Misdiagnosis Of Attention Deficit Disorder

– Add Essay, Research Paper

What exactly is ADD? This is a question that has remained unanswered for a

very long time. ADD, also known as attention deficit disorder, has to do with the brain.

This disorder was at one time thought to be related to brain damage. Nowadays however,

it is actually quite common. It is reported that about 40 percent of the student body of an

average school is ADD. Scientists think that this is at least one student per classroom in a


ADD has really been recognized over the past twenty years. This is when most of

the research about it has been done. When someone has been diagnosed as having ADD

it does not mean that they are lazy, stupid, or crazy. It only means that they have a

difficult time trying to pay attention to a subject in which they have little or no interest.

This is why ADD is usually first noticed in school.

Before much research was done, ADD was not even called ADD. It had a

different name. It was called Hyperknetics. This was really just a fancy term for saying

that a child is easily distracted, and also very hyper. This was back in the days when

doctors also thought that Hyperknesis was caused by some sort of brain damage. This

was potentially true however; there were a few rare cases in which some brain damage

actually occurred in a child. The brain damage only happened naturally, like when the

child was being developed. ADD is something that an individual person is born with,

and not something that is developed over time.

Many Doctors and specialists have discovered over time that there is more than

type of ADD. Doctors now recognize three distinct types of ADD, normal ADD, ADHD,

and residual ADD. The second, ADHD is normal ADD coupled with a hyperactive

tendency. The third type, residual ADD is the type of ADD that most commonly affects

older children and adults. Hyperactivity is not usually associated with residual ADD.

When it comes to ADD most people will associate it with the child being hyper or

out of control. This can be the case some of the time, but hyperactivity isn?t always the

problem. There are actually quite a few kids who have an attention problem, but can

appear perfectly normal and calm on the outside.

Next, we will go into some of the symptoms of ADD. These symptoms are as

follows, 1. inattentiveness or distractibility, 2. Impulsivity, 3. difficulty delaying

gratification, 4. hyperactivity, 5. arousal, 6. noncompliance, 7. social problems, and 8.

disorganization. These are the main symptoms that doctors and specialists have used to

characterize and diagnose ADD.

Now we have to break it down. Most of the kids who have ADD without an

element of hyperactivity, will probably only display symptoms one, six, and eight. In

the book All About the Attention Deficit Disorder gives a great breakdown of all of the

different characteristics of ADD and determines into which category they fall. The most

important, or core symptom as they call it, is number one. This is inattention or

distractibility. This is the first sign that is looked for when someone is going to be

diagnosed with ADD. Next are symptoms two through five, these are the symptoms that

define the personality of a person with ADD. Items six through eight were saved to be

the symptoms that follow the others due to them actually being the results of the others.

These are the main symptoms that doctors diagnose people with. There will however, be

others along the way.

According to the book All About the Attention deficit disorder, An ADD child

has an attention span for which his or her age is too short. Unless the task is very

interesting to them, the child will always say that it is boring. This is the reason ADD

mostly takes place in schools. Many doctors, and the previously mentioned book have

said that nine times out of ten if you ask an ADD child what he or she mostly dislikes

about school the answer will be the work. Now don?t get the wrong idea, most kids will

say the reason why they dislike school is because of the work they are given. This is just

kids being kids. However, an ADD child will experience something completely

different. They can experience tremendous stress. This is because they have work that

they know is due, but they have no idea how to do it because they were distracted in

class. This can take place starting in elementary school. When the child gets older it

may develop to the point where it can become a very serious issue regarding the child?s

self esteem. This is because they are beginning to act, as some doctors and the book ?All

About ADD? call it, stupid or even lazy, when they are really neither. They might not be

able to handle the stress load as well as the other members of the class. At times they

may just decide that since they don?t know how to do the work they just won?t do it. This

is where the lazy factor comes in, when they really aren?t the least bit lazy. The child just

doesn?t want to be labeled as dumb or stupid because they can?t do the work. They don?t

want to be made fun of so they decide that if they don?t work at least they won?t be made

fun of and labeled as stupid.

In the book All About ADD it goes on to describe how children with ADD can

actually pay attention. This may only happen for limited periods of time though.

However there are four characteristics necessary for this to be able to happen. 1. Novelty

2. High interest involved 3. Intimidation 4. Being one on one with an adult. Of these,

number two and number four are probably the most significant characteristics. If the

child has a high interest in the task at hand then it is really not the problem. It is just

when the task does not interest the child that ADD and hyperactivity kick in and there is a

complete loss of the child?s attention. Also when the child is with an authority figure, he

or she will tend to be more calm, and more in tune with what is going on. This is due to

the intimidation factor. Also, when the child had someone just paying attention to him or

her, it makes him or her realize that they can?t fool around.

When the room is silent, and you are trying to concentrate on a single task, you

may hear little noises such ass a clock, or perhaps someone tapping a pencil on a desk,

however you just go on about your business like it was no big deal. Well this is by far

the worst situation for an ADD child. This type of ADD is called Auditory. This is when

certain noises are making it very difficult for a child to concentrate. Another type is

visual. This is when there is something in the child?s field of vision that may interest

them more than the task that they are working on right now. The third type is sombic.

This is one of the least common. This has to do with body sensations, as stated in All

About ADD. When the child?s sock or something is not in the right place they cannot

stand it. It makes it almost impossible for them to concentrate. The fourth and final type

is fantasy. This is when the child is a daydreamer. He or she will think about other

things that are more appealing to them.

Another problem with ADD kids is that they will sometimes get a single idea in

their heads and they will not let go of it. For example, when the child and a parent are

shopping he may see something that he wants. The child will keep nagging and bugging

his parents until he gets his way. Another ADD symptom is that of impatience. This is

pretty easily defined because everyone can be impatient at one time or another. This

usually occurs when the child is waiting in line or is looking forward to something they

can wait no longer for. A good example is when he or she is ready to go out to recess.

Now we will go deeper into the world of hyperactivity. By far one of the leading

symptoms of ADD, this is one of the most annoying parts of ADD. As describes in the

book All About ADD, a child who is very hyperactive and has ADD will be told

countless times to sit down, be quiet, or calm down. These are some of the terms that are

very common around the house of an ADD child. Also, when it comes to being

hyperactive, boys definitely win the prize. Specialists say that in nearly all cases boys

will be more hyperactive than girls. This is just due to the different chemical balances in

both boys and girls. When kids have ADD without hyperactivity they can act and appear

quite normal. You might just catch them in their own little world when you?re trying to

get their attention, but they won?t be bouncing off of the walls like others tend to do.

Another reason for boy?s higher level of hyperactivity is that boys exorcise more


Since over forty percent of children, and about the same percentage of adults have

this disorder, it is nowhere near as serious as some people may fear. All that is risky is

someone that is easily distracted. There are however some treatments, and most of them

have to do with being prescribed different drugs. The two most popular drugs are Ritalin

and Adderal. There are downfalls to these drugs however. By downfalls I really mean

side effects. They can cause the child to become extremely tired, or to lose their appetite.

However, a doctor or psychologist may be able to suggest an alternate route without

having to use any antibiotics or drugs. So don?t give up, there are things that can help,

you just have to keep looking and hopefully you will find the answer.



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