ADHD is a common diagnosis for America's children. Here are some statics taken from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, 2009):

*4.5 million children 5-17 years of age have been diagnosed with ADHD

*As of 2006, 3%-7% of school-aged children suffer from ADHD

*Diagnosis of ADHD increased an average of 3% per year from 1997 to 2006

*Boys (9.5%) are more likely than girls (5.9%) to have been diagnosed with ADHD

*ADHD diagnosis is significantly higher among non-Hispanic, primarily English-speaking, and insured children

*Minnesota has an almost 8% diagnosis rate


There are three varieties of ADHD. The first is the Predominantly Inattentive Type; symptoms of this type include difficulties in organizational skills, following conversations and directions, attention to details, daily routines and are easily distracted. The second is the Predominantly hyperactive-Impulsive Type, symptoms of this include constant fidgeting, great deal of talking, difficulty sitting still, very impulsive, speaking at inappropriate times, and clumsiness. The third is a combination of the first two.

The cause is mostly genetic, other possible causes may include a brain injury, environmental exposures, alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy, premature birth, and low birth weight. There is no scientific data to back up the myth that too much sugar and television cause ADHD.

Diagnosis is done after a series of tests have been conducted. The child's parents, classroom teachers, school specialists, and doctors conduct these tests.

Treatment for ADHD usually comes in a combination of two treatments, behavioral therapy, and medication. For the behavioral therapy, it is important to provide an environment of high structure. Routine is key for suffers of ADHD, as well as help with organization. Show the child how to organize and be prepared to show them often. Break tasks and chores down for children into manageable parts. The most important element to behavioral therapy is to keep things positive. Medications come in two forms stimulants and non-stimulants. Medication needs to be given under a doctor's strict supervision until the proper dosage is found.

Children who are diagnosed with ADHD are not usually in any special education programs in school, so teachers need to be prepared to teach students afflicted with ADHD. Here are some suggestions from the CDC: use a homework folder to communicate daily with the student's family, make homework and assignments clear, give positive reinforcement, and be sensitive to self-esteem issues (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, 2009).

 Many famous people have been diagnosed with ADHD. Here is just a few names:

Michael Phelps, Ty Pennignton, Howie Mandel, James Carville, Glenn Beck, Woody Harrelson, Paul Orfalea (founder of Kikos), David Neeleman (founder of JetBlue Airways) and Christopher Knight (Peter from the Brady Bunch)




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