Attention Deficit Disorder Term Paper


Attention Deficit Disorder or in short ADD, is a condition wherein a person cannot concentrate on a thing that he is doing and a person who is very energetic when compared to other people. They are sometimes called an extra ordinary person because they possess a different kind of behavior that is quite distinguishable. They are also very impulsive because they react to things drastically and often times restless. The ADD is oftentimes diagnosed with children showing symptoms of this kind of disorder. A child who shows symptoms of ADD usually leads to Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder or AD/HD. A child who is very impulsive and hyperactive have also the tendency to get bored easily and because of this they tend to distract other people also through making a lot of noise, moving unnecessarily and disturbing other kids. It is said that it is not their own choice to distract other people but it is the result of the disorder. Attention Deficit Disorder really exists based on the findings of the scientist and it is very noticeable when a person especially the children act differently. There are three possible cause of ADD based on the findings of h2g2's Researchers (2000):

One is that Attention Deficit Disorder is caused by a head injury that causes minor brain damage due to either a complication or infection during birth. Another theory states that food additives, such as food coloring and refined sugar, cause the disorder. Currently, scientists believe that Attention Deficit Disorder is a biological disorder caused by anomalies in the brain. They also believe that Attention Deficit Disorder runs in the family, making genetics a possible factor.

Damage to the brain can make the person change in an instant and there may be some complications if not detected and cured earlier. The sugar helps a person be active as they say when you are sleepy; you need a "sugar rush." That is why you will notice that if you take a chocolate, you will be active again, and it will give you an extra strength. May be too much sugar puts hyperactivity with the person involved. And lastly it is hereditary, there are parents who had ADD but never knew that they had.

Currently, there is no cure for Attention Deficit Disorder except for giving several medications in which it acts as stimulants that will refresh the mind of the children and ease the tension in them. They call this stimulant as the neurotransmitters because it sends out to the nerve of the brain. When a child is involved, a teacher can diagnose if the students have an ADD and the doctor can make some diagnosis again and test the child until he finds the disorder. This is the time where the doctor will recommend for a treatment or to take medications. One of the medications that are being prescribed by doctors is "Ritalin" and one cannot buy this if you do not have a prescription. The "Ritalin" will relax the hyperactive child particularly when the activity is uncontrollable. It is said that if the ADD were not treated earlier, it will be harder to cure it on a later part.

Here are some of the proofs that ADD can be defined based on the American Psychiatric Association (APA) based on U.S. Department of Education (1994) that can be found on the online source,

Fidgeting with hands or feet or squirming in their seat (adolescents with ADD may appear restless);

Difficulty remaining seated when required to do so;

Difficulty sustaining attention and waiting for a turn in tasks, games or group situations;

Blurting out answers to questions before the questions have been completed;

Difficulty following through on instructions and in organizing tasks;

Shifting from one unfinished activity to another

Failing to give close attention to details and avoiding careless mistakes

Losing things necessary for tasks or activities; and Difficulty in listening to others without being distracted or interrupting.

Here are some of the reality that ADD really exists based on the finding of the U.S. Department of Education (1994) that can be found on the online source,

Before children are considered to have ADD,...


They start to show the behaviors characteristic of ADD between ages three and seven, including fidgeting; restlessness; difficulty remaining seated; being easily distracted; difficulty waiting their turn; blurting out answers; difficulty obeying instructions; difficulty paying attention; shifting from one uncompleted activity to another; difficulty playing quietly; talking excessively; interrupting; not listening; often losing things; and not considering the consequences of their actions.
Estimates of who has ADD range from 3 to 5% of the school age population (between 1.46 and 2.44 million children.) While boys outnumber girls by 4:1 to 9:1, experts believe that many girls with ADD are never diagnosed.

Actions by the parents can influence the child's ability to control his or her ADD behavior. Recently, some studies suggest a few cases of ADD may be caused by the use of alcohol and drugs by the mother while pregnant.

While 10 to 33% of children with ADD also have learning disabilities, the two disorders cause different problems for children. ADD primarily affects the behavior of the child -- causing inattention and impulsivity -- while learning disabilities primarily affect the child's ability to learn -- mainly in processing information.

There are several national psychological tests that schools use to identify students with ADD. Children suspected of having ADD are referred to a child specialist (e.g., school counselor, psychologist, and pediatrician) for clinical evaluation. Observations and reports from parents and teachers are critical to proper diagnosis. Sometimes, children are given intelligence, attention, and achievement tests. Doctors may also administer neuropsychological tests and neurological examinations.

Medicine cannot cure ADD but can sometimes temporarily moderate its effects. Stimulant medication such as Ritalin, Cylert, and Dexedrine is effective in 70% of the children who take it. In those cases, medication causes children to exhibit a clear and immediate short-term increase in attention, control, concentration, and goal-directed effort. Medication also reduces disruptive behaviors, aggression, and hyperactivity.

ADD symptoms continue into adolescence for 50-80% of the children with ADD. Many of them, between 30-50%, still will have ADD as adults. These adolescents and adults frequently show poor academic performance, poor self-image, and problems with peer relationships.

Teachers and parents have successfully used positive reinforcement procedures to increase desirable behaviors. A behavioral modification plan can give the child more privileges and independence as the child's behavior improves. Parents or teachers can give tokens or points to a child exhibiting desired behavior -- such as remaining seated or being quiet -- and can further reward children for good school performance and for finishing homework. Mild, short, immediate reprimands can counter and decrease negative and undesirable behaviors. Students with ADD can learn to follow classroom rules when there are pre-established consequences for misbehavior, rules are enforced consistently and immediately, and encouragement is given at home and in school.

More than half of the children with ADD succeed in the mainstream classroom when teachers make appropriate adjustments. Most others require just a part-time program that gives them additional help in a resource room. Teachers can help students learn by providing increased variety. Often, altering features of instructional activities or materials, such as paper color, presentation rate, and response activities, help teachers hold the attention of students with ADD. Active learning and motor activities also help. ADD students learn best when classroom organization is structured and predictable.

This will prove that Attention Deficit Disorder really exists, nobody knows how it started but there are some causes and if treatment is possible although there are no guaranteed cures for this. By determining the ADD, there are a lot of persons involved and mainly it is the professionals who do it. They study first the background of the child, his environment and…

Sources Used in Documents:


h2g2 Researchers (2000) "Attention Deficit Disorder" [Online] Available at:


LD Online (2005) "Attention Deficit Disorder: Beyond the Myths," U.S. Department of Education. Washington, D.C. 1994 [Online] Available at:


Cite this Document:

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