Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Definition. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) begins and is most often diagnosed in childhood. Some people are not diagnosed until adulthood, but, as they look back, they can document symptoms starting before age seven (Hallowell & Ratey, 1994).
There are three sub-types of ADHD: primarily hyperactive, primarily inattentive, and a mixed type where one exhibits both hyperactive and inattentive symptoms. Regardless of type, ADHD is considered a cognitive and primary processing deficit disorder. The processing deficits found in those with ADHD are attention and effort, inhibition, arousal modification, and self-regulation. These problems cause symptoms such as impaired higher order reasoning, difficulty developing schemata, impaired metacognitions, and poor effectance motivation (Teeter, 1998). This processing problem leads to the various symptoms seem by parents, teachers, and doctors. Preston and Johnson (2008) note the symptoms for ADHD. They are impulsivity, difficulties with motivation, impaired attention and concentration, easy distraction, restlessness, hyperactivity, and emotional deregulation or impaired emotional control. Those who suffer from ADHD often suffer from learning disabilities and low self-esteem (Preston & Johnson), and they often have social-emotional problems and present with aggressive behavior (Teeter).
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Evelyn Schmechtig Cochran