nimhadhdpub_pg23 - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder...

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder II National Institute of Mental Health DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
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ttention Deficit Hyper- A activity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition that becomes apparent in some children in the preschool and early school years. It is hard for these children to control their behavior and/or pay attention. It is estimated that between 3 and 5 percent of children have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or approximately 2 million children in the United States. This means that in a classroom of 25 to 30 children, it is likely that at least one will have ADHD. ADHD was first described by Dr. Heinrich Hoffman in 1845. A physician who wrote books on medicine and psychiatry, Dr. Hoffman was also a poet who became interested in writing for children when he couldn’t find suitable materials to read to his 3-year-old son. The result was a book of poems, complete with illustrations, about children and their characteristics. “The Story of Fidgety Philip” was an accurate description of a little boy who had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Yet
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2 it was not until 1902 that Sir George F. Still published a series of lectures to the Royal College of Physicians in England in which he described a group of impulsive children with significant behavioral problems, caused by a genetic dysfunction and not by poor child rearing—children who today would be easily recognized as having ADHD. Since 1 then, several thousand scientific papers on the disorder have been published, providing information on its nature, course, causes, impairments, and treatments. A child with ADHD faces a difficult but not insurmountable task ahead. In order to achieve his or her full potential, he or she should receive help, guidance, and understanding from parents, guidance counselors, and the public education system. This brochure offers information on ADHD and its management, including research on medications and behavioral interventions, as well as helpful resources on educational options. Because ADHD often continues into adulthood, this brochure contains a section on the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD in adults. Symptoms The principle characteristics of ADHD are inattention , hyperactivity , and impulsivity . These symptoms appear early in a child’s life. Because many normal children may have these symptoms, but at a low level, or the symptoms may be caused by another disorder, it is important that the child receive a thorough examination and appropriate diagnosis by a well qualified professional.
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3 Symptoms of ADHD will appear over the course of many months, often with the symptoms of impulsiveness and hyperactivity preceding those of inattention that may not emerge for a year or more. Different symptoms may appear in different settings, depending on the demands the situation may pose for the child’s self-control. A child who “can’t sit still” or is otherwise disruptive will be noticeable in school,
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This note was uploaded on 04/12/2010 for the course PSY 339 taught by Professor Neal during the Spring '09 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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nimhadhdpub_pg23 - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder...

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