Your Attention Deficit Disorder information source for
Here at the ADD ADHD Information Library we have over 150 pages of free information for parents and teachers to help those with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - "ADD" or "ADHD".
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, often called ADD or ADHD, is a diagnostic label that we give to children and adults who have significant problems in four main areas of their lives:
Inattention, Impulsivity, Hyperactivity, and Boredom.
This position has become controversial as many would like to dismiss the diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder altogether saying that there is no evidence of neurological differences, or that there are no medical tests to diagnose ADHD, or that the diagnostic criteria is too broad.
For now we will simply report that there is a tremendous amount of research to support the statement that, indeed, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a neurologically based condition. Visit our page on the neurology of ADD ADHD.
Defiance, rebelliousness, and selfishness are usually "moral" issues, not neurological issues. We make no excuses for "immoral," "selfish," or "destructive" behaviors, whether from individuals with ADHD or not.
It may also be true that the parents may need further training. We are constantly amazed at how many young parents today grew up in homes where their parents were gone all day. We now see "grown up latch key kids" trying to parent as best as they can, but without having had the benefit of growing up with good parental role models. This is a problem as well. But it is not Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a medical condition, caused by genetic factors that result in certain neurological differences.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder comes in various forms. In the DSM-IV Diagnostic manual, each of these forms, or "types" of ADHD falls under the diagnostic category of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The main category is then subdivided into ADHD Inattentive Type, or Impulsive-Hyperactive Type, or Combined Type.In the recent past, the terms attention deficit disorder "with" or "without" hyperactivity were also commonly used. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder comes in various forms, and truly, no two ADHD kids are exactly alike.
These different profiles impact performance in these four areas:
A few other important characteristics of this disorder are:
1) That it is SEEN IN MOST SITUATIONS, not just at school, or just in the home. When the problem is seen only at home, we then would wonder if perhaps the child is depressed, or if the child is just being non-compliant with the parents;
2) That the problems are apparent BEFORE the AGE OF SEVEN (7).
Since Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is thought to be a neurologically based disorder, we would expect that, outside of acquiring its symptoms from a head injury, the individual with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder would have been born with the disorder.
Even though the disorder might not become much of a problem until the second or third grade when the school work becomes more demanding, one would expect that at least some of the symptoms were noted before the age of seven. See ADDinSchool.com for 500 classroom interventions.
The most recent models that attempt to describe what is happening in the brains of people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder suggest that several areas of the brain may be affected by the disorder. They include the frontal lobes, the inhibitory mechanisms of the cortex, the limbic system, and the reticular activating system. Each of these areas of the brain is associated with various functions.
There are several areas of the brain potentially impacted, and there are several possible "types" of ADHD. Daniel Amen, a medical doctor using SPECT scans as identified six different types of ADHD, each with its own set of problems, and each different from the other "types."
In our practice we used five different "types" of ADHD, identifying each "type" with a character from the Winnie the Pooh stories (Pooh is inattentive, Tigger is hyperactive, Eeyore is depressive, and so on). We discuss in greater detail here.
The frontal lobes help us to pay attention to tasks, focus concentration, make good decisions, plan ahead, learn and remember what we have learned, and behave appropriately for the situation.
The inhibitory mechanisms of the cortex keep us from being hyperactive, from saying things out of turn, and from getting mad at inappropriate times, for examples. They help us to "inhibit" our behaviors.
We have the complete article on What Causes ADHD? here. It is about two pages of text.
The 5% number is a solid, conservative number supported by a lot of research.
Even at 5% each classroom in America will have one or two (2) ADHD kids in the class. So it is a very real, and very significant problem across America. (Visit ADDinSchool.com for 500 classroom interventions.)
When only Parent Rating Scales are used in a research project, the numbers will range from a low of seven percent (7%) of school-aged children to a high of twenty-three percent (23%) of children.
You may see published estimates stating that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder may effect as many as 20% to 30% of children in America, but these numbers are not really supported by research data, and are probably inflated for the purpose of trying to sell something.
However, we should note that Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Head Injuries, or other Specific Learning Disabilities, are often mistaken for ADD ADHD, which can inflate the numbers reported.About 35% of all children referred to mental health clinics are referred for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is one of the most prevalent of all childhood psychiatric disorders.
Click here to see the complete article on why it seems like there are so many children with ADD ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Anti-social behaviors are common with ADHD individuals. About 60% of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder kids are also oppositional or defiant. Some are even getting in trouble with the law.
Impulsive-Hyperactive ADHD kids are the most likely to get into trouble than are the Inattentive ADHD kids, as they tend to crave the stimulation of anti-social behaviors, and impulsively "act-out". Because they are impulsive, they don't plan their crimes well, and are usually easily caught. We have a full article on ADHD and anti-social behaviors for you to read.
The Different Types of ADHD, and Specific Treatment Strategies.
Alternatives that Really Work...