Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
According to the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] (2010), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurobehavioral disorders of childhood. It is a developmental neurobiological condition defined by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) as the presence of severe and pervasive symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity (cited in Daley & Birchwood, 2010). It is the most commonly studied and diagnosed psychiatric disorder in children, affecting about 3 to 5 percent of children globally (Wikipedia, 2011). It is diagnosed more often in boys than girls (PubMed Health, 2011). According to the APA, criteria for an ADHD diagnosis involves a number of inattentive, impulsive, and hyperactive behaviors over a 6 month period before the age of 7, both at home and in school, which impair daily functioning (cited in Daley & Birchwood, 2010). 30 to 50 percent of the children diagnosed with ADHD continue to have symptoms as adults (Wikipedia, 2011). This can cause problems with relationships, job performance, and job retention. Treatment for this chronic disorder involves medications, behavior modifications, lifestyle changes, and counseling.
The cause of ADHD is unknown. Doctors and researchers aren’t sure what causes it. They believe it is most likely caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain (Riley, 2011). There also appears to be a genetic factor, since ADHD tends to run in families (Riley, 2011). There are some risk factors that may increase the child’s chances of developing ADHD, and they are: (Riley, 2011)
Being a first-born boy
Having a parent or sibling (especially an identical twin) with ADHD
Having a mother who smoked cigarettes or drank alcohol during pregnancy
Being born prematurely
Having a head injury before the age of 2
Being exposed to high levels of lead or certain pesticides
Research does not support the...