”About 60 percent of children with ADHD in the United States become adults with ADHD; that’s about 4 percent of the adult population, or 8 million adults.”(ADAA) What is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder? It is a medical condition in which a person with has differences in brain development and brain activity that affect attention and to control impulsive behaviors. It is commonly referred to as ADHD. This condition can affect a child at school, at home, and in friendships.
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ADHD is a disorder that has been around for a while but has only caught the attention of doctors and researchers recently. It had been holding back many students that are being pushed in the wrong ways because we are unable to identify ADHD and are not fully sure how to handle it. As, it is becoming a bigger and more accepted disorder we are learning how to incorporate it in everyday teaching styles and lifestyles.
Heredity is the most common cause of ADHD. Savannah Jones was diagnosed with heredity ADHD at the age of seven. The structure of the brain can have a factor in if someone can have ADHD. Researchers reported that people with ADHD had smaller brain volume in five areas, and their total brain size was smaller also. Something else that is interesting was that the amygdala and hippocampus are smaller in the brains of people with ADHD. These areas are responsible for emotional processing and impulsivity, and had previously not been definitively connected to ADHD. There are also alterations in blood flow to various areas of the brains in people with ADHD compared to people who do not have ADHD. The key neurotransmitters for ADHD are dopamine and noradrenaline. In the ADHD brain, there is dysregulation of the dopamine system. For example, there is either too little dopamine, not enough receptors for it, or the dopamine is not being used efficiently. Stimulant medications help ADHD because they encourage more dopamine to be produced or keep dopamine in the synapses longer. (Sinfield) During the pregnancy the child can also get ADHD from substance use and abuse of cigarettes, alcohol, drugs and toxins in the environment.
Who can get ADHD? It is a little-known fact that most ADHD sufferers are creative types. In fact, there are several celebrities that suffer from the mental condition. Justin Timberlake, Michael Phelps, Will Smith and even Jim Carrey all were diagnosed with this condition. ADHD is much more common among males than females. It is estimated that boys are two to three times more likely to have ADHD than girls. They are up to nine times more likely than girls to be referred for evaluation and treatment. (Jamison) Both adults and children can have ADHD. Some people think you can get this condition as an adult but that is a myth. There is no such thing as ADHD starting as an adult, it is started in childhood.
Many people with this disorder show symptoms early on and it makes their daily life a challenge while there are people living with it today that don’t know they even have it. Symptoms of ADHD are typically most prominent during elementary grades. Symptoms may vary from restlessness and aggressive, disruptive behavior, which is common in preschool-aged children, to disorganized, distractible, and inattentive symptoms, which are more typical in older adolescents and adults. ADHD is difficult to diagnose in preschoolers since they are within the range of developmental norms during this period of being easily distracted.
A diagnosis of ADHD is made primarily in clinical settings after a thorough evaluation which includes a careful history and clinical interview to rule in or to identify other causes and contributing factors, behavior rating scales, a physical exam, and any necessary or indicated laboratory examinations. Also many doctors review schoolwork and report cards. They look at standardized test to see how they can concentrate and comprehend things. Next, they will look for treatments.
There are many available treatments for ADHD in this time period like the following: pharmaceuticals, tutoring, special education, behavior modification, diets, no sugar, yoga and even massages. Savannah, at seven, was given pills which she still takes to this day is slowing starting to get weaned off them. She still has problems concentrating in some subjects and classroom settings. But she knows it will get better if she keeps trying to face this, because it doesn’t define her. Pharmaceuticals were the best and quick option for her. They are also the most commonly used treatment. ”There is no cure for ADHD, though both medical and psychological treatments can help control symptoms. Around one third of children seem to grow out of their disorder during adolescence, but the others find their ADHD persists into adult life.”(Action Medical Research)
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a never ending battle for some people. It is a disorder that affects the brain and behaviors. It’s a chronic condition including attention difficulty, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. This is a disorder that parents, teachers and families have to feel the repercussion of. There are many people affected by this, there are also many methods of treatment.
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