
- Interrupts or intrudes on others.
- Does not seem to listen.
- Often loses things necessary for tasks.
- Frequently engages in dangerous actions.
National Network for Child Care: Attention Deficit Disorder
How ADHD is Diagnosed Diagnosing ADHD can be difficult because of its various presentations among patients. Read here for an explanation of the problem.
What Are Non-Drug Methods for Managing and Treating Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?
Learning effective behavioral techniques to manage your ADHD child is an ongoing process. Read this article for some useful tips that'll help you and your child at home, and that you can share with your child's teachers at school. Other management approaches like changes in diet are also discussed.
CHARACTERISTICS OF ADD -
Reprinted with permission from the National Network for Child Care - NNCC.
(1993). Attention deficit disorder. In M. Lopes (Ed.) CareGiver News
(March, p.1). Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Cooperative
1. Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat.
2. Has difficulty remaining seated when required to do so.
3. Is easily distracted by extraneous stimuli.
4. Has difficulty awaiting turns in games or group situations.
5. Often blurts out answers to questions before they have been completed.
6. Has difficulty following through on instructions from others.
7. Has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities.
8. Often shifts from one uncompleted activity to another.
9. Has difficulty playing quietly.
10. Often talks excessively.
11. Often interrupts or intrudes on others, e.g. butts into other children's games.
12. Often does not seem to listen to what is being said to him or her.
13. Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities at home or at school, e.g. toys, pencils, books.
14. Often engages in physically dangerous activities without considering possible consequences, e.g. runs into street without looking.