| What is it? | What causes it? | What may aggravate the symptoms? |
| Common Characteristics to A.D.D. children |
| Full syndrome untreated, symptoms throughout life |
What is it?
A.D.D. is a disorder that is defined by symptoms rather than cause.
The key element in A.D.D. is seen to be a weakness in attention and concentration skills.
There are two types of A.D.D.
- with hyperactivity - more often boys
- without hyperactivity -more often girls
It is estimated that 5% of school age children are affected.
A.D.D. children without hyperactivity may have severe problems with attention and concentration but do not show excessive movement. They are not usually aggressive or disruptive. Their academic, social and emotional problems may be just as bad as the more active A.D.D. child.
All A.D.D. children have trouble to varying degrees with attention and concentration. Some are more active. Some are more aggressive. Some are both. Some are neither.
A.D.D. CANNOT BE CURED IT MUST BE MANAGED
What causes it?
Nobody can say for sure but these are the current theories:
- A biochemical imbalance may cause part of the brain to be understimulated.
- A deficiency in neurotransmitters in the brain - messages simply do not get through.
- The attention system in the brain is not working properly
- It is hereditary most of the time. The child is born with it.
What does not cause it, but may aggravate the symptoms?
Poor discipline and life experiences, diet, allergies, family dynamics, birth order, brain damage.
Some characteristics common to A.D.D. children
These characteristics are not all displayed by all A.D.D. children all the time. Each child is different and is affected in different ways and to different degrees.
- Have trouble concentrating at an age appropriate level
- Easily distracted by everything going on around them
- Can pay attention when interested or intimidated
- Demonstrates poor penmanship
- Acting or speaking without thinking
- By the time I know what I'm going to do I've already done it.
- Lies or makes up stories
- Have difficulty delaying gratification
- Just can't wait!
- Fidgety, runaround, can't sit still
- Seem to be driven by a motor
- Can be still if what they are doing is really interesting
- Exaggerated emotions, major temper tantrums
- Hyper silly in a group, wild at a party
- Difficulty following rules, try to change the rules
- Can be aggressive and defiant
- Can be passive, sloppy and forgetful
- Have no social sensitivity
- Bossy, competitive, poor losers
- Often wind up alone or playing with younger kids
- Source of major distress for parents
- Sloppy, lose things, forgetful
- Start, but don't finish things
- Their rooms are usually a disaster area
Full syndrome untreated, symptoms
These notes are based on the video:
Phelan, T.W. All About Attention Deficit Disorder Part I:
Symptoms, Development, Prognosis and Causes.
Infancy - Slight tendency for A.D.D. children to display certain characteristics.
- negative response to new situations
- born crabby, greater time in negative mood
- emotional intensity
- eating and sleeping disorders
- odd vocalizations
- resistant to affection
On the other hand, many A.D.D. children are wonderful babies.
18 - 24 months - Hyperactivity starts to be noticeable
- have a lot of accidents - impulsive, hyper, awkward
- need to child proof the home more than ordinary
- stop taking naps at an early age
- display jealousy
3 - 5 years - Win the public embarassment contest
- discipline doesn't work
- peer problems
- you wonder if they have a conscience
- destructive - break their own treasures
- curious - take everything apart
- parental conflict - they may behave better for Dad
5 - 12 years - elementary school
- complaints about school work and social misbehaving
- lying - mostly about school work
- self esteem suffers as they start to realize something is wrong
12 - 18 years - adolescence
- hyperactivity may letup
- peer problems - may choose undesirable friends
- conduct disorders - 25% higher than normal risk for drug abuse
- family is fed up, especially with the arguing
- high risk for depression
- worse drivers than average counterparts
Adults - they do exist
- probably have mellowed out
- can choose their own way of life without interference
- often make excellent salesmen but hate the paperwork
- contact with the law decreases
- tend to move more than average
- education and economic levels tend to be low
- probably don't seek help