What We Know Today
ADD and ADHD diagnoses are on the rise. ADD - Attention Deficit Disorder - is considered by the research to be a frontal lobe condition. It occurs when the prefrontal cortex does not fire accordingly when a person attempts to focus. On brain images, the frontal lobe of typical adults have full frontal lobe activity and adequate blood flow during times of focus and concentration. For adults diagnosed with ADD, their brain images showed decreased blood flow to the frontal lobes. The more these individuals tried to focus the worse the blood flow became until it completely shut off.
There are actually 6 different types of ADD and each one produces a different image on brain scans. Researchers suggest that ADD is most likely genetic, but may also be caused by lack of social structure during childhood development, or drug/alcohol abuse while in the womb. No matter the reasons, this is a REAL clinical problem and supporting the kids who have this diagnosis is truly what’s important.
Symptoms and Possible Effects of ADD
MUCH like frontal lobe damage, ADD has an array of classic symptoms which include short attention span, difficulty learning from experiences, poor organizational skills, low level planning skills, easily distracted, inability to focus on tasks, lack of control over actions, and being fixed in their opinions of their actions. Even if they know these behaviors do not serve them, these individuals will not correct their actions on their own.
ADD affects thousands in the US. Because of the symptoms listed above, people with a diagnosis of ADD have difficulty controlling their actions to maintain proper behavior during social situations, tend to act out of control in classroom situations, take certain liberties without asking permission, and are very Impulsive. They receive an emotional high from negative attention which is a nice rush of adrenaline for them to want to do it again. Are you seeing a pattern as to why these students and adults are difficult to manage?
Data has shown that half of all prison inmates have ADD, over one third of students with ADD never finish HS, more than half abuse alcohol or drugs, and parents of ADD children have a divorce rate 3x greater than those without ADD. As you can see, ADD is no laughing matter.
Medical Treatment options differ for each individual which is something I am not educated to offer. What I am educated to offer are behavioral strategies that have been shown to support these children throughout their day to be productive students at home and at school. Working in the school district for 10 plus years has given me first hand experience with children of this diagnosis. My goal is to empower you as a mother, caregiver, or teacher to provide the most stable environment possible for your child.
Have a specific child in mind? Continue reading.
In the following Blog, ADD Tips and Strategies I will discuss techniques that benefit students with short attention spans and similar behaviors as described above.
Has ADD impacted your life in any way?