Recognizing Attention Deficit Disorder

 By: Michael Russell Platinum Expert Author
Everyone has heard of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). It may even seem like everyone else's children have it. Studies show that between 3 and 5% of all children have ADD. Putting that into perspective, in any given classroom there is probably at least one child that has ADD. Children with ADD appear to be out of control. They show signs of being unusually active. They tend to function by impulse and without thinking. They seem to not be able to pay attention for very long at all. Usually their lack of attention comes last in the sequence. It may take months for the child to demonstrate such abnormalities. It is common for children with ADD to go undiagnosed because their behavior is written off as a discipline issue. It is easy to believe it is related to discipline because the development of the symptoms is generally gradual. A child that has historically been well behaved slowly becomes less in control, thus adults take the reasons in stride. As difficult as it is to notice potential ADD, the issues may very well be a disciplinary problem. One clue is if the child demonstrates all three traits; hyperactivity, inattentiveness and impulsiveness. It is essential a professional make the diagnosis, because it is very possible the symptoms are not ADD.

Although ADD typically involves young and very young children, it does have a lesser history with teenagers and even adults. In addition to the typical symptoms discussed above, teens and adults feel a need to always be busy doing something. They tend to multi-task. They feel guilty if they aren't highly active. Teens and adults tend to retain impulsiveness. The resulting gratification they achieve from impulsive behavior is immediate, but short lived.

There are lots of possible causes of ADD. Perhaps a previous brain injury is the source. Maybe it is genetics, allergies, or even diet.

Many other medical concerns may accompany ADD, or they may be present in patients without ADD. Some of these disorders are Tourette's Syndrome, learning disability, bipolar disorder, anxiety and depression.

The treatment for ADD is determined on a case-by-case basis. Each patient will respond effectively to a treatment program designed specifically for them, their specific degree of disorder and body chemistry. Although each patient receives a treatment customized just for him or her, it is almost always a treatment of medication. Other elements that might be a part of the treatment process are behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, skills training and support groups. When the ADD patient becomes a teenager, even more special knowledge and perhaps addition training will most likely be needed. The typical challenges facing teenagers are doubly difficult for the teen with ADD. Teenage drivers are far too often involved in traffic crashes for a variety of reasons, mostly related to inexperience behind the wheel. ADD teens are almost four times as likely to have a crash as a non-ADD teen. The family may want to elongate the amount of time required of the new drivers before turning them out on their own. The added experience as a driver (with supervision) may have significance in the long run for the ADD teen. It may make a major difference with their self-confidence.

Parents and other family members may find it helpful to take part in specialized parenting training. They may need to work with the child's school to insure staff has appropriate knowledge of how to properly handle ADD children.

The first and best thing parents, family and friends can do to get ADD help is to get an education. The Internet is full of informational sources. The Internet has many forums and blogs that might be just the ticket. Support groups are also abundant; and are an excellent form of face-to-face help. Your family doctor should be able to provide you with any local sources. An ADD specialist will provide you with information and training as a part of the treatment process.
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ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a disorder that is characterized by hyperactivity, inattention and hyperactivity and impulsiveness of children. Kids with this disorder need more help than normal children and must be given proper attention and ADHD treatment as early as possible.
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