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Add, Adhd And Odd, Excuse Or Illness?

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To figure out if something is an illness or an excuse, you must first know what you are questioning. In this case, we are questioning ADD, ADHD and ODD. ADD stands for Attention Deficit Disorder. ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyper Disorder. ODD is Oppositional Defiant Disorder. These illnesses generally begin in early childhood and can carry on through adulthood. At times all three illnesses/disorders are misdiagnosed. When I interviewed Dr. Vonda Houchen (2005) concerning these illnesses/disorders said this"; ADD, ADHD and ODD go together. When you see a child or an adult with ADHD, you can count on ADD and maybe even ODD being there as well. Most doctors miss the signs of ODD and diagnose it ADD and /or ADHD. The angry outburst, outburst, temper tantrums and aggression you see with ODD can also be experienced with ADD and ADHD. (Houchen) "Children and adults with ADHD often struggle with low self-esteem, troubled personal relationships and poor performance in school or at work."(Mayo Clinic, 2005) According to AACAP (2004) facts for Families," children with ADHD often show some of the following:

Ð'* trouble paying attention

Ð'* inattention to details and makes careless mistakes

Ð'* easily distracted

Ð'* loses school supplies, forgets to turn in homework

Ð'* trouble finishing class work and homework

Ð'* trouble listening

Ð'* trouble following multiple adult commands

Ð'* blurts out answers

Ð'* impatience

Ð'* fidgets or squirms

Ð'* leaves seat and runs about or climbs excessively

Ð'* seems "on the go"

Ð'* talks too much and has difficulty playing quietly

Ð'* interrupts or intrudes on others

(AACAP #6, 2004)"

"Symptoms of ODD may include:

Ð'* frequent temper tantrums

Ð'* excessive arguing with adults

Ð'* active defiance and refusal to comply with adult requests and rules

Ð'* deliberate attempts to annoy or upset people

Ð'* blaming others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior

Ð'* often being touchy or easily annoyed by others

Ð'* frequent anger and resentment

Ð'* mean and hateful talking when upset

Ð'* seeking revenge

The symptoms are usually seen in multiple settings, but may be more noticeable at home or at school." (AACAP#72, 2004)

The next question to consider is; are these illnesses/disorders genetically inherited or do they develop as the person grows? According to the Mayo Clinic Staff (2005) "Scientists once though that a chemical imbalance was involved in many cases of ADHD

because adults and children diagnosed with ADHD appear to have low levels of dopamine (dopa decarboxylase), a chemical that sends messages to the part of the brain involved in attention, movement and motivation." Some scientists believe that these illnesses are heredity." ADHD tends to run in families. About one in four children with ADHD have at least one relative with the disorder. When one identical twin has ADHD, the other twin usually has it as well." (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2005) There is not a test that can verify one hundred percent that a child or an adult does or does not have these illnesses/disorders. It is determined more on what parents, teachers, doctors and schools notice and observe. I am inclined to agree with Elia,J. Ambrosini when he said "While no one really knows what causes these illnesses/ disorders, it is generally agreed by the medical and scientific community that these illnesses/disorders is biological in nature. Many believe that it results from a chemical imbalance in the brain."(Ambrosini, 1999)

There are some who think ADD, ADHD and ODD is just an excuse that some adults use to avoid being responsible for either their actions or their children. This illness/ disorder are a convenient way to avoid being a parent. According to T. Armstrong (1997)", There are a loose set of behaviors (hyperactivity, distractibility and impulsivity) that combine in different ways to give rise to the "disorder". These behaviors are highly context-dependent. A child may be hyperactive while seated at a desk doing a boring worksheet, but not necessarily while singing in a school musical. These behaviors are also

very general in nature and give no clue as to their real origins. A child can be hyperactive because he is bored, depressed, anxious, allergic to milk, creative, a hands-on learner, has a difficult temperament, stressed out, driven by a media-mad culture, or any number of other possible causes.(T. Armstrong,1997)" There are many cases where these illnesses/disorders are a convenient excuse for children and adults both to avoid being

responsible for their actions. M. Meyerhoff (2004) believes that ADD and ADHD is an excuse that some parents fall back on when comparing their child's performance grade wise and behavioral problems. Society uses an acceptable excuse for bad behavior. This labels these children with a disability and can develop low self-esteem problems. Meyerhoff (2004) said "As any pop psychologist will tell you, before you can love someone else, you first have to love yourself --and it is rather difficult to love yourself when you are saddled with the sense that you are not as good as everyone else." There are many who claim to have these illnesses/disorders in order to gain monetary benefits.

As a parent and grandparent of two children who do have ADD, ADHD and ODD, I can reassure you that in most cases, poor parenting and parenting skills are not the cause for illnesses/disorders. If ADD, ADHD and ODD was not a real illness/disorder, then why do the ones who take prescription



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