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ADHD is attention deficit disorder accompanied by impassivity and over activity. Medical scientists think ADHD is caused by a chemical problem in the brain. The front part of the brain helps you pay attention, concentrate, organize things, and put breaks on impulsive or unacceptable behavior. People's brains with ADHD may not be able to use the brain's main signal senders, neurotransmitters, the way it is suppose to. The front part of the brain has very little to do with intelligence, so it is possible to be very smart and still have ADHD.

" 3-5% of school-age children are affected by ADHD. Hyperactivity is easy to spot, and more boys than girls tend to be hyperactivity. If one person in a family has ADHD, there is a good chance that someone else in the family had or has it too." (Beal 10)

It is best to get evaluated for ADHD as early as possible. In most cases, someone at school, a teacher, counselor, or principal suggest a student be tested for ADHD. The evaluations usually take time and are done in two parts.

First a student takes one or more of the following tests: Intelligence - to help evaluate the students IQ and reasoning abilities. Achievement - to find the actual grade level the student is working at. Fine motor skills - to see if there are problems with the student's hand-eye coordination and/or writing skills.

Then the student is evaluated. Parents are asked to describe their child's behavior over a long period of time. The student's teachers are asked to rate the student's behavior using standardized forms, and to give their personal opinion of the student's schoolwork and behavior. The student is asked what they think their problem is what their thoughts and feelings are and, what they do at home and school.

When all the information from the test, evaluations, and observations has been combined, a medical diagnosis is made. "A diagnosis of ADHD is given only if the child has a life long history of these symptoms'': being easily distracted, difficulty listing, paying attention, and organizing, constant fidgeting, inability to participate in quite activities, and talking excessively.

"Treatment for ADHD is multimodal." That means it uses a combination of things to help a person with ADHD focus attention and concentration, to minimize impulsive and hyperactive behavior; and to deal with the emotional, social, behavioral, and educational problems that are symptoms of ADHD.

Treatment usually starts with medication. "Two major medications that are used are stimulants and antidepressants." Medication will not control emotional or behavioral problems. Medication can improve your ability to concentrate and calm down. "Medication seems to work for more than 90% of people who try them." Of the stimulants, Ritalin, Dexedrine, and Cylert seem to be the medications that work the best for people. "Between 70 and 75% of people with ADHD have success with these three medications." The most common stimulants used to treat ADHD are Ritalin and Dexedrine.

The stimulants commonly used for ADHD have both pluses and minuses. The pluses include: increased ability to concentrate and focus, less over all restlessness and hyperactivity, less impulsive and aggressive behavior, and improved grades and social interaction. The minuses include; appetite and weight lost, inability to sleep through the night, headaches, stomachs, and increased hyperactivity.

For many people ADHD medication is not taken forever. Teens do not need to take medication on the weekends or during breaks. Some people with mild cases of ADHD seem to outgrow may symptoms in their last teens. When this happens they often stop taking the medication. "Half the people who take medication for ADHD continue taking it, either regularly or when they are involved in special projects into adulthood."

Another for of medication is counseling. Counseling is nothing more then talking. But talking puts your problems, hopes, dreads, and dreams into words. For most teens with ADHD, counseling is a very important part of managing their disability. Counseling is and important part of treatment for ADHD because it allows a student to blow off steam, help them see problems as they really are and helps them solve their problems.

"In order to get full benefits of a multimodal treatment plan people with ADHD need to combine counseling with behavior changes." These changes replace the negative behaviors and attitudes that have built up over the years with positive ones. While counseling helps people get in touch with their thoughts and feelings, behavior modification helps them develop new behaviors to replace their old self.

Think of behavior modification as self-training. It helps a person with ADHD do the right things in everyday situations and in situations that are new to him or her. When a person is learning behavior modification techniques, they usually have to stop and think about every little move they make. After a while, the new ways of thinking and feeling and acting become so natural that they kick in on their own.

It is possible to change some behaviors on their own; it's easier and faster to work with someone who can help them stick with the program. They could call the person their coach. A coach is someone who will help practice their new behavior skills, offer suggestions for achievement, help organize, recognize successes, and deal with failures. Your coach should be someone in you like, but he or she should also be a neutral person.

Learning strategies and techniques for the major symptoms of ADHD can turn things completely around at home. They make the home a lot less stressful because the child adds structure, order, and success to the parent's life. Some techniques and strategies



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