Attention Deficit Disorder Essay
Attention Deficit Disorder is a problem in which many American children and even some adults suffer from. This problem can affect schoolwork, discipline, and even a job. Attention Deficit Disorder is a problem in which many people are not truly aware about, and the signs can be quite obvious. Attention Deficit Disorder(ADD) is a problem that effects many children and even some adults. It allows them to be easily distracted and have a very short attention span. For example, ADD children would have trouble with group learning, or a classroom environment. There are so many distractions and it is hard for the child to concentrate on just one thing. They would benefit more from a one to one learning environment. ADD patients also have a lot of trouble sleeping, and play much more aggressive than normal children. The reason for this is due to the disorder, they have much more energy built up than normal children. They need some way of releasing this energy, which causes the sleep problems and the aggressive behavior. Other characteristics which exemplify the disorder are impulsiveness, problems with authority and rules, disorganization. Although there are many more characteristics, these are a few that allow
The first one is when the child displays signs of ADD along with signs of hyperactivity. This is where the child has ADD and a hyperactivity disorder in which he has little respect for anything, including authority. The next is regular ADD, which is the ADD without the hyperactivity and the same short attention span. These children may be the exact opposite of the ones with hyperactivity. They may always seem depressed, and they may seem away from the rest of their peers. The last is a form for adults where they had ADD as a child, and were never treated. They are now having to deal with the psychological or emotional problems that has been brought about due to the non-treatment of the disease. Glenn Hunsucker states, Attention Deficit Disorder, with or without hyperactivity, is a neurological problem. It does not occur in the muscles, arms and legs, but in the brain (Hunsucker, 1988, p. 15). There are three different causes for Attention Deficit Disorder.
They are hereditary, physiological, and psychological. Although none of these are the main reason for this disorder many aspects of each help bring about this The first cause to talk about is hereditary. Studies have been done in which the families of the ADD children experienced alcoholism, drugs, and depression. The siblings of these ADD children are most likely to also have similar problems. Hunsucker also states, Hereditary explains where the individual obtains ADD, but it does not explain how it occurred in the first individual who passed it down (Hunsucker, 1988, p. 16). The next area in which the cause of ADD is talked about is the physiological aspects of life. The main problem in which some nutritionists claim is the main problem is the affect of sugar in a childs system. It is true that if any human eats enough sugar, then he/she will become agitated or hyper. Although this is not the cause of ADD, it can sure pontificate on the hyperactivity side of ADD.
Other factors that are not necessarily causes, but certainly affect the child are fluorescent lighting, lead poisoning, smoking or drinking during the pregnancy, or a poor home environment. All of these factors assimilate and affect what some scientists say is the main reason, a chemical imbalance between the neurons in the brain. Hunsucker says that, Researchers have become so exact that they have located the part of the brain that is responsible for this disorder. They believe it is the pre-frontal cortex which does planning and regulating of complex behavior (Hunsucker, 1988, p. 17). They noticed that people who have had injuries to the pre-frontal cortex have had similar behaviors as ADD children. Although it is not accepted that the neurotransmitters are the problems, all the evidence points to this as one of the main problems that face children with ADD. The last type of cause is psychological. Some researcher believe that the home environment is very important to the ADD disorder. They say that it does not cause the disorder, but it can bring it out. For example, a family has three children, and the middle one having undiagnosed ADD. This family is disorganized and pay a lot of attention to the oldest and the youngest.
The symptoms ADD will then start to intensify due to this environment. Most researchers believe that the psychological aspect has nothing to do with the development or the cause of ADD. Attention Deficit Disorder affects all areas of the patients life. It will affect the way they behave as a infant, toddler, child, and a teenager, and even sometimes as adults. It can affect their relationship and the way a parent feels about the child also. The disorder starts when the child is a baby. The child may not like affection or being cuddled. At night, the child may wake up frequently crying for no reason, and need less sleep than other children. The child may also show intense energy as they become older, and sleep very little in the day. As the child reaches toward their first year, they become very energetic and can not stay doing one thing at a time. They will start with one toy and then move on toward another in no amount of time. They will never sit still, always have to be moving around. In a book by Mary Fowler, she writes about her experiences with her son, who has ADD.
She said this about one of his displays of his energy, …our guest watched in amazement as little David crawled up my leg, down my arm, over my head, across the back of the chair, and up his leg. He was a bit astonished of the energy level of the little baby(Fowler, 1990, p. 12). These signs can be used as a sign that the child may have ADD. It can affect the parents by making them feel inadequate due to the fact that they can not control their child. This is a tough stage for both parents The next stage to talk about is toddlerhood. This is when the child is going to start pre-school and then regular school. This is also where many of the cases are diagnosed for the children. The reason for this is that the parents and the children are around other children, and they do act differently. Most children with ADD have trouble in pre-school. They are always in constant trouble and need special attention from the teacher.
They also seem to act out in public and are an embarrassment to the parent. This is the stage where many parents will feel in adequate. They will feel that they are not a good parent and this is the reason for their childs behavior(Hunsucker, 1988, p. 51). Mary Fowler wrote this about her son, It was so hard for me to see that I meant anything to my son. Whenever I tried to share my affection, David(her son) ran in the opposite direction. At times I felt guilty that this little guy set the tone of our relationship, it made me very sad(Fowler, 1990, p. 30). Aggression also comes out in this period. The children feel that everything revolves around them. If you try to tell them no, they will have no respect for your authority. This problem is the most troublesome stage for The next stage is their adolescence years, the teenage years. By this time in a childs life the disorder should be detected. It has already caused the parents a great deal of emotional trouble and has also been a negative experience for the child. At this time, a childs self esteem is the issue. According to Hunsucker, their self esteem may plummet to an all time low due to the negative feedback of parents, teachers and other peers (Hunsucker, 1988, p. 56). This is where depression occurs and the child is at a all time low in their life.
They have trouble in all areas of their life including school, socially and at home. Another major factor at this time is the use of foreign substances such as drugs or alcohol. According to Hunsucker, the reason for this use is because it makes them feel good. ADD is a neurological problem, and this is the childs cure for the problem(Hunsucker, 1988, p. 57). This is the time where both children and parents look for ways of treating the childs problem, if it has not yet been addressed. There are a few ways to treat this dreadful problem. They include medicine, behavioral management techniques, and a few other different techniques. These do not cure the disease but they help in the reduction of the symptoms. The first, and probably the most effective is medicine. Remember that the main problem is in the brain, which is physiological. The problem is that there is a imbalance in the brain. To cure an imbalance of something, you need to balance it out with a counterpart.
This is what most researchers say medicine does. Hunsucker states, You can not cure a broken arm with counseling, and you can not cure ADD with it either (Hunsucker 82). You need to bridge the gap and that is what medication does. In his book Total Concentration, Harold Levinson States, 80 percent of my patients who were on the medication program I assigned experienced progress (Levinson, 1990, p. 149). No person exactly how these medications actually work, but they know that they do work. They allow the motor output and coordination to be more finely tuned. This is probably caused by replacing the chemicals in between the neurons. This enables the neuron to relay and transmit information a lot better. The next form of treatment is behavior techniques management.
There are ways for the parent or a teacher to try and control and suppress the symptoms of ADD. The first topic is punishment and reward. This is when the child is given a chore or assignment to accomplish. The size of this chore is very important. You do not want it to be very big, but you do not want it to be too small. If it is too big, then the child may feel overwhelmed and not start it right away. If it is too small, the child may feel inadequate, because you gave them such an easy and meaningless chore. After the appropriate chore or assignment is chosen, you need to use the punishment and reward technique. This is where if the child completes the chore quickly with minimal distractions, then they are rewarded in some way. If the child continues to be distracted, and not complete the chore then a form of punishment is needed. You want to stay away from the punishment issue as much as you can, but sometimes it is necessary.
The thing that you want to do is reward. For example, each time the child does something positive, put a poker chip in a jar. Have each color represent something different and at the end of the week they can cash them in for money or toys of some sort. The main thing is to make sure they see you rewarding them for each time the do something good, which is positive reinforcement. When I first decided to reasearch this material, I already had a brief background of the disorder. My mother was a nurse and she had to write a report on the disease and I thought that I would use that as a starting point. Well she did her report on the effectiveness of medication on ADD, not what I had first thought. So I had to do a little bit of research and had found out that there was much more information than I already knew that I could put in my paper. I learned many more signs and symptoms of the disease, along with the different behaviors of children at different ages.
This information was new and reveling to me. I enjoyed reasearching and finding out new information foe Attention deficit disorder is a problem which will affect the lives of everyone, not just the child. ADD is a problem that can go undetected for numerous years, while the child goes through different stages in life and gives many warning signs. If the parents can spot the signs of ADD, get the child treated, it can help both the childs and the parents life. There are many ways for the child to be treated, but it is important to get the child treated. ADD can ruin years of the parents and their own life, but the symptoms and the signs can be treated, and hope and order can be restored in the family life.