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Attention Deficit Disorder: Adding Up The Facts

Posted Nov 17 2008 9:04pm


In any group of children, there is usually one child who never sits stil1. Frequently and easily distracted, the child fidgets, glances about aimlessly, and seems to allow his mind to wander freely. This child attracts the predictable adult response: “Why can’t you sit still and listen!” In school, the often bright but disruptive “troublemaker” may never learn to listen or do what others seem so effortlessly to do-pay attention.

What Is ADD?

Impulsive behavior, a tendency to be distracted, and hyperactive movement may not be the conscious choice of a “disruptive” child. These behaviors are symptoms of a condition called Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). It is the disorder, not the child’s own will, which is the true culprit, since it literally disrupts a child’s ability to concentrate.

In its most commonly diagnosed form, ADD is accompanied by hyperactivity and is sometimes called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). In addition to the inability to concentrate and the tendency to behave impulsively, children with ADHD have difficulty remaining still for even short periods of time. While these children are inattentive, fidgety, spontaneous to a fault, forgetful, and easily distracted, their “misbehavior” is not a choice but a result of the disorder.

School chi1dren with ADD often have multiple problems with schoolwork and social activities. They focus on their teacher only with great difficulty. They have trouble remaining seated, fol1owing instructions, concentrating on a single task, waiting for their turn in any activity, and simply finishing their assigned work. While these behaviors are not in themselves a learning disability, 10 to 33 percent of all children with ADD also have learning disabilities. [Read more]

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