Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a collection of problem behaviors related with weak attention span. ADHD may include impulsive behavior, restlessness, inattention, hyperactivity and usually prevents them from learning a socializing in a normal manner.
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ADHD is considered to be a neurological disorder, and effects 5% of people around the world. ADHD, usually starts presenting it self during childhood, and is thought to be a continual chronic condition, and there is no medical cure for this disorder. It has been mostly been diagnosed in children, however recently it has started being diagnosed in adults too. 60% of those children who show symptoms of ADHD continue with it as adults. In addition scientists believe that it is inherited. (NIMH, 2006).
ADHD is also considered to be a developmental order, that is to say that it is certain characteristics like impulse control in such people are lacking in individuals with ADHD as compared to others who do not have the same condition. It is believed that the developmental delay is 30% to 40% and therefore these delays are considered to be impairment. It is also thought to be a behavior and neurological disorder or a combination of both. However those individuals who do not show hyperactivity or impulsiveness do not have a behavior problem therefore mostly behavior disorder is a misnomer. (NIMH, 2006).
DSM-IV Criteria for ADHD should either have Inattention or Hyperactivity and impulsiveness. In case of inattention the subject has to display six or more of the characteristic listed: (DSM-IV, 2000).
- Usually does not pay attention to details, makes careless mistakes in work and activities.
- Usually has trouble paying attention to a single task or activity.
- Usually does not listen when addressed directly.
- Usually doesn’t follow instructions and fails to follow instructions.
- Has trouble organizing activities.
- Likes to avoid activities and work which need mental activity.
- Is easily distracted.
- Forgetful in every day activity.
When symptoms of hyperactivity /impulsivity are persistent for 6 months and are unsettling and not suited for the particular developmental level. (DSM-IV, 2000)
- Fidgets with hands and feet and doesn’t sit still in seat.
- Gets up from seat when required to remain seated.
- Runs about and climbs on things.
- Usually is unable to play quietly.
- Talks too much.
- Usually answers before the question is finished.
- Has trouble waiting for his or her turn.
- Usually interrupts or interferes in other people’s conversations.
Some of the symptoms may be there before 7 years of age. And they may be present in more then one setting, the evidence has to be clear about impairment in social, school or work related activities. There are three types of ADHD the characteristics of which have to be displayed for at least 6 months: (DSM-IV, 2000).
- ADHD Combined Type which displays both in attention and hyperactivity/impulsiveness.
- ADHD Predominantly Inattentive Type: which show inattention while hyperactivity and impulsiveness may not be visible.
- ADHD Predominantly hyperactivity-impulsivity Type: where the subject displays hyperactivity /impulsivity but inattention is missing.
ADHD may become visible as early as a toddler, however most of the time it is usually diagnosed when a child enters school. The child may also present anti-social behavior, and mostly ADHD is more prevalent in boys.
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Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, Fourth Edition, American Psychiatric Association, 2000.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 2006. Web.