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ADHD: Case Study of Gretchen Essay

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The next time you visit the newsstand, take a look at a parenting magazine and you are likely to find an article about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as well as at least one pharmaceutical advertisement for a drug to manage its symptoms. ADHD is diagnosed in 3% to 7% of American school-aged children, of which 15% of these children are currently taking medication to alleviate the symptoms of ADHD. It is the most commonly diagnosed neurobiological disorder in school-aged children. (CDC, 2011). Other studies suggest that rates of diagnosis are much higher.
In the case study of Gretchen, it is unclear at what age her symptoms initially presented, however, the DSM specifies the criteria that “symptoms that caused impairment were presented before age 7 years”. In Gretchen’s case, it is clear that the onset was before age 8 as this was the age at which she first reports forging her parents’ signatures on disciplinary notes from school to avoid punishment. The DSM also specifies diagnostic criteria of a minimum of six of the inattention symptoms, of which Gretchen demonstrated eight of the ten symptoms of inattention: inattention to tasks, lack of organization, loses things, distractibility and forgetfulness. Gretchen also had difficulty with fidgeting, talking out of turn and leaving her seat at school at inappropriate times, by her own report she was “always on the go”. The symptoms meet the DSM criteria for hyperactivity. These symptoms present themselves in two or more settings, at home, school and on the soccer field. Evidence for a significant impairment in an academic setting is seen in the frequent notes home and eventual expulsion from school. There is no evidence of a developmental disorder. F...


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...than a disability. Now that Gretchen has been able to do this on her own, she feels more in control of her life, she is able to respect herself and see her positive qualities.



Works Cited

DSM-IV criteria for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder as provided by Dr. D. Bruner,
Cleveland State University, Electronic Course Reserves.
DSM-IV criteria for Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Last accessed March 26, 2012.
http://www.behavenet.com/generalized-anxiety-disorder-1. Last accessed 2012
Elia, J., Ambrosini, P., Berrettini, W. ADHD characteristics: I. Concurrent co-morbidity
patterns in children & adolescents. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry & Mental Health. Published online 2008 July 3. doi: 10.1186/1753-2000-2-15
Rodis, Garrod & Boscardin. (2000). Learning Disabilities and Life Stories. Case Study #16.
Boston, MA, Allyn and Bacon.


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