Appropriate Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ADHD Essay

Appropriate Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ADHD

            Attention Deficit Disorder is another developmental disorder that results in academic difficulties - Appropriate Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ADHD Essay introduction. It is characterized by inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. These symptoms generally appear in most situations, such as at school, home, and with friends, but in some instances they may appear in only one of the situations (Mehr 135). The symptoms are usually worse when sustained attention is required, for example, during lessons at school. About 3% of children have attention deficit disorder, and it is six to nine times more common among boys than among girls. The disorder generally persists throughout childhood, and in many cases, some signs of it continue in adulthood. The symptoms of ADD are lack of attention, people who easily decides on something without proper scrutinizing of the situation, and hyperactivity. There are certain types of ADD and these are the Combined Type ADHD, Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type ADHD and Predominantly inattentive type ADHD. Symptoms of ADHD  if not treated early will get worse and these includes depression and the most common is how it greatly affects the school performance of the child involved (Benjamin 677). People in the society believes that having ADHD is hereditary that if your family blood lines have this disorder then there is great chances that the generations of the present will likely be affected, and also they perceived that when during pregnancy, when the mother always drinks alcohol and do smoke then these will also affect or contribute to the development of this developmental disorder. Examples of some the Attention Deficit Disorder and now being called as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are as follows.

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      Johnny would not go to sleep. Instead, he spent most of the night tearing around the house. When he was tall enough to unhook the screen door, he began to explore the neighborhood, and his frantic parents once found him wandering down the middle of the street in his diapers. On another occasion, he turned in the clothes dryer and climbed inside. At the age of 2, he was expelled from nursery school.

      One year old Hugh had to be strapped into his high chair, but still he managed to fall over the side. When he began to talk, the words came out so fast no one could understand him. He was a mass of bruises from bumping into anything that stood in his frenetic path. By the time he was 7, he had dislocate thumb, broken his wrist, and fractured his collarbone twice.

      Steven was the terror of the neighborhood. Once, he went after the boy next door with a golf club. Another time, he tried to strangle a little girl with a jump rope. By the age of 9, he had been expelled from three schools and his mother thought he was going crazy (Kozier 133).

      The children in the above examples manifest behavior of having attention deficit disorder. In DSM III this syndrome is categorized as a specific

            Developmental disorder called “attention deficit disorder”. Extremely active behavior, impulsiveness, poor motor coordination, and low frustration tolerance are associated with this label. Although in the examples, the behaviors were obvious early, many children are identified as having this disorder only when they enter school. Many children who receive this label are not distinguishable from typical children in unstructured free- play situations. However, when hyperkinetic children are in a structured schoolroom, teachers perceive them as creating havoc (Mehr 77). The hyperactive behavior is associated with difficulty in learning the academic materials in the schoolroom. Attention deficit children get poor grades, and are often held back to repeat classes. It is one of several learning disabilities seen in some children.

            In today’s classrooms, there is an unfortunate tendency to mislabel many active, rambunctious male children as hyperactive and attention deficit. Some teachers may believed that as many as one- third of the children in their classroom are “hyperactive and attention deficit”. In fact, most of these children are simply energetic and slightly unruly. True hyperactivity appears to affect only about 5 – 10 percent of children, mostly males. However, this means that 2.5- 5.0 million children in the United States manifest these behaviors to degree that interferes with their functioning.

      A hyperactive child can drive parents to distraction and alienate the most dedicated teacher. The teacher is trying to teach a child who appears extremely distractible: The child cannot read more than a few words or do more than a few math problems before squirming in his seat, tapping feet, whispering, getting out of his seat, throwing spit balls, or stumbling over other children’s feet. The child is constantly moving, chattering, as if supercharged. Only during recess or gym does he or she seem to be content. The child’s grades are poor and achievement is low. Often the teacher is doubly frustrated because the child appears to have average intelligence or even to be bright. The child’s presence is like an unspoken dare: Teach me if you can. Without help, most teachers cannot teach such an “impossible child” (Mehr 111).

      A century ago, hyperactive behavior was seen being due to “naughtiness”. Today, it is primarily conceptualized as a function of insufficiently focused attention.

      Many theorists have proposed that hyperactive behavior is due to damage to the brain from birth trauma such as oxygen starvation or infection. This concept has resulted from frequent findings that these children show mild or “soft” signs of neurological disorder. One finding consists of abnormal EEG or electroencephalogram brainwave patterns. However, theorists studied 120 attention deficit or hyperactive children and found that only 18.5 percent had an abnormal EEG, 29 percent a borderline EEG and 52.5 percent a normal EEG. In addition, theorists found that children who had abnormal EEG tracings scored highest on intelligence tests, had greater academic achievement, could cooperate better in classroom routines, and could concentrate better than hyperactive children who had normal EEGs. Another compromising factor for this concept is that many children with no behavioral difficulties also show soft signs of neurological disorder. Theorists conclude that one subgroup by attention deficit children can be distinguished by neurological problems such as delayed reflexes, motor incoordination, or abnormal EEG’s. This group responded the best to stimulant medications in the treatment of their disorder but we can not conclude that attention deficit disorder is due to mild brain damage (Benjamin 501).

      Many theorists about the cause of neurologic dysfunction have been proposed, and have resulted in popularized treatments. For example, one physician has proposed that hyperactivity is due to an allergy to certain food additives.

            Could a predisposition to hyperactivity be inherited? The evidence seems to suggest so, at least in some cases. Clinicians studied adopted full and half- siblings of hyperactive children and found concordance rates of almost 50 percent for full siblings and 9 percent for half- siblings. They studied 93 sets of same-sex twins and derived heritability estimate of 71 percent for hyperactivity. In a study of biological and adoptive parents of adopted hyperactive children, a higher percentage of biological parents reported that as children they had been hyperactive. What may be inherited could be a defect that results in lowered levels of neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine. Drugs that increase the levels of these neurotransmitters reduce hyperactivity in about 70 percent of the children who take tem.

      Hardly any direct evidence exists for the influence of psychological causes in hyperactivity. However, some psychosocial treatments result in decreases in hyperactive behavior. Some clinicians therefore have sought psychosocial factors which could lead to hyperactive behavior. It seems likely that the parents of hyperactive children may unknowingly have shaped the children’s behavior in the direction of hyperactivity and attention deficit. Modeling may also be a factor. They have found that fathers of hyperactive children led more “active” and less contemplative lives than did fathers of a matched normal control group. Another interesting finding is that a maternal discipline was more lax in the families of hyperactive.

            Hyperactive children are likely to have problems as long as they in school. A study followed up 23 adolescents identified in grade school as hyperactive. Sixteen had tried medication for varying periods. On the average, this sample was almost three grade levels behind in academic achievement, compared to a normal control group. Fifteen of the boys continued to have behavior problems in school. Hyperactive behavior remained a problem for most, and academic deficits were problems for all by the age of 14. The majority had not “outgrown” the problem (Kozier 158).

            More favorable outcomes were found in a 10 year follow- up of 75 hyperactive children who had reached young adulthood. The subjects’ ages ranged from 17 to 24. Their teachers from their last year of school were surveyed along with their current employers. The data were compared to those of a matched control group of 44 nonhyperactive young adults. Even in the last year of school, the hyperactive group was rated as performing less adequately than the controls, and as being more troublesome.

            However, employers’ ratings of adults diagnosed as nonhyperactive or hyperactive were not significantly different. As a group, the adults who had been hyperactive as children were just as punctual and competent as the control group. The former hyperactives got along as with supervisors and co workers, completed their tasks as well, and were just as likely to be hired again if the opportunity arose. As young adults, the hyperactive children found jobs in which their school behaviors were no longer problems, but assets (Wagman 317). Unfortunately, the study did not note the kind of jobs involved. We can speculate, however, that the jobs did not involve behaviors expected in school. It is unlikely that any were bookkeepers or bank tellers.

            There is no known treatment for ADHD but there are medications which help lessen or alleviate the symptoms a child with ADHD will manifests. These are the stimulant medication. However there is a new drug discovered to be also effective and this is Strattera. Children who take these medications should be watched by their parents for these drugs have adverse effects towards the client’s body and these may include Lack of interest to eat, nausea, vomiting, and altered sleeping patterns.

            Therapies could also be used to treat ADHD, and counseling and emotional support from the family would be a great treatment. Maternal and Paternal discipline should also be imposed in order for the child to see great authorities and be able to obey and respect it. This would greatly affect the behavior of the child having ADHD; whatever they see from their elders will be registered in their young minds.

            So if they see that they are not that well guided and disciplined by their parents and that their behaviors are well tolerated, then the more they will be encouraged to continue their lack of attention and hyperactivity which causes troubles towards others and themselves.

            The characteristics of ADD generally cannot be controlled without professional and the assistance of medicine.  Various individuals respond well to different medications than others.  The most common medicine prescribed to patients living with ADD is Ritalin. Ritalin’s effects are similar to caffeine (Kozier 197). Ritalin affects chemicals in the brain and helps control hyperactivity.  Ritalin has been shown to be a safe drug as long as the patient uses the correct dosages.  The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has put restrictions on the manufacturing and distribution of Ritalin because of its addictive nature.  Ritalin also has many side affects that may contribute to patients abandoning the Drug.

            Some side effects include loss of appetite, headaches, digestive problems, psychotic episodes, and many more.  Most people who live with ADD do not suffer from any side effects from their medication. Addiction to Ritalin is the main worry of parents, doctors and the patients themselves.  For patients who have difficulty with addiction to Ritalin, there is an abundance of other options (Brunner 268).

            The focus of many medications is to improve various troublesome areas of the patients’ life. A difference in the patient’s behavior is usually noticeable at home as well as at school or work when they are using the proper medication.  The individual can usually enter a social situation and contribute to the group without fear of rejection.

            Anxiety is also a symptom of ADD that is alleviated with the proper use of medication.  Most importantly, with the proper use of medicine, the individual has a sense of belonging and increased self-esteem. Cognitive therapy is another way to treat ADD (Wagman 311). This form of treatment can be used without medicine.  It can also be used hand in hand with medicine to help the patient make better decisions.  Cognitive therapy focuses on the self-image of the patient as well as focusing on eliminating depression and anxiety.  The process of therapy also looks at events and choices the patient was recently involved with. They put an emphasis on what happened when the patient made the choice and how to approach a similar situation in a different manner the next time they are put in the same position.  To keep the patient from getting overwhelmed, the therapist divides the tasks into smaller goals and usually focuses on one task at a time.

            Recent studies are showing a correlation between individuals with ADD and the exposure to lead.  All children have some degree of lead in their system, but children with ADD are likely to have increased levels.  Many of the toys available to children contain small amounts of lead.  Just recently there has been a massive recall of toys made in China due to unsafe lead levels.  Studies have also speculated that watching excessive amounts of television can contribute to a child developing ADD.  If a child watches too many hours of television between the ages of one and three, the risk of the child developing ADD are increased. The more television the child watches increased the risks of eventually having ADD (Brunner 254).  Most of these results are theories and there are still not many solid facts about ADD. The debate continues about whether ADD is an actual disorder.  Many people think a child who suffers from ADD is nothing more than a child being who they are.  We are all different and to say that because a child is too hyper or too introverted makes him or her have a disease can offend some people (Wagman 323).

            Others are looking at studies, experiments and a lot of data obtained through years of tests and are coming to a different conclusion.  ADD is thoroughly studied and documented.   The origins and mysteries surrounding the disease will someday come to light.

            ADD is a mysterious disease. A lot of time and effort is going into the research of the origins and treatment of ADD.  With effective treatment and medicine, most of the symptoms of ADD can be treated, but most patients will grow into adulthood with the disease.  An adult with ADD will tend to have difficulties in relationships and employment.  I believe ADD is a real disease and more progress will be made to cure it in the future.

Reference:

Benjamin, L. T., et al. Psychology. Macmillan Publishing Company, 1990.
Brunner, K., Suddarith, L. Medical- Surgical Nursing.  J. G. Ferguson Publishing Company, 1993.
Kozier, Barbara. Fundamentals of Nursing. Prentice Hall, 2004
Mehr. J. Abnormal Psychology. USA: CBS College Publishing, 1983.
Wagman, R. J. The New Complete Medical & Health Encyclopedia.  Little, Brown, 1985.

 

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