BISC 230 TERM PAPER - Tradonsky 1 Brad Tradonsky Dr John...

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Tradonsky 1 Brad Tradonsky Dr. John Walsh April 4 th 2012 BISC 230 “This is so stupid. Why am I doing this? Is it the Q or Z key I’m supposed to hit when the white rabbit hops across the black computer screen?” These were all thoughts that ran circles around my head as I let myself slip into that comfortable, burgundy, leather office chair. I continued the diagnostic test, clicking the mouse at what I desperately hoped were the right times, until I was told to stop. I needed to pass, because failing” the test meant that I had ADHD, attention deficit hyperactive disorder. The test results came as no surprise to my parents or teachers, both of whom had long recognized my inability to stay seated when expected to do so, my forgetfulness, my tendency to interrupt others, my constant fidgeting and my consistent failure to think through the consequences of my actions. Yet, despite these seemingly obvious differences I was still embarrassed to be diagnosed with a condition that carries such a negative stigma. Despite the fact that ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed childhood behavioral disorder—three to five out of every 100 kids are diagnosed each year—many still see it as an excuse to not pay attention or do well in school(Board, 2012).Whether it was kids making fun of me on the play ground years ago, my high school friends claiming that “everyone has a little bit of ADHD” or fellow college students harassing me to let them use my meds, I’ve come to recognize that the general public doesn’t have a
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2 good understanding of what ADHD is. In this paper we will explore ADHD: its manifestation and diagnosis, its biological and neurological causes, treatment options and future research that should be done to further our understanding of the disorder. One reason why ADHD isn’t well understood by the general public is because despite my colorful anecdote, there is no one test used to diagnose ADHD (Mendelson, 1995). In order to meet diagnostic criteria for having ADHD, patients must exhibit ADHD related behaviors. These behaviors must be excessive, long-term, and pervasive. Additionally, the behaviors must appear before age 7, continue for at least 6 months and create a real handicap in at least two areas of a person's life, such as school, home, work, or social settings (Jaksa, 1998). These behaviors—or symptoms—are divided into three categories: inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Inattentive indicators include: failing to pay close attention to details, difficulty keeping attention during tasks, not seeming to listen when spoken to directly, not following through on instructions, difficulty organizing tasks and activities, avoiding tasks that require sustained mental effort, losing things needed for tasks or activities, distractibility and forgetfulness. Since those with mostly inattentive ADHD are much less disruptive than those with more hyperactive or impulsive ADHD, their condition is more likely to go unnoticed and thus
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BISC 230 TERM PAPER - Tradonsky 1 Brad Tradonsky Dr John...

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