The history of ADHD / ADD.
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental behavioural disorder, or that is how it is classified anyway. It becomes noticeable in some pre-school children or early on in school years. Many children struggle to control their behaviour and have difficulty paying attention. In the USA the National Institute of Mental Health estimates 3-5% of all American children have ADHD – so in a class of 25-30 there would be at least 1 child likely to have ADHD. Although Harvard researcher Joseph Biederman puts the estimate at around 10%. Interestingly 4 out 5 children with ADHD are boys.
30 to 40% of children will grow out of AHD at puberty, but 60% will continue having to cope with this into adulthood and there is no apparent cure. Of those with ADHD, learning disabilities, Tourette’s anxiety, depression and bipolar are all much more common than in the rest of the population.
Inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity – all with potential to disrupt school life, relationships and home life. Children may have difficulty in time keeping, keeping their mind on track for more than a few minutes and forgetfulness. Positives are that when presented with something that really interests them their focus can be better than those without ADHD. Hyperactivity is common – children in constant motion and eternally restless. Children and adults will do things which have immediate rewards rather the put in more effort for a greater but delayed reward.
There is no definite test for ADHD, instead diagnosis by a professional is made based on a number of criteria. The DSMIV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) defines 18 symptoms, of which 6 must be present for diagnosis of ADHD and it defines 3 different behavioural patterns:
- Inattentive type (inattention symptoms)
- Hyperactive type (impulsive and hyperactive symptoms)
- Combined Inattentive / Hyperactive type
Symptoms must be demonstrated to a degree inappropriate for the person’s age, appear early in life (prior to age 7) and present a handicap to normal life.
Diagnoses must be by a professional – for example psychiatrist, family physician, neurologist, psychologist, etc. The professional must first rule out other causes and symptoms and they will then interview the child’s teachers, parents and those that know the child well. For adults it can be more difficult and often it is necessary to go back through the person’s childhood history to establish behavioural patterns.
Part #3 to follow
- Effects of brain formation in children.
- Physiological problems causing inadequate nutrient absorption.
- Blood sugar and how this effects ADHD / ADD.
- Food additives and toxic exposure.
- Stress and lifestyle influences on ADHD / ADD
- Conventional treatments.
- Plant based treatments.
- Vitamin supplements and ADHD and ADD.
- How to structure learning.
- Ideal jobs for those with ADHD / ADD.
- Any other related topics I stumble across!
- Case study.