attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder 2010

What is... attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder?? It is "a neurobehavioral developmental disorder,"1 which means a disorder related to neuron and behavior, which occurs at the developing stage in children. It is a disorder associated with range of behavior problems related to paying attention.2 Let's take a deeper look...!

Who gets this disorder? About 8 - 10% of the school children in the United States are said to have this disorder.2 More boys than girls tend to have this disorder, although there is a rumor that it may be a statistic bias.3

When do they get it? Mostly during childhood, but the symptoms may continue into adulthood if not treated.

Symptoms2 7

How do you know if someone has attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder? There are 3 types of symptoms.

Here are the attention-deficit symptoms
  • unable to pay attention for a long time

    attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder 2010 - The Neuron

  • unable to follow directions
  • easily forgets things
  • easily loses things
  • easily distracted
Here are the hyperactivity symptoms
  • restlessness
  • making extra noise
  • playing with hands and feet under the desk
This disorder also includes some impulsive symptoms
  • impatience
  • excessive talking 8

When these symptoms are observed a child to a level that is abnormal for his or her age and intelligence, then the child may have attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder!

Causes 2 (directly from

Biological factors

  • The child's temperament, as this contributes to their attitude and personality.
  • Studies of twins suggest a genetic link to ADHD. In 80-90 per cent of identical twins where one has ADHD so does the other. Recent research also suggests there is a greater chance of inheriting the condition from male relatives such as grandfathers.
  • Brain injuries due to birth trauma or pre-birth problems. The brain structures believed to be linked to the development of ADHD are vulnerable to hypoxic damage during birth. The damage is caused by inadequate oxygen reaching parts of the brain while blood flow is reduced.

Environmental factors

  • Family stress.
  • Educational difficulties
However, these are still theories. The exact causes of this disorder is not known yet...


This disorder can be diagnosed by a doctor, usually a child psychiatrist.

Cognitive Therapy: This therapy helps patients understand how attitudes affect behaviors. It helps encounter anxiety, depression, procrastination, etc.

Psychotherapy: This therapy helps ADHD patient think positive about themselves. This does not try to fix the problems. Instead, therapists talk with the patients to help them understand how to counter the negative side.4

Behavioral Therapy
: This is a more practical therapy than psychotherapy. This therapy tries to change the behavior of the patients. Therapists may directly help the patients with the problems, or give rewards for doing things right.4

Social Skills Training
: Thdifficult childis therapy tries to teach the patients learn new behaviors. It helps enhance the social skills that most ADHD patients lack. This training gives the patients practice time to cope with social problems.4

Support Group: This is a network of parents with ADHD children. This helps the patients and their family realize that they are not the only one.4

Parenting Skillls Training: ADHD includes not only individual problems; it also causes trouble for the family. When the patient is too young, parents receive training. Parents learn how to punish and reward their children, setting goals, or create situations that will help their children overcome his problems4


Case Study
Directly from


by Barry Belt attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder 2010 - The Neuron David (not his real name) was a thirteen year old, eighth grade student who had reading and math skills one to two years below grade level. He was failing every subject and seemed destined to repeat the eighth grade. His teachers described him as disruptive and oppositional in class and stated that he had difficulty paying attention during structured and unstructured activities. The school administrators contacted his grandparents and suggested that he was likely suffering from an Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). They recommended that he be taken to his pediatrician and placed on Ritalin, a Class II prescription drug classified as a stimulant much like speed. Even at home David was rebellious. His father had abandoned him virtually from birth. His mother, overwhelmed by the task of raising him and his two sisters without espousal help, relapsed into drug and alcohol abuse. She was frequently drunk and around David, she was moody and volatile. He ran wild. He refused to obey her curfews, going to bed late at night and failing to rise for school in the morning. Intermittently he wet the bed. He never helped the family with housekeeping or yard work chores. His mother's parents, sensing that she needed help with David, and having been advised of his problems at school, intervened. Even though David attended a good school in an affluent district, his grandparents doubted the wisdom of placing David on drugs. They thought it would only compound his problems. When they sought the advice of the family pediatrician, they asked for an alternative to Ritalin, being concerned about David's potential for developing a substance abuse problem like his mother. They were referred to Attention Deficit Specialists where they could find a balanced, non-pharmacologic treatment approach which used as its cornerstone brainwave-based biofeedback, also called Neurofeedback. Upon initial evaluation, Barry Belt, Director, and a Licensed Psychologist and Certified Neurotherapist, found David so hyperactive that he could only sit for a minute. When he measured David's brain functioning, specifically his ability to attend to a task, he found that he had too much slow-wave activity and not enough fast wave activity. In other words, his brain wave activity revealed that his brain was daydreaming instead of paying attention far too much to allow him to learn effectively. During the interview, David described himself as dumb, but cool. He hung out with older, rebellious students like himself to compensate for his feelings of inadequacy. He loved his mother but was struggling to maintain a relationship with her. He hated his father and wanted nothing to do with him. With his grandparents he had a solid and positive relationship, and he especially respected his grandfather. Barry Belt assembled the Attention Deficit Specialists treatment team and planned an intervention for David. It was decided that David should be sent to an alternative school for children with learning disabilities. He was enrolled in individual counseling to improve self- image. The nutritionist cut off his caffeine, reduced his sugar intake, and helped his mother plan and cook well-balanced meals. His mother began counseling with a CEPD Substance Abuse Counselor and Psychologist (an affiliate of Attention Deficit Specialist) who helped her stop abusing drugs and alcohol, enhanced her mothering skills and strengthened her role in the family. Mr. Belt met with David's school teachers to develop an educational plan which would work in tandem with Attention Deficit Specialists' efforts. Perhaps most importantly, David began to use Neurofeedback which trained him to alter his brain functioning so that he daydreamed less and paid attention more through the use of special software and computer enhanced techniques which allowed him to monitor his progress in a video game format. As first, David couldn't sit still for his Neurofeedback sessions. After the third session, he began to enjoy the sessions. By his tenth session, his mother remarked that he was more attentive at home and less oppositional. After his fifteenth session, he was helping with household chores. After his twentieth session, he stopped wetting the bed. By his twenty-fifth session, his grades and behavior in school had remarkably improved. After forty sessions, his attention span had increased from less than one minute to approximately forty-five minutes. Within six months, his reading and math scores had progressed one grade level. He was on the honor roll at his new school and his behavior at school was described as excellent. He began to see himself as a bright young man who had learning problems. He was looking forward to returning to his regular junior high school class as the appropriate grade. He had become a happy, communicative and responsive young man who could express his feelings instead of act them out. His self image no longer required him to be cool, but rather was based on his self-perceived capability to achieve his goals in school and in life. attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder 2010 - The NeuronDavid continued to make grade-appropriate progress in school but would have occasional setbacks. Intermittently he would return to the Center for Neurofeedback sessions and counseling. The key to David's progress was Attention Deficit Specialists' multifaceted treatment approach, anchored by Neurotherapy. One can only ask what would have become of David if his chance to straighten out his academic life and his family life had depended solely on a drug.

Related Disorders2

  • Hearing disorder could hinder children from paying attention
  • Reading problems could hinder children from completing tasks
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder may cause children to focus on other things during class
  • Autism may be why children have difficulties using language
  • Lack of sleep may cause poor concentration
  • Tourette's syndrome could cause children to repeat weird noises or give sudden outbursts

Related Links:
long-term effect of ADHD
case study of ADHD in classroom
ADHD online support group
Women with ADHD
ADHD information
ADHD description by National Institute of Mental Health
An A.D.H.D. Student Finds Confidence on the Track
Stepping Up to the Challenge

  1. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Retrieved March 19, 2010, from Web site:
  2. ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Retrieved March 19, 2010, from Web site:
  3. What Is ADHD?. Retrieved March 19, 2010, from Web site:
  4. ADHD. Retrieved March 19, 2010, from Web site:
  5. ADHD and Cognitive Therapy. Retrieved March 19, 2010, from Web site:
  6. An ADHD Case Study. Retrieved March 19, 2010, from Web site:
  7. Natural Remedies for ADD and ADHD. Retrieved March 19, 2010, from Web site:
  8. Let's Focus on ADHD. Retrieved March 19, 2010, from Web site:
  9. YouTube - ADHD and the brain (n.d.). Retrieved March 19, 2010, from

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