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The ADHD Controversy

             Imagine living life as a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Your mind constantly shifting from one thought or image to the next. Every sound or activity around you is a distraction from the task at hand. You are easily bored, yet distracted by unimportant sights and sounds, your mind takes you from one thought or activity to the next. To your family and teachers, you seem to be in a constant whirlwind of disorganized activity. As a result, your daily life, relationships with others, and self esteem may be damaged. At times, you may even seem to be under complete control, making it hard for your family and teachers to be certain if there is something really wrong with you at all, or if you can actually control these behaviors. This makes it extremely difficult to determine whether the dramatic increase in children with ADHD is real, or just an easy alternative to dealing with an out of control child. Concern about the rise in childhood ADHD and its treatment with psychotropic medication calls for a need for physicians to diagnose this disorder based on biological markers rather than behavioral markers.
             ADHD is a neurologically based syndrome characterized by hyperactivity, distractibility, and impulsiveness. According to Columbia Encyclopedia, hyperactivity is characterized by restlessness or inappropriate activity when one is expected to remain still and calm. It is distractibility to unimportant sights and sounds, and inability to carry out tasks, as well as impulsiveness to blurt out inappropriate speech or strike out. In ADHD, these behaviors do not vary with emotional states, as in some other conditions. In children with ADHD these three typical behaviors are excessive and long term, creating difficulties for the child at school and at home. .
             ADHD is the most common behavioral disorder of children today, the numbers are alarming. 3-9% of children have been diagnosed with ADHD - the equivalent of at least one child in every classroom.

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