Informative Speech on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Purpose of the Speech: To inform the audience about what ADHD is (and is not), its symptoms, the different forms of ADHD, how it is diagnosed, and the treatment of ADHD.
ADHD is a serious condition, but it doesn't mean that it has to ruin person's life.
Bouncing off the walls!
Anyone with a child has said this phrase, as the child runs around, refusing to pay attention or listen. And everyone has had a day or two when they just can't focus. But for someone with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, otherwise known as ADHD, every day is like that. It's like the difference between having the blues and major depression. Everyone feels sad, but not everyone is incapacitated by depression. Everyone has a day or two when they just can't get it together. But that doesn't mean they have ADHD.
So what is ADHD? According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the symptoms of ADHD are chronic inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. While all children show these traits to some degree, at different times, when a child suffers from ADHD, hyperactivity, distractibility, poor concentration, or impulsivity begin to affect the child's performance in school, social relationships with other children, and behavior at home ("Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder." NIMH, 2006).
Children who are inattentive have a hard time keeping their minds on any one task and may get bored after only a few minutes. Hyperactive children are easy to spot in a classroom. They are always running around, talking, and squirming in their seat. Sitting still is nearly impossible. Impulsive children have trouble thinking before they act and appreciating the consequences of their actions, making it hard for them to wait for things they want or to take their turn in games.
ADHD affects approximately 3% to 5% of all children. According to the most recent version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR), there are three patterns of behavior that indicate ADHD. There is the predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type, the child who is bouncing off the walls and can't sit still, but is not really inattentive, the predominantly inattentive type, or the dreamy child who might not be hyperactive, but says "huh" almost every time a teacher tries to give him or her directions, and the combined type who displays both inattentive and hyperactive and impulsive symptoms. The diagnostic guidelines also contain specific requirements for determining when a child's symptoms indicate ADHD. The child's behaviors must appear early in life, before age seven, and continue for at least six months. The behaviors must create a real handicap in at least two areas of the sufferer's life such as in school at home, or socially -- or at work ("Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder." NIMH, 2006).
At work, you say? What seven-year-old goes to work? Well, ADHD isn't always something people outgrow. Several recent studies indicate between 30% and 70% of children with ADHD continue to exhibit symptoms as adults ("Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder." NIMH, 2006). Because of increased awareness, and the unique demands of the school environment, ADHD is usually diagnosed when someone is fairly young. But adults, sometimes even adults who aren't aware of it, can suffer from ADHD. The symptoms in adults, because adults have consciously or unconsciously tried to control them, might not be so obvious. Hyperactive adults may feel internally restless, like they have to do a million things at once. They may find it hard to control their impulses -- no matter how high their IQ, they might not be able to bite their tongue and say what's on their mind. And they might have trouble screening out the worker in the cubicle next to them, and other outside stimuli and pay attention to what they need to do. To be diagnosed with ADHD, an adult must have childhood-onset, persistent,…