June 13, 2005
This story was written by Earl Smith, from Angus, Ontario. Earl is married and has one child. He is presently enrolled in literacy classes at the Literacy Council of South Simcoe in Alliston. He is very proud of the fact that he is part of this organisation.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) begins in childhood and is characterized by not sitting still, being distracted easily and not controlling their impulses. Other characteristics of ADHD are; one has a hard time keeping their mind on one thing at a time, easily bored, make careless mistakes, have trouble listening and tend to daydream more often than other children.
This is one of the most common disorders in children and affects 3 to 5% of children. This is found four times more often in boys then in girls. Even though a person can outgrow ADHD it can stay with them into their adulthood, and their whole lives.
When testing a person for ADHD the test must be in two different settings (home and the classroom). The symptoms must last at least a period of six months.
Children with ADHD often when in a school setting, may roam around the classroom, constantly touch things of disrupt others.
Children with ADHD often have learning problems because of their problems paying attention and following instructions. In addition, disrupting their classmates can often lead to unpopularity and constant criticism from teachers and parents who believe their behaviour, is for attention. The combination of negative feedback and poor schoolwork as well as their social problems can lead, and most often does, to low self-esteem.
Scientists are not sure of the cause of ADHD. Scientists have learned that the area of the brain that controls attention spans and limits impulse behaviour are the areas of the brain that are most often affected. This suggests that there may be generic factors in play. Studies have shown that one third of fathers that have ADHA also usually have children with ADHD.
Although there are no known cures for ADHD a person can learn to still function with it and also be prescribed medication when necessary. Adults with ADHD maybe unusually impatient or restless and may still become bored with tasks before they are finished. They also maybe late for appointments, change jobs often and fail to organize time properly. Adults may also have problems maintaining friendships and relationships.
Microsoft Encyclopaedia Encarta '98
Personal knowledge from testing at Georgian College
[This story was taken with permission, from PILLARS, April 2005, published by the Literacy Council of South Simcoe.]