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Paige Hall
ENG 2100
Jane Blacklock
10 February 2015
The Tendency of Diagnosing US Children with ADD/ADHD
Do you or someone you know suffer from ADD/ADHD? Most people
tend to say yes. This disorder has become an increasing problem with
children over the years. It is well known because so many children are
suffering from it. ADHD stands for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. It
is a chronic condition that includes a combination of problems such as
difficulty sustaining attention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behaviors. ADD
stands for Attention Deficit Disorder. It is a disorder, particularly of children,
characterized by excessive activity and inability to concentrate on one task for any
length of time. These make things like school, sports, and social skills harder

for them to deal with. Another thing to consider is whether everyone that
was diagnosed with ADD/ADHD really suffered from it. Some children may
just be immature and do not really have the disorder. Doctors may diagnose
just to satisfy the parents. Some people are questioning the amount of
children the really now have the disorder just because there are so many .It
could just simply be that diagnosing has increases over the years due to

technology and advanced knowledge of the disorder. These both may be true
or not, but there
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is definitely controversy over it. On the other hand, children a long time ago
were not diagnosed as frequently. This has left some adults questioning if
they suffer from adult ADD/ADHD. Plenty of research has been done to help
parents and teacher detect ADD/ADHD with their children so that they can
have a better chance of improving their education because that is the most
important thing.
The common disorder children are suffering from, ADD/ADHD, has
rapidly increased over the years. It all started in the 1900s; Sir George Still
was the first to describe ADHD in 1902. Then Franklin Ebaugh found evidence
that ADHD can arise from a brain injury. Later on, in 1967, federal
government funds (National Institution of Mental Health) first used for
studying effect of stimulates with children on hyperactivity (Seitler).
Five percent of children are now diagnosed with the disorder. This
includes youth in the United States in between the ages of four and
seventeen years old. This is the most common age that children are affected
and struggle. ADD/ADHD is more common in some states than others. There
tends to be more children diagnosed on the East coast of the US rather than
the West coast (Seitler).

ADD/ADHD makes it more complicated for children to succeed. They

have to deal with things like their energy level, attention span, and being
easily distracted. This causes difficulties for children in school, sports, and
their social skills. Students with ADD/ADHD usually get extra help in school
by things such as an IEP. This gives a plan and goals for the student to
succeed in
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school. Sometimes it can be hard on the teacher to make sure the student is
getting the proper education, and they can be a distraction to other students
in the classroom. These same problems carry over to sports and social skills
as well. Children may not be able to focus or the skills they need to succeed
in sports. They also could be challenged socially since they may have
different ways of interaction than most of their peers (Johnson).
It may seem like some children have ADD/ADHD, but it could be
something else. Some of the symptoms, like lack of attention, are the same
as autism. This can be misleading at first when diagnosing the child. Other
children may be diagnosed simply because they simply do not put an effort
into their work, but they are fully capable. This also makes it harder to tell if
the child really has the disorder or not (Ronald).
Our adult generation today may struggle with ADD/ADHD just as much
as a child. This is most likely because when they were children the disorder

was not as commonly diagnosed, or they might have had it, but their parents
never got them help. Several students had to struggle with their education
and later as an adult because they had never been treated (Martinson,
Jennifer, and Hsin-Yi (Jean) Tang).

Since so many US children are suffering from ADD/ADHD, there is a list

of five strategies to help them focus in the classroom. This will help the
children succeed and make it easier on the teacher. They consist of cognitive
training, help for auditory attention, visual attention, diet,

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and integrating the primitive reflexes. Some strategies may help more than
others depending on the child (Johnson).
The most common and well known way to treat attention deficit
disorder is pharmaceutical, but is this really the best thing for school aged
children? The types of medicine that are prescribed are the amphetamines
Dexedrine and Adderall, and methylphenidates which are Ritalin and
Concerta. These drugs can be hard on children because of the side effects.
Medicine is not always the answer to all children that have ADD/ADHD. Some
children might focus better in school if they get other treatments such as
psychological, educational, and social interventions. Several Doctors and
parents are quick to settle with medicine because it seems to be the easiest

and most common solution. Other students might benefit more by different
treatments because they will not have side effects to distract them in school.
The overall goal in helping students with ADD/ADHD is to help them focus
better in school, and when they are distracted by side effects, from medicine,
they will not be completely solving the problem (Clarke).
Teachers need to know what to look for in their students when looking out for
ADD/ADHD children that have not yet been diagnosed. There was a study,
called Cognitive Control and Attentional Selectionin Adolescents with ADHD
Versus ADD, done that research wheather ADD or ADHD showed more
difficulty in the early stage. When looking for ADD teachers need to evaluate
how well the student can pay attention a focus when doing schoolwork.
When they
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are looking for ADHD they still have to evaluate how well they pay attention
and focus, but also look for hyperactivity. The study showed that ADD would
be associated with more difficulty in the early-stage attentional control, and
ADHD difficulty would be associated with difficulty in the late-stage response
inhibition (Martinson, Jennifer, and Hsin-Yi (Jean) Tang).
When looking out for ADD/ADHD in young students it is important to
know the difference between ADD/ADHD and another learning disability/slow
learning. There was a study done that interviewed twenty students in the

Midwest at a private college. These students all were diagnosed with

ADD/ADHD when they were young students. Some of the results were
surprising. For example, one student did not really think he suffered with the
disease. His parents just put him on medicine to make up for the fact that he
was a slow learner. Everyone in my high school went to Ivy league colleges.
I was stupid in high school, and I did very poorly on the ACT. I feel a lot of
parents gave it (ADD drugs) to their kids just so they could do better in
school (Davis-Berman, Jennifer L., and Frances G. Pestello) This proves that
some parents should not settle with a diagnosis when their child does not
really suffer from the disease. Instead, the parents should have done
something like getting a tutor for their child or summer school because this
would fix the real problem. This is another example of how children get
misdiagnosed. It is not bettering the students education and that is the
overall goal.
Certain school teachers know how to detect ADHD better after a
certain study was done. The study investigated how well primary school
teachers could recognize Attention
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Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and the impact of subtype and gender on
recognition and proposed management. To do the study the teachers had to
read one of four types of vignette describing the behavior of a nine-year-old
child. This could have been a boy or a girl with innovated or combined

subtype of ADHD. Teachers were asked questions related to the childs

conceptualization of the childs difficulties, and thoughts about treatment for
the child such as a specialist or intervention. To conclude, 496 teachers,
99% identified the presence of a problem. Subtype (combined) of ADHD
influenced teachers recognition of ADHD and agreement that medication
might be helpful. Only 13% of teachers thought that medication might be
helpful. Conclusions: Results suggest a need for better teacher awareness
about inattentive subtype of ADHD (Moldavsky). Hopefully this study will
help teacher be more aware with hyper active children in their classroom.
In conclusion, the research shows how ADD/ADHD is very affective to
children in school. Students suffering should get treatment and extra help at
school so that they can still succeed. Teachers and parents should be familiar
with the symptoms so that they can get children diagnosed that need it.
Several children are misdiagnosed with ADD/ADHD when that really is not
the problem so their education is not being improved. Other students are not
diagnosed at all, and this was especially common several years ago. These
children grew up and now suffer with adult ADD/ADHD, and many of them
are not medicated. Luckily, some children grow out of it by the time that they
are adults even if there were not medicated. The bottom line is

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children deserve the proper treatment to take care of their needs, so that
they can be able to succeed in school.