Cognitive Development in Middle Childhood (Chp. 13)ADHD is the acronym for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder which is a condition that is very common among young children in which they may have trouble paying attention and completing tasks and sitting still.
This disorder is more common in boys than girls, and it appears more frequently in mother only households than any other kind. (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014). Although there are records of conditions similar to ADHD dating back to the 1700s, ADHD was not scientifically identified until 1902 by a pediatrician named Sir George Still.
(Lange, Reichl, Lange, Tucha & Tucha 2010). After identifying that there was a condition at hand, there was still much information to uncover. What causes this? What treatment or cures are possible? If there is a cure, how efficient will it be? Scientists first looked into the causes of this disorder by looking at the brains of those who have ADHD and checking for brain damage. (Lange, Reichl, Lange, Tucha & Tucha 2010). It was believed that birth complications, such as premature birth, use of tobacco, and alcohol consumption were also at fault.
As the search for the origin of ADHD continued, it was found that heredity plays a major role in those who are diagnosed with the disorder. (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014). Those who had a genetic predisposition have a higher chance than others of being diagnosed with ADHD. In 1937, the first treatment, a stimulant medication, was discovered by Charles Bradley, however the side effects of this treatment, which caused headaches, sadness, and irritation, among others, greatly overshadowed the original purpose. (Lange, Reichl, Lange, Tucha & Tucha 2010). A less harmful form of treatment came in the form of therapy.
The most current research suggests a mix between behavioral therapy and medication as a remedy for ADHD. (Thompson & Miller 2013). This method seems as though it would be the most beneficial to the child. With including therapy, the risk of unneeded or too much medication is greatly reduced.
In the 1980s it was discovered that children do not have to be hyperactive to have ADHD. (Lange, Reichl, Lange, Tucha & Tucha 2010). This is an odd declaration to make considering the word ‘hyperactivity’ is part of the name and definition of the disorder. This leads to a question of the intention of the name. Why would this not be identified as a different condition if it goes against the known definition of disorder? Even now, ADHD can be controversial to some people.
There are differing opinions on all sides of whether ADHD is a true disorder or if many of those that are diagnosed are just children being kids. There has been an exponential increase every year for the past decade in the rate of diagnosis. (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014).
This suggests a question of whether we have been overlooking the disorder previous to this decade, if people are being misdiagnosed or overdiagnosed, or if there is a reason that there are simply more people with the disorder now than there was in the past. There is also a question of who can say that a child has ADHD. Should a teacher’s opinion be worth as much as the decision of a professional doctor? There is a definite discrepancy between what is the truth in ADHD and its treatments. There is not much consolidarity among the public in terms of ADHD.
With the use of research and the widespread publication of data and results, the world is opened up to a vast amount of new knowledge and information that can help the public understand more about ADHD. More information and better understanding would be beneficial to raise, teach, or help a child with ADHD. ReferencesLange, K.W., Reichl, S., Lange, K.
M., Tucha, L., & Tucha, O. (2010). The history of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders, 2(4), 241-255. Martorell, G.A., Papalia, D.
E., & Feldman, R.D. (2014). A Child’s World: Infancy through Adolescence (13th ed) (pp.
386, 387, 38). New York: McGraw-Hill.Thompson, R., & Miller, N.J. (2013).
ADHD: Cognitive Symptoms, Genetics, and Treatment Outcomes (pp. . New York: Nova Biomedical.