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Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Essay

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Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) ranks as the most commonly diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorder affecting 2-10% of children in elementary school (Goldson, and Renolds 91-3). Three areas of dysfunction compose ADHD including emotional, cognitive, and behavior problems (Spencer). ADHD initially presents in childhood with diagnosis after school enrollment and usually recedes between the ages of 10 and 25 years but can persist through adolescence and into adulthood (Goldson, and Renolds 91-3). ADHD was previously labeled “Hyperkinetic Reaction of Childhood” in the DSM II, making this the first diagnosis to emphasize the hyperactivity and impulsivity. The DSM III diagnosis placed more emphasis on the inattentive aspect of ADHD. By the DSM IV, ADHD was divided into 3 subtypes: predominantly hyperactive-impulsive, predominantly inattentive, and combined type (Spencer).
Biologic, psychosocial and genetic factors contribute to the development of ADHD. Suspected but not confirmed biologic factors include food additives and certain diets, lead contamination, maternal smoking during pregnancy, alcohol exposure and being born premature (Spencer). Of the potential biologic factors, fetal alcohol syndrome has been shown most closely related with ADHD (Sykora). Psychosocial problems, while they are associated with ADHD are considered to be more of triggers rather than direct causes of the disorder. These problems include family conflicts, disorganized family structure, and psychopathology in the parents (Spencer). According to Lange, central nervous system trauma, infection or difficulties during the neonatal stage can contribute to the diagnosis (Goldson, and Renolds 91-3). The most likely explanation for the develop...


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...certain tasks. Family therapy and support group referrals are beneficial in helping families adjust to the disorder and make necessary lifestyle modifications to provide the best environment for their child (Sykora).



Works Cited

Goldson M.D., Edward, and Ann Renolds M.D. "Chapter 2: Child Development and Behavior." Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Pediatrics. 19. McGraw-Hill Companies, 2009. Print.

Spencer Thomas, "Chapter 35. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder" (Chapter). Ebert MH, Loosen PT, Nurcombe B, Leckman JF: CURRENT Diagnosis & Treatment: Psychiatry, 2e: http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=3290305.

Sykora William S, "Chapter 8. Disruptive Behavioral Disorders in Children" (Chapter). South-Paul JE, Matheny SC, Lewis EL: CURRENT Diagnosis & Treatment in Family Medicine, 2e: http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=3032472.


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