Goal: This will provide significant information that will highlight factors and appropriate treatment methods related to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It will also discuss the effects of different treatment method and treatment method appropriate to an individual’s age.
Objectives: At the end of this course, parents must be able to: 1. understand causes and symptoms of ADHD 2. know how ADHD is diagnosed 3. determine behavioral elements that may indicate mental health conditions among children 4. learn treatment methods and programs 5. apply the different treatment methods INTRODUCTION Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), also known as hyperkinesis, is a mental disorder that is common to children. It affects three to five percent of the children’s world population having a boy to girl ratio of 2:1 or 3:1 (NMHI, 1999).
The disorder is characterized by persistent inattentiveness which results in significant functional impairment. It hinders the individual’s capability to do task and exercise age-appropriate behavior. Healthcare professional diagnosed 4. 4 million youth ages 4-17 years old have ADHD. As of 2003, it was found out that 2. 5 million youth ages 4-14 years old are under medication for the disorder. Also, 7. 8% of parents of school-aged have reported to have an ADHD (CDC, 2005). ADHD is a disorder that has an effect to an individual throughout life.
The symptoms are pervasive which means that it occurs in various setting. Researches found out that the distinct characteristics of ADHD are inattentiveness and hyperactivity-impulsivity. This paper aims to provide alternative treatment for parents of children with ADHD. In order to achieve this, one must first understand the causes, symptoms, and effects of the disorder. The educational treatment educational course will aid parents of children with ADHD on treating the disorder of their on child and on taking care of their children acquiring such disorder.
Specifically, this paper aims to determine if the gender and educational background of parents influence the consideration of alternative treatment procedure for ADHD. CAUSES OF ADHD The causes of ADHD are still undetermined but medical professionals have come up with assumptions that might have caused the disorder. The causes may be neuroanatomic, genetic, environmental, social, and prenatal factors (The Healing Center On-line, 2008). The Neuroanatomic Factor The neuroanatomic sources are the fontal lobe lesions, anterior and medical to the pre-central motor cortex.
Studies on cerebral blood flows have found central hypoperfusion in the frontal lobe and decreased blood flow to the caudate nucleus. The Healing Center On-line further wrote that: The positron emission topography of parents of children with ADHD who have symptoms with the disorder have shown that there were decreased metabolism in left frontal and parietal regions which suggest that the prefrontal cortex, which governs auditory attention, is less active among those with ADHD.
Also, persons with ADHD have an abnormal low rate of activity in brain areas responsible for motor control and attentiveness. Genetic Factor It is found out by studies that children with ADHD also have close relatives with ADHD. It shows that ADHD can be acquired genetically. Researches also showed that one-third of the fathers with ADHD during their youth will bear a child with ADHD. Also, identical twins share the same trait (NMHI, 1999). Environmental and Prenatal Factors Researches have shown a potential relationship between smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol during pregnancy.
Behavior problems are also affected by high carbohydrate and high sugar diet during pregnancy. Lowering of blood oxygen caused by smoking, high carbohydrate and high sugar diet is critical in fetal development, specifically in the development of fetal brain cells (Healing Center On-line, 2008). Some factors that may lead to ADHD are exposure to toxins such as lead, traumatic experiences, imbalance of neurotransmitters and abnormal glucose metabolism in the central nervous system. Psychosocial Factors
ADHD can be caused by social conditions, family stability and marital conflict, psychiatric disorder, parental approach, and family interactions. SYMPTOMS OF ADHD The symptoms of ADHD are seen at an early age. The main symptoms of the disorder are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Children with ADHD are usually impulsive, forgetful, restless to the point of disruption, prone to fall, unable to follow instructions, unpredictable, and moody (Healing Center On-line, 2008). But some of these are normal to children at young age.
According to the American Psychiatric Association (2005), ADHD can be identified by the following behavior: (a) playing with hands or feet or wriggling in their seats, (b) difficulty to stay in their seats when needed, (c) difficulty to maintain attention and waiting for a chance in games or group activities, (d) Answering before questions are completed, (e) difficulty to follow instruction and to do task properly, (f) changing one unfinished task to another, (g) failure to prevent careless mistakes, and (h) difficulty to listen. DIAGNOSIS OF THE ADHD
Parents observe indications of inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity at young age before entering school. But because maturity of children comes different rates, it is important to ask for the opinion of medical experts if the behavior of a child is appropriate at a certain age (NMHI, 2008). According to the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual in 1997, as written by The Healing Center On-line, there is no existing test to detect ADHD but recommended steps in diagnosing the disorder. The first step is a to interview parents. The interview must include family background, presenting problem, and developmental history.
Second is asking the child about home, school, and social functioning. Third is completion of the behavior-rating scales illustrating the role of home and school. The fourth step is to gather data from school like grades, achievement test scores, current placement and, relevant information. Fifth is psychological IQ test and Learning Disability screening. The final step is to give physical and neurological examinations. Parent Interview The parent interview is important in establishing relationship between the parents, the child, and the examiner.
This will prove invaluable parental support with the assessment and treatment. The interview will also be a source of descriptive information about the family especially parent’s specific observation on child’s obvious problem. It will also expose the degree of distress the child’s problems affecting the family, particularly the parent and the overall psychological integrity of parent. The interview will also help in formulating a diagnosis and to recommend possible treatments (Barkley, 2007). Child Interview Barkley (2007) also emphasizes the importance of child interview.
The length of time required for the interview depends on the age, intellectual level, and language abilities of the children. For preschools, the interview will be a time to be familiar with the child’s appearance, behavior, and development characteristic. For older children and adults, they can be questioned regarding family relationship and status, problem encountered, performance in school, and social and peer acceptance. Teacher Interview The interview with teacher will determine the behavior and performance of the child in school. This will help in evaluating the child’s over all behavior and assessing the development of the child.