Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder abbreviated as ADHD is a behavioral disorder prevalent among children and often persists into adulthood if untreated. Controversies surround this ailment includes causes and appropriate treatment program available. Since the beginning of1970, treatment and diagnosis of ADHD has remained a debatable issue among teachers, clinicians, policymakers, and the media. It is difficult to ascertain actuality of ADHD, causes, and effectiveness of stimulant medications prescribed by medics. In America, it is universally accepted by medical practitioners that ADHD is a medical disorder affecting behavioral patterns.

In 1998, the American Medical Association concluded that ADHD diagnosis is carried out on the facets of external observable research, which when critically monitored, may lead to a reliable result. Thus, this research essay attempts to confirm that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a medical condition affecting childhood behavior.

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

ADHD is a behavioral conditional disorder affecting an estimated eight to ten percent of school going children. Generally, this condition is three times likely to affect boys than girls. However, research done so far is unclear on the reasons surrounding the variance of gender in prevalence rate. Reflectively, children suffering from ADHD are prone to acting with improper coordination between action and consequence (Andrew, 2006).

Besides, they are hyperactive and not keen to focus on interactive discussion. Though they understand expectations from parents, peers, and teachers, there is serious trouble in interpreting and following the expected due to restlessness. Thus, the victim cannot sit still, attends to fine details, or pay attention (Andrew, 2006). As a matter of fact, children of younger age exhibit these behavior characteristics as described when happy, exited, or anxious.

It is a common scenario to monitor behavior of younger children when with peers or in the house. However, for ADHD condition, these characteristics are prolonged and occur intently. ADHD ailment impairs the ability of a child to function academically, socially, and at home. From the findings of advanced scientific research, this condition is treatable. The treatment schedule influences ability to learn practical ways of comfortably managing and living with these symptoms (Bee &Boyd, 2011). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, abbreviated as ADHD or ADD is a disorder of development and growth among children.

The onset of ADHD symptoms is at the age before seven years. Globally, infection rate stands at 3% to 5% among children. Besides, diagnosis rate in school going children is at 2% to 16%. Being a chronic condition, 30% to 50% of the infected children may exhibit persistent symptoms late into adulthood (Bee &Boyd, 2011). Notably, adults and adolescents with this condition adopt coping mechanisms as a means of making up for their shortcomings.

At present, the statistical estimate of America adults suffering from this ailment is at 4.7 percent (Bee &Boyd, 2011). To carry out a standardized and non-biased screening, world bodies such as W.H.O have confirmed this as the official rate of infection. Specific medical conditions associated with ADHD ailment are unknown.

However, twin studies reveal that this condition is hereditary with genetic factors accompanying 75% of all infections. In the findings of this research, gene combination affects dopamine transporters associate with behavior determinant code. For instance, LPHN3 gene is believed to influence occurrence of 9% of infections.

Besides, environmental factors may contribute to dominance of ADHD in children. Reflectively, tobacco and alcohol exposure at pregnancy may lead to the infant being infected. Nicotine from tobacco depletes oxygen rich blood from reaching the fetus staving it of oxygen (Andrew, 2006). As a result, hypoxia is likely to trigger premature delivery and damage to the baby’s head. Victims of ADHD have prevalent rates of injuries on the head than others.

Moreover, infections occurring at delivery and early infantry are also contributory factors. Viruses such as varicella, rubella, measles, and entrerovirus 71 alongside streptococcal infections are secondary agents of ADHD disease (Bee &Boyd, 2011). In the findings of the American Medical Association research, carried out in 2007 and 2010, it revealed that insecticides of organophosphate chlorpyrifos form used in treatment of vegetables, affects infant physical and behavioral coordination. Done on a sample of one thousand and one hundred children of age eight to fifteen, urine samples revealed that those with higher concentration of organic dialkyl, a breakdown product of phosphoric pesticides, were more likely to be infected with ADHD. Also, in a study carried out in 2007 by Southempton linked hyperactivity to sodium benzoate used in America as a food color preservative.

Children who consume large quantities of artificial food are at risk of infection. This is because artificial food is often preserved with large quantities of harmful benzoate preservatives. Notwithstanding, the W.H.O has indicated that this ailment is as a result of family dysfunction and inconsistencies in system of education. For instance, complex post Traumatic stress disorder and sensory integration dysfunction may trigger individual psychopathology climaxing with an onset of ADHD infection (Andrew, 2006).

Neglecting or abusing children for a longer period of time may trigger frustrations and overwhelming behavior inconsistency. Patho-physiology reveals that ADHD is associated with the brain malfunctioning. Therefore, impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention are symptoms of brain disorder especially in the dorsal anterior cortex. Victims of this ailment exhibits predominant delay in brain response to stimuli causing them to mature at a rate higher than that of normal children (Bee &Boyd, 2011). Consistent diagnosis of ADHD infection is inclusive of psychiatric, physical, laboratory, and radiological imaging examinations. For instance, the American Psychiatric Association has classified diagnosis on three facets. These facets explore the symptom characteristics displayed by the victims who are children, teenagers and adults. Irrespective of the age bracket, this ailment displays more or less the same symptoms depending on maturity and environmental influences.

Classification of ADHD ailment relies on the nature of persistence of symptoms associated with it. For instance, irresponsiveness to impulse control may signify a developmental or growth lag. By use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, scientists and psychologists have discovered an acceptable prefrontal cortex estimating the onset of this ailment between three and five years of age. However, this condition is behavior controlled and not neurological.

Psychologists describes ADHD as a disruptive behavioral disorder (Bee &Boyd, 2011) consisting of conduct, antisocial, and oppositional defiant disorder (Bee & Boyd, 2011). The three subtypes of ADHD include the impulsive, inattentive, and impulsive-inattentive order. Patients who suffer from hyperactive impulsive ADHD are predominantly normal and only display partial symptoms in lifetime. However, those in inattentive class, especially children, experience challenges when interacting with peers and are prone to retreat into their own world quietly without realizing it.

Due to this, this victim may not receive attention from parents, teachers and peers. A combination of impulsive and inattentive types is referred to as a full blown ADHD condition (Andrew, 2006). In childhood, victims of this condition are easily distracted, forgetful, cannot maintain focus in a single task, easily bored, and seem to be distance when being spoken to.

Besides, the victim becomes restless and destructive in the house and at school. Often, parents with children suffering from this ailment do complain of them being over-destructive, inattentive, and struggle to follow simple instructions. When seated, these children squirm a lot and talk nonstop. Within a short time, they dash out and touch everything in sight. In addition, the impaired is prone to restlessness during dinner and story time. Moreover, given the slightest opportunity, the child is likely to remain in motion constantly. Also, when in companion of peers, the impaired is unable to exercise patient in game turns and make inappropriate hurting comments on friends (Bee &Boyd, 2011).

At teenager, ADHD patient is prone to making careless mistakes in academic work, peer interaction, and decisions. The first symptom is predominant failure to complete homework, exams, and co-curriculum activities. In addition, careless in organizing work of scheme creeps in and forgetful dominate (Andrew, 2006). Moreover, when not in classroom, the impaired is prone to excessive talking accompanied by rebellion when faced by a disagreeing opinion. Generally, there is a feeling of restlessness and an urge to interrupt or intrude a conversation. Regardless of treatment, adolescent victims of full blown ADHD are prone to academic failure. In America alone, 37% of ADHD victims fail to secure high school diploma even when learning in special education programs with only 5% acquiring college degree. Besides, they are at higher risk of injury, auto crashes, earlier conjugal activities, teen pregnancy, and higher expenses on medical treatment (Andrew, 2006).

In adults, ADHD infection is characterized by persistent lack of self-motivation and control. As a matter of fact, such an adult is impulsive, inattentive, and hyperactive when interacting with peers. Full blown infection symptoms in adult includes occupational inconsistency, education failure, sexual malfunctioning, poor social relationships, failed marriage, inconsistent dating tendencies, irresponsible parenting, psychological morbidity, frequent drugs and internalized crime activities, and poor financial management skills (Bee &Boyd, 2011). Treatment of ADHD consists of psychosocial behavior counseling and therapies such as cognitive, interpersonal, family support, training on social skills, and interventions in school. Besides, short term stimulant medication is by choice.

Atomoxetine stimulants are recommended by medics for preschool victims. To manage this condition, an array of medical, behavioral, counseling, and lifestyle modification is the best combination. The hurdles towards ADHD sustainability lies on difficulty to separate its symptoms from other ailments and inefficient training for medical staffs on the best practices of treatment and assessment in patients of adult age (Bee &Boyd, 2011). Research indicates that 60% of childhood ADHD infections go into adulthood. However, many of these adults remain untreated. Due to un-treatment, the symptoms develop into disorganization, alcoholism, drug abuse, and chaotic lifestyle. Besides, the victim is at risk of developing anxiety disorder, depression, learning disabilities, and substance abuse.

Proper diagnosis may be a solution towards individual insightfulness on behavior and awareness of treatment and coping strategies. However, controversy surrounds the belief that this ailment persist into old age. Among other obstacles to proper diagnosis includes inappropriate diagnosis criteria, comorbidities, and possibility of a link to situational and intelligence levels. Successful treatment in children is a cordial partnership between a doctor, child, and the parents. Stimulant medications are available to calm down the impaired (Bee &Boyd, 2011). ADHD affects children and adults. In fact, impact on adults is often devastating on the ability to maintain relationships, work, and family demands.


Andrew, G. (2006). Taking Sides: Clashing Views in Lifespan Development, 2nd Ed. Hightstown: McGraw Hill Contemporary Learning Series.

Bee, H & Boyd, D. (2011). Lifespan Development, 5th Ed. New York: Pearson Education.


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