Office for the
ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER (ADHD)
AD/HD is estimated to affect between 3-5 %
of the school-aged population. Even though the exact cause of AD/HD
remains unknown, it is known that AD/HD is a neurobiologically based
disorder. Scientific evidence suggests that AD/HD is genetically
transmitted and in many cases results from a chemical imbalance or
deficiency in certain neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that help the
brain regulate behavior.
AD/HD is diagnosed according to certain
characteristics described in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (American Psychiatric Association,
1994), known as DSM-IV. A child with AD/HD is often described as having a
short attention span and as being distractible. The child will have
difficulty with one or all parts of the attention process: focusing
(picking something on which to pay attention), sustaining focus (paying
attention for as long as is needed), and shifting focus (moving attention
from one thing to another).
Impulsiveness with AD/HD appears when
children act before thinking. According to DSM-IV (p. 84), some
symptoms of impulsivity
Planning for educational needs begins with an accurate diagnosis. Children suspected of having AD/HD must be appropriately diagnosed by a knowledgeable, well-trained clinician (usually a developmental pediatrician, child psychologist, or pediatric neurologist). Treatment plans may include behavioral and educational interventions and sometimes medication. Parents suspecting a problem may seek the services of the local school district or an outside private professional to conduct an evaluation. For children under age five, families may want to contact early childhood programs specialized in serving the needs of youngsters with disabilities. Call the local public school system and ask about services for children with disabilities.
CH.A.D.D. (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder)
8181 Professional Place, Suite 201
Landover, MD 20785
(800) 233-4050 (voice mail to request information packet)
National Attention Deficit Disorder
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