Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
When hyperactivity and impulsivity accompany inattention, the disorder is called Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is a common behavioral disorder affecting about 4 % to 12% of school-age children.
The primary etiology for the development of ADHD in children is not yet clearly understood. Researchers have found out that children with the disorder have specific brain areas that are approximately 5-10% smaller in size and brain activity. Other possible links are smoking during the course of pregnancy, premature delivery, very low birth weight and brain injuries during labor, family stress, poverty, and poor nutrition. Other studies associate daily television watching with excessive screen time as a possible cause for future attention difficulties.
Some of the problems associated with the disorder which range from mild to severe include decreased attention span, increased motor activity and impulsiveness. They will have problems in completing a task.
ADHD can be categorized into three subtypes, that is, the inattentive type, the hyperactive-impulsive type and the third one which is the combined type. Clinical manifestations of the inattentive type are difficulty sustaining attention, listening problems, trouble following instructions, organizational problems, distractibility and tendency to lose things. The second type is presented with signs that include excessive motor activity, unnecessary talking, problems waiting for a turn, hyperactivity, fidgeting, and difficulty remaining seated.
Proper diagnosis and treatment must be established to meet desirable behavioral outcomes. One effective approach is environmental manipulation. Stimulations are decreased, by turning off the television, keeping the setting quiet, and maintaining an area without any distractions. In classroom setting, appropriate classroom seating placement is also important. If the child has moderate to severe forms of ADHD, pharmacotherapy will be initiated.
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