Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

It is a disorder characterized by inattentiveness, over activity and impulsivity. It is a common disorder especially in boys and probably accounts for more referrals of childhood disorder than any other disorder (Hetchman, 2005).

Case study: Lapel's son Bundes had always been a handful. Even as a preschooler, he would tear through the house like a tornado, shouting, roughhousing, and climbing the furniture. No toy or activity ever held his interest for more than a few minutes and he would often dart off without warning, seemingly unaware of the dangers of a busy street or a crowded mall. It was exhausting to parent Bundes, but Lapel hadn't been too concerned back then. Boys will be boys, she figured. But at age 8, he was no easier to handle. It was a struggle to get Bundes to settle down long enough to complete even the simplest tasks, from chores to homework. His teacher's comments about his inattention and disruptive behavior in class became too frequent to ignore.

ADHD is a common behavioral disorder that affects about 10% of school-age children. Boys are about three times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with it, though it's not yet understood why.

Of course, all kids (especially younger ones) act this way at times, particularly when they're anxious or excited. But the difference with ADHD is that symptoms are present over a longer period of time and happen in different settings.

The persistent or on-going pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity- impulsivity that gets in the way of daily life or typical development. Individuals with ADHD may also have difficulties with maintaining attention, executive function (or the brain’s ability to begin an activity, organize itself and manage tasks) and working memory.

ADHD-Subtypes: the three subtypes, each with its own pattern of behaviors are 1. inattentive type 2. hyperactive-impulsive type 3. combined type

Inattentive type: there is trouble paying attention to details or a tendency to make careless errors in schoolwork or other activities, difficulty staying focused on tasks or play activities, apparent listening problems, difficulty following instructions, problems with organization, avoidance or dislike of tasks that require mental effort, tendency to lose things like toys, notebooks, or homework, distractibility and forgetfulness in daily activities.

Hyperactive-impulsive type: fidgeting or squirming, difficulty remaining seated, excessive running or climbing, difficulty playing quietly, always seeming to be "on the go", excessive talking, blurting out answers before hearing the full question, difficulty waiting for a turn or in line and problems with interrupting or intruding

Combined type is a combination of the other two type and is the most common

Prognosis: ADHD can't be cured, but it can be successfully managed.

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