Attention Deficit Disorder in American Children Essay

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Attention Deficit Disorder in American Children

Approximately 3-5% of all American children have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). ADD is a leading cause of school failure and under-achievement. ADD characteristics often arise in early childhood. As many as 50% of children with ADD are never diagnosed. Boys significantly outnumber girls, though girls are more likely to be undiagnosed with ADD. ADD is not an attention disorder, but a disorder of impulse control (Pfiffrer 184). Characteristics of Attention Deficit Disorder can include: Fidgeting with hands or feet, difficulty remaining seated, awaiting turns in games, following through on instructions, and shifting from one uncompleted task to another. They also have difficulty
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There is no cure for Attention Deficit Disorder. "Along with increasing awareness of the problem, a better understanding of its causes and treatment has developed (Barkley 17)".
There is medication for ADD which will only alleviate the symptoms. The medication will not permanently restore the chemical balance. Approximately 70% of adults with ADD find that their symptoms significantly improve after they take medication prescribed by their doctors. The patient is able to concentrate on difficult and time-consuming tasks, stop impulsive behavior, and tame the restless twitches that have been experienced in the past. Some ADD patient's psychological and behavioral problems are not solved by medication alone, and are required more therapy or training (Reif 92-93).
There are two types of drugs that work to balance the neurotransmitters and have been found to be most effective in treating ADD. Stimulants are drugs that stimulate or activate brain activity. Stimulants work by increasing the amount of dopamine either produced in the brain or used by the frontal lobes of the brain. There are several different stimulants that may work to alleviate the symptoms of ADD, including methylphenidate (Ritalin), dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine), and pemoline (Cylert). Stimulants are by far the most effective medications in the treatment of ADD. Some patients respond well to antidepressants. Antidepressants also stimulate brain activity in
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