• ADHD

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition that becomes 
    apparent in some children in the preschool and early school years. It is 
    hard for these children to control their behavior and/or pay attention. It 
    is estimated that between 3 and 5 percent of children have ADHD, or 
    approximately 2 million children in the United States. This means that in a 
    classroom of 25 to 30 children, it is likely that at least one will have 
    ADHD.  If you have concerns about your child, you should contact their pediatrician.
    ADHD was first described by Dr. Heinrich Hoffman in 1845. A physician who wrote books on medicine and psychiatry, Dr. Hoffman was also a poet who became interested in writing for children when he couldn't find suitable materials to read to his 3-year-old son. The result was a book of poems, complete with illustrations, about children and their characteristics. "The Story of Fidgety Philip" was an accurate description of a little boy who had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Yet it was not until 1902 that Sir George F. Still published a series of lectures to the Royal College of Physicians in England in which he described a group of impulsive children with significant behavioral problems, caused by a genetic dysfunction and not by poor child rearing - children who today would be easily recognized as having ADHD. Since then, several thousand scientific papers on the disorder have been published, providing information on its nature, course, causes, impairments, and treatments. The principal characteristics of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. These symptoms appear early in a child's life. Because many children may have these symptoms, but at a low level, or the symptoms may be caused by another disorder, it is important that the child receive a thorough examination and appropriate diagnosis by a well-qualified professional. Symptoms of ADHD will appear over the course of many months, often with the symptoms of impulsiveness and hyperactivity preceding those of inattention, which may not emerge for a year or more. Different symptoms may appear in different settings, depending on the demands the situation may pose for the child's self-control. A child who "can't sit still" or is otherwise disruptive will be noticeable in school, but the inattentive daydreamer may be overlooked. The impulsive child who acts before thinking may be considered just a "discipline problem," while the child who is passive or sluggish may be viewed as merely unmotivated. Yet both may have different types of ADHD. All children are sometimes restless, sometimes act without thinking, sometimes daydream the time away. When the child's hyperactivity, distractibility, poor concentration, or impulsivity begin to affect performance in school, social relationships with other children, or behavior at home, ADHD may be suspected. But because the symptoms vary so much across settings, ADHD is not easy to diagnose. This is especially true when inattentiveness is the primary symptom. According to the most recent version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-V), there are three patterns of behavior that indicate ADHD. People with ADHD may show several
    signs of being consistently inattentive. They may have a pattern of being hyperactive and impulsive far more than others of their age. Or they may show all three types of behavior. This means that there are three subtypes of ADHD recognized by professionals. These are the predominantly hyperactive- impulsive type (that does not show significant inattention); the predominantly inattentive type (that does not show significant hyperactive- impulsive behavior) sometimes called ADD an outdated term for this entire disorder; and the combined type (that displays both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms).