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Attention Deficit and Hyperactive Disorder

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Symptoms include difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity (over-activity) (par. 1). Doctors Phillips and Mersch identifies it as a chronic biobehavioral disorder that initially manifests in childhood and is characterized by hyperactivity, impulsivity, and/or inattention (Phillips and Mersch, 2011, p. 1). Types There were specifically three types of the disorder, to wit: (1) the inattentive type. (2) the hyperactive impulsive type. and (3) a combination of the inattentive and hyperactive impulsive types (Kids Health, 2011). As the terms suggests, the inattentive type exhibits the following signs and symptoms: unable to pay attention or focus on details, manifests apparent listening dilemmas, easily distracted, forgetful, avoids mental tasks. The hyperactive impulsive type, on the other hand, manifests symptoms of being on the go at all times. excessive talking, climbing or running. difficulty waiting, remaining seated, and playing quietly. tendencies to interrupt. and fidgeting, among others. The third type, the combination of the two, exhibits a combination of the signs and symptoms above mentioned. Causes There are diverse theories that try to explain the root cause of the disorder. According to NIMH (2010), the actual cause could not be determined, but genetics could play a significant role in its manifestations. Other factors that could be attributed to preponderance to the disorder are environmental factors, injuries in the brain, and nutrition or some food elements in the diet, among others. A research conducted by Shaw et al. (2007) revealed that children with ADHD who carry a particular version of a certain gene have thinner brain tissue in the areas of the brain associated with attention. This NIMH research showed that the difference was not permanent, however, and as children with this gene grew up, the brain developed to a normal level of thickness. Their ADHD symptoms also improved (Shaw et al., 2007, cited by NIMH: Causes, 2010, par. 3). In terms of environmental factors, studies have proven that parents who have been drinking alcohol and smoking have direct links to having children with ADHD (Linnet et al., 2003. Mick et al., 2002). Further, children at preschool levels found to have presumably been exposed to lead of high levels (through paint or plumbing fixtures) exhibited symptoms of the disorder (Braun et al., 2006). In terms of food additives, the research conducted by McCann (2007) aimed to establish a direct link between food with preservatives or artificial colors. Future researches are still required to validate this contention. Statistics The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the following relevant statistics on children with ADHD: ? Approximately 9.5% or 5.4 million children 4-17 years of age have ever been diagnosed with ADHD, as of 2007. ? The percentage of children with a parent-reported ADHD diagnosis increased by 22% between 2003 and 2007. Boys (13.2%) were more likely than girls (5.6%) to have ever been diagnosed with ADHD. (CDC, n.d., 1). The information that boys were more likely to be afflicted with the disorder than girls have been supported in other studies such as the Phillips and Mersch (2011) who indicated ADHD occurs two to four times more commonly in boys than girls (male to female ratio 4:1 for the predominantly hyperactive type vs. 2:1 for the predomi