ADHD - 1 How Is ADHD Diagnosed Attention deficit...

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1 How Is ADHD Diagnosed? Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, abbreviated ADHD, is defined as a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity and impulsivity that is more frequent and severe than is typically observed in individuals at a comparable level of development. In the past, ADHD was a disorder that was exceptionally rare or possibly even unheard of in most of the country. Today, it is a common explanation for why many children, and even some adults, have trouble focusing or paying attention. The question that is being asked, however, is whether or not patients are being accurately diagnosed with this condition. Many clinicians are beginning to wonder if ADHD is being over-diagnosed and over-treated. The diagnosis of ADHD is becoming merely a simple, easy justification as to why students do not to pay attention during class or display disruptive behavior. It is not taken into consideration that other factors may play a role in the reason for such behavior. Cynthia Riccio, an associate professor of educational psychology, believes that bias may be one of the influences in ADHD diagnosis. In addition, Yale Professor Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is becoming over-diagnosed in children and occasionally even in adults, sometimes because of cultural bias. As a result, other possible illnesses are in turn being overlooked in these patients. Many years ago, doctors first began noticing symptoms of ADHD, such as laziness, rebelliousness, and fidgetiness. However, at that point in time, this disorder had different names. Healthcare professionals observed the children who displayed such behavior and were interested in researching it. By 1987, the disorder was renamed again, finally to ADHD (Zambo, 2008, pp.35-36). Since then, it has developed into one of the most common disorders among children. Normally, the first signs of ADHD are noticed by the parents or teachers of the child. The concerned parents then take their child to a doctor to have him or her examined to discover that
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2 their child suffers from ADHD. Although many times physicians are correct with the diagnoses they give their patients, other times they may fail to notice another different disorder that could be an alternate cause of their symptoms. In some cases, the other issue that fails to be noticed may not be related to the certain medical field that a doctor specializes in. In other cases, a doctor may just overlook other possible causes. Kleinman (1988) describes the case of William Steele. William Steele was a forty two year old man who had developed asthma at the age of forty, which is quite unusual for that age. In addition to his asthma, he lived a very stressful life. His condition worsened since its onset, so his doctor simply just prescribed him different or additional medication. Nothing helped his situation though. “Both Mr. and Mrs. Steele believed that personal, work, and family problems worsened his illness. But when they raised this issue with Dr. Blanchard, they felt that he discounted the significance. . . . After six months of
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This note was uploaded on 09/13/2010 for the course EXPOS 355:201 taught by Professor Fisher during the Spring '08 term at Rutgers.

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ADHD - 1 How Is ADHD Diagnosed Attention deficit...

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