MYTH: Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) does not really exist. It is simply the latest excuse for parents who do not discipline their children.
FACT: Scientific research tells us ADD is a biologically-based disorder that includes distractibility, impulsiveness, and sometimes hyperactivity. While the causes of ADD are not fully understood, recent research suggests that ADD can be inherited and may be due to an imbalance of neurotransmitters — chemicals used by the brain to control behavior — or abnormal glucose metabolism in the central nervous system. Before a student is labeled ADD, other possible causes of his or her behavior are ruled out.
MYTH: Children with ADD are no different from their peers; all children have a hard time sitting still and paying attention.
FACT: Before children are considered to have ADD, they must show symptoms that demonstrate behavior greatly different from what is expected for children of their age and background. 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 lactions.
These behaviors are persistent and occur in many different settings and situations. Further-more, the behavior must be causing significant social, academic, or occupational impairment for the child to be diagnosed educationally as having ADD. MYTH: Only a few people really have ADD.
FACT: Estimates of who has ADD range from 3 to 5 percent 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.