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Psy 236 - Adhd

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Robert Anderson

Professor Levine        

PSY 236

November 8, 2011

ADHD

        Attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity (ADHD) is a disorder that many people have to cope with each day. The amount of people I’ve met with ADHD just this past year is unreal. I grew up with an older brother who suffered from this disorder and to me as a little kid he was the only one who had it, but then again, I didn’t even know what ADHD meant. For those who suffer from the disorder, ADHD can be a big part of their lives; parents may struggle with it when it comes to taking care of their children. Children even take on some hardships when they have ADHD. My brother felt like an outcast as a child because he would have to be reminded by his elementary school teachers to go to the nurse and take his medication everyday. It is a very serious disorder and can take a toll on people’s personalities and they way they act.

        According to Barkley, Murphy and Knouse (2010) adults who are diagnosed with adhd don’t just gain their symptoms randomly through their adulthood; they are obtained during the childhood years of one’s life. In their study, Barkley, Murphy and Knouse examined a group of 146 adults clinically diagnosed with ADHD, a group of 97 adults who were not diagnosed with ADHD, and a group of 109 adults from the community who may or may not have ADHD, they were just volunteers who signed up to participate through advertising in local news. They measured the ADHD symptoms of all the participants on an adult ADHD symptom scale. All participants initially completed the scale twice, once to check current conditions and a second time to find symptoms from recollections of the subjects’ childhood in the research done by Barkley, Murphy, and Knouse (2010).  The results found in the research done by Barkley, Murphy, and Knouse (2010) showed that there were low disparities in the symptoms as an adult and as a child for the ADHD and community groups. The experiment results show that adults who have ADHD really did show symptoms similar to their current state, as a child, based of their recollections of their childhood behaviors. I know my brother still shows signs that he has ADHD even though he is a grown up now and a father. He still has trouble with the same things that he did as a child.

        As I mentioned before, ADHD can bring upon difficulties in children’s lives as well as adults. The next article I will discuss involved ADHD and the effects it has on academic performance of children. Like I said, my brother had to take medication during the school day to help him perform better in the classroom and even then it was still difficult for him to be a very successful student. As stated by Daley and Birchwood (2009) a child must show signs of inattentive, impulsive, and hyperactive behaviors over a 6 month period before he age of 7 in order to be diagnosed with ADHD. The obvious signs of a child with ADHD is when they have difficulty taking turns, talk excessively, often appear not to be listening when spoken to and more as found in the research done by Daley and Birchwood (2009). Children with ADHD also have problems that can directly affect their academics in the article Daley and Birchwood (2009) state, “Twenty to thirty percent of ADHD children have an associated learning disorder of reading, spelling, writing and arithmetic (Biederman et al. 1991; Pliszka 1998).” This evidence proves that ADHD truly does affect a child’s academic performance, but I know from experience that academic issues are not the only ones that children with ADHD have to overcome. My brother was humiliated in school as a child because he had to go take his medicine everyday. Kids made fun of him and said he was weird, which ultimately relates to the fact that many kids didn’t want to be friends with him. ADHD is not the literal cause of his social issues, but it is in a way since he was made fun of for needing to treat his condition. Daley and Birchwood’s (2009) research proves that ADHD can affect a child’s academics, but it needs to be known that learning issues aren’t the only ones ADHD children have to deal with.

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