ADD ADHD Information Library.
We have great information on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
Disorder . Take the time to go through the inforamtion. Once
you do, you will know a great deal about ADD ADHD.
Let's begin right now with: WHAT IS ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY
What Is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - ADD
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:
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a neurologically
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 ADD 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.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is not the result
of "bad parenting" or obnoxious, willful defiance on
the part of the child.
Yes, a child may be willfully defiant whether he has Attention
Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or not. Defiance, rebelliousness,
and selfishness are "moral" issues, not neurological
issues. We make no excuses for "immoral," "selfish,"
or "destructive" behaviors, whether from individuals
with ADD 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. It is Attention
Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder that we will be exploring here
at the ADD Information Library.
Defining Terms: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a medical condition,
caused by genetic factors that result in certain neurological
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder comes in various
forms. Today they all fall under the category of Attention Deficit
Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and then the main category is
subdivided into ADHD Inattentive Type, or ADHD Impulsive-Hyperactive
Type, or ADHD 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 ADD or ADHD kids are
General Description of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - ADD ADHD - might
affect one, two, or several areas of the brain, resulting in
several different "styles" or "profiles"
of children (and adults) with ADD ADHD.
These different profiles impact performance in these four
- First, problems with Attention.
- Second, problems with a lack of Impulse Control.
- Third, problems with Over-activity or motor restlessness,
- Fourth, a problem which is not yet an "official"
problem found in the diagnostic manuals, but ought to be: being
A few other important characteristics of this disorder
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
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.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - "ADD"
or "ADHD" - affects about five percent (5%) of the
children in the United States, and about three percent (3%) of
all adults in the USA.
How Big of a Problem is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
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.
As we mentioned, it affects about 5% of children, about 3%
of adults. You may see published estimates stating that Attention
Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder may effect as many as 10% to 25%
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.
The 5% number is a solid number supported by 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.
Why Does It Seem That There Are More Children With Attention
Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - ADD ADHD - Than Ever Before?
Even though the percentage of people with Attention Deficit
Hyperactivity Disorder is likely the same as in the past, here
are three likely reasons why it seems that "there is more
ADD" than ever before:
You are more aware of problems like this as a parent than
you were as a child. You have grown up now; The news and entertainment
media have talked about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
a lot more than in the past, raising your awareness level; Children
who were Drug Exposed in utero, or Fetal Alcohol Syndrome children
have many of the same problems as children with Attention Deficit
Hyperactivity Disorder, and are often misdiagnosed by physicians
as being ADD ADHD.
A recent study by the National Institute of Drug Abuse reported
the following: 5.5% of women REPORTED using illicit drugs while
they were pregnant; 18.8% REPORTED using alcohol, and 20.4% REPORTED
using tobacco while pregnant.
There are no known "safe levels" of drug, alcohol,
or tobacco use while pregnant. The use of drugs or alcohol are
especially dangerous to the developing baby and can often cause
neurological problems. When these children enter school, they
often display problems with attention, impulse control, temper,
learning, and behavior. They are often misdiagnosed as having
a genetically based Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
What they really suffer from are structural head injuries
thanks to their mother's past behaviors.
Anti-Social Behaviors and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
Anti-social behaviors are common. 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 kids. The inattentive
kids tend to be non-compliant due to not being motivated enough
to remember the things he was asked to do.
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General Introduction: What Causes Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
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.
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"
It has been said that 70% of the brain is there to inhibit
the other 30%.
Learn about Natural Alternatives to Ritalin.
Your child will
- May be more focused
- May have more self-control
- May learn faster
- May remember better
- May do better at home and
- at school
When the inhibitory mechanisms of the brain aren't working
as hard as they ought to, then we can see results of what are
sometimes called "dis-inhibition disorders" such as
impulsive behaviors, quick temper, poor decision making, hyperactivity,
and so on.
The limbic system is the base of our emotions and our highly
vigilant look-out tower. If over-activated, a person might have
wide mood swings, or quick temper outbursts. He might also be
"over-aroused," quick to startle, touching everything
around him, hyper-vigilant.
A normally functioning limbic system would provide for normal
emotional changes, normal levels of energy, normal sleep routines,
and normal levels of coping with stress. A dysfunctional limbic
system results in problems with those areas.
The Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder might affect
one, two, or all three of these areas, resulting in several different
"styles" or "profiles" of children (and adults)
with ADD ADHD.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in School
Often the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder child has
special educational needs, though not always. Most Attention
Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder kids can be successful in the
regular classroom with some help.
We tend to see Lower academic achievement for I.Q. If they
ought to be A students, they're getting C's instead. If they
ought to be B students, they're getting D's instead.
Also it's important to know that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
Disorder and I.Q. are two different things.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is not related to
I.Q. Some parents are convinced that if their child has ADD ADHD
it means that they are retarded. On the other hand, other parents
say, "I've heard that ADD kids are really very, very bright.
I think my child must have ADD," as if they wanted to wear
a button that said, "My child is smarter than your child
because he has ADD."
Well, that's ridiculous.
Some Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder kids are below
average I.Q., and some are even retarded.
Some ADD ADHD kids are above average I.Q., and some are even
But the awful truth for a parent to hear is that MOST kids
are AVERAGE I.Q.
That's why they call it "average."
And most Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder kids have
average I.Q. as well. They just have a real tough time in the
In fact, if you think about it, the classroom setting is probably
the worst possible setting for these kids. There are a lot of
distractions, they are told to sit still, don't move, don't talk,
to pay attention to boring worksheets, and keep on task until
the work is finished. None of these things come easily to Attention
Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder kids.
Many Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder kids "hit
a wall" in school as the school year progresses. Every week
they just get a little farther and farther behind, until they're
so far behind that it's impossible to catch up.
The disorder is most often recognized and referred for treatment
in third grade. This is when kids most often hit the "academic
wall." In third grade they are expected to do more and more
work on their own, and they are given more homework to do as
We also see many referrals in seventh grade, or when the child
leaves Elementary School for Junior High School, with several
classes and several teachers. Many Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
Disorder kids who found ways to compensate in Elementary School
are totally lost in Junior High School.
Will Your Child Ever Out-grow His Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
Studies indicate that about 50 to 60 percent of Attention
Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder kids will outgrow most of the
symptoms by the time he or she is in their 20's. The old school
thinking was that once a child reaches puberty they no longer
need any help for ADD ADHD, but this is simply not true. However,
there is one final growth spurt of the brain, particularly in
the frontal lobes, at about 19 or 20 years old. It is not much,
but for those with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder it
just might make a big difference.
The Hyperactivity may diminish may become more of a restlessness
or fidgetiness and be more appropriate. The impulsivity may remain,
though, and it is often the biggest complaint of adults with
the disorder. It causes a variety of problems from often interrupting
others in conversations to quitting jobs for little reason and
without other employment already lined up.
Difficulties with attention may also persist. It is often
described as a constant "brain-fog" which makes tasks
such as balancing check books and doing taxes very difficult.
A visit to Starbucks, however, often helps to improve focus enough
for adults to get their work done.
Gladly, most adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
can find jobs where their strengths can shine, and they can be