Abnormal and Child Psychology Perspective on ADHD Term Paper

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Abnormal and Child Psychology - Perspective on ADHD


The disorder of Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder - ADHD relates to inattention and hyperactivity. It is a type of minimal brain dysfunction. It is seen in adults and children. There are many theories that are current as to why this condition exists. The person suffering from this disease shows symptoms like having a very short attention span and is over impulsive. A broad spectrum of this disorder is categorized in the order of ADHD. The symptoms vary with person to person and with age groups. One of the common causes for anxiety with children is the behaviour problem associated with this condition. Earlier classification of the disorder tended to be classified as inhibitory volition in the previous era. The corrective methods in those times included correctional punishments. In modern times researchers have gone deep to understand the problem better. Heinrich Hoffman back in 1865 wrote about the disease, and was followed by Stewart in 1970. Alfred Treadgold and George Sill were however the first to classify the disease or condition and cause clinical analysis of the malady. Though they did not identify the extent of the malady they were able to classify the spectrum by pinpointing the self-awareness, and the cognitive relations between individuals and the perceptional variance of the people with this condition. (Barkley, 2006)

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The frontal and prefrontal brain systems are said to be involved in this syndrome. Sometimes the cerebellum and the parietal lobe are also areas that are related to this disease. This is evident in clinical scans of brain activity of the patients. (Chang, 2005) the early symptoms are seen in children in the pre-school or early school days Dr. Heinrich Hoffman while diagnosing the disease far back in 1845, used his poetic sentiments to describe the syndrome in a book of poems and a particular poem - "The Story of Fidgety Philip" gives the first exact description relating to this disease with complete observations from the clinical viewpoint of a doctor. Later the disease was recognized, not as behaviour and parenting control problem but as a condition of the mind by the work of Sir George F. (the National Institute of Mental Health, 2008)

TOPIC: Term Paper on Abnormal and Child Psychology Perspective on ADHD Assignment

The child affected with this disease is faced with a very difficult task of adjusting to the conditions of the mind and the normal behaviour and reflexes required of him or her. The disease is noted to be prevalent more in boys, than in girls. The patient requires the care and attention and counsel of teachers, parents, psychiatrists, educators, friends, peers and siblings. The most important features of this condition are that: a) it is the most chronic condition in childhood, more found in boys than girls. b) it is also likely to persist in adolescence and into adulthood. The child will have adjusting in school and will develop behaviors that can harm the patient as well as those who are associated with him or her. (Wender, 2000) the disease has been diagnosed a century before and medication is available - amphetetamines, and the recent Ritalin are being used for reflective control. It is probably transmitted genetically and is a hereditary disorder. It may also be caused by malfunctioning of the chemical parts of the brain. Medication can reduce and sometimes overcome the disorder. Psychological programs can help the child have control over him. It will also aid in curing some learning disorders. Such children have a very small attention span. (Wender, 2000) the behavior pattern and requirements of children both at home and in education are different from normal children.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in perspective

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is also called attention deficit disorder -- ADD, and it is revealed by the patient's condition of being unable to focus the mind on tasks for longer or normal periods of time and the impairment of the development of social skills and a healthy confidence in the self. (eMedicine Health, 2005) Those affected by ADHD will have no control over the reactions to stimuli and will blurt out or speak in a way that is not masked with social etiquette. They do not have the ability to restrain their emotions. They do neither have the perception of the consequences of their acts. They act on impulse and disregard the requirement of waiting for their turn and aggressively may interfere in group activities and games by doing to of turn actions as fancies them from moment to moment. They rather tend to choose actions that result in immediate rewards rather than delayed gratification. (the National Institute of Mental Health, 2008)

The symptoms of this disease can also be seen in normal individuals and those suffering from other disorders. These behaviors like forgetfulness, impulsive behaviour, inappropriate behavior and other evidence is manifest in all human behavior at some time or other, the diagnosis of the disease must follow a course of observation that can demonstrate the behaviour as chronic and prevalent most of the time. The behaviour displayed must be inappropriate for the age of the persons. There will be a marked lag and change in the patterns of learning during the preschool and early school days. Those persons who do show these behaviors but have social interaction of their age level may not be suffering from ADHD. Doctors observe to see if the behaviour complained of is excessive. Those suspected of the disease is then subject to intense observation of behaviour over a period of time. (the National Institute of Mental Health, 2008)

This is the most common disorder noticed in childhood. The children display a marked amount of impairment in functioning. There is a need to diagnose the disease early and treat it as far as possible. The available researches in this issue have been centered on elementary school children aged between six to twelve years. There are many possibilities of identifying the children with this disease even at the pre-school level. There is also a very pertinent need to see that the diagnosis of this condition is valid and perfect and is not a symptom that could be the result of other diseases also. The diagnosis of the disease ought to be attended with care. (Delcarmen; Carter, 2004)

The causes of the disease

Over the century many different researchers have come up with reasons for the disease. There are two streams of thought prevalent to day. One is the theory that the disease is inherited and has genetic origins. The other ascribes it to external causes like alcohol consumption and other environment al causes. Non-genetic causes of the condition are attributed to the substances used in pregnancy. Drugs, alcohol, and other substances and chemicals that tend to change the normal situation in the womb may cause the disorder. The poor health of the mother or delivery complications and any other toxic materials that is injected may lead to such complications. Heredity and the causes above said make the reason for the child having this condition. The brain of the child is compartmentalized in function with difficulty for the child in accessing or using some areas of the brain in succession as can normal people. Chemical irregularities especially low level of dopamine or neorephinephrine can make the person disinterested quickly. Similarly the circuits of the brain that involves the motor nerves are also affected in these individuals. (Adler, 2007)

Therefore to be vigilant and abstain from cigarette and alcohol in pregnant conditions is one way of preventing the occurrence of these diseases. (the National Institute of Mental Health, 2008) High levels of lead is also said to be a cause. Lead poisoning in buildings that are old is likely and the child exposed to it may contact this syndrome. Brain injuries are also said to be the cause and contributor. Sugar and food additives in the children's food tend to aggravate the issue. Studies with controlled diet have shown to be beneficial to the affected child. Genetic influence is supposed to be the major factor in the disease spectrum. (the National Institute of Mental Health, 2008) Thus majority of the disorder seem to stem from genetic causes and chemical ingestions. We may also say that the disease is inherited and shows abnormal chemical functions of the brain, and in some cases chemicals also create the situation where the abnormal functions are created. Some drugs therefore have effects on the disease and may have a normalizing effect. The parental raising of the child does not have any effect whatsoever. Psychological management can help control some of the propensities of the child. (Wender, 2000)

Most children develop conduct disorder -- CD, or antisocial behavior later in life. They may commit crimes, fight or bully people. They may try and engage in destructive activities and also are prone to drug and other substance misuse. Some children are also likely to develop anxiety and depression syndromes. These tendencies have to be recognized and treated early. Bipolar disorder or mood swings are also found… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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