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Empirical Article Review on ADHD Children


When a child acts out in school, teachers and administrators are skeptical of the fact that
the child may have Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), especially if the child has
acted out on more than one occasion. In the DSM-IV, ADHD has been described from a list of
behavioral symptoms that have persisted for six months or more. In order for America to keep
control over children with ADHD, a drug by the name of Ritalin has been prescribed to help
regulate the childs dopamine hormone levels. Ritalin is widely used and overprescribed for
children with ADHD, even though it is recorded that not all children with ADHD are taking this
medication.-citationIn Running from Ritalin by Malcolm Gladwell, Gladwell expressed his concerns on the
use of Ritalin, as well as Sydney Walker (neuropsychiatrist), Richard DeGrandpre (psychologist),
and Lawrence Dillar (physician). Walker, Gladwell, DeGrandpre, and Dillar show similar takes
on the use of Ritalin and how it affects children as they are growing up and their learning in
school. They all try to understand what ADHD really is, instead of what society makes it out to
be. Society makes ADHD out to be a very disruptive behavior that causes children to get upset
and throw temper tantrums just because they want to, but in this article they break down the
pieces of ADHD that most people do not understand about the disorder. I did not even
understand the implications of this disorder or looked at it in this matter before reading this
article.
Children with ADHD need something to keep them going and distracted. Most of the
things they do are done out of boredom or failure to concentrate on one specific thing at a time.
-citation-There have been multiple experiments made in the past that give you insight on the

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troubles of children with ADHD. One of the experiments consisted of watching ADHD
diagnosed children play a video game with children who were not diagnosed with ADHD.
Rosemary Tannock concluded that, the ones with ADHD completed fewer levels and had to restart more games than their unaffected peers. citation- The ADHD children liked the
stimulation of the game because it kept them distracted and busy, but they completed less levels
because their reaction time is much slower than a child without ADHD. Their emotions change
from day to day, making them unpredictable in order to not have that bored feeling and a slower
reaction time because they do not know how to react to certain situations quickly enough. This
all leads to the fact that ADHD kids are able to complete tasks, it is not that they are not smart
enough, but that they just cannot concentrate for the amount of time they need to complete the
task due to a string of things coming to them all at once.
Another form of an experiment was the Naming Test where the child was asked to
read as quickly as possible as he can five rows of letters, each of which consists of five letters
repeated in different order -- A, B, C, D, E, citation- A child without ADHD may complete
the task about ten seconds faster than a child with ADHD, this leads to the assumption of a
learning disorder. Gladwell related this type of disorder to dyslexia. This evidence shows that
ADHD is being made out to be the stem of other disorders that the child may have.
In more research, it had been assessed that ADHD is heritable making researchers change
their minds about the way ADHD is described or how it is caused. Since it is said that ADHD is
heritable researchers are looking at what key factors make it heritable, instead of the
environmental and social factors they believed caused ADHD.

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Gladwell also looked into the fact that Ritalin is related to other drugs in society, drugs
that were a big thing in its decade. He related Ritalin to nicotine and cocaine because they are
both drugs that affect the brain in the same way as dopamine. Gladwell feels as though the
reliance on Ritalin is a big issue in society. Diller, Walker, and DeGrandpre also have the same
mindset on the medication of children using Ritalin. They do not think the use and dependence of
Ritalin should be so strong. Using Ritalin to control a childs abnormal behavior is wrong in
their eyes. To them, the definition of normal is being taken out of context when society has to use
drugs to keep a child from reacting the way their body tells them to.
In an empirical article I found titled, Reaction Time and Effect of Ritalin on Children with
Learning Problems, researchers study the reaction times of children with and without ADHD to
determine the effects of Ritalin on their learning problems, which is related to the similar topic of
the learning disability associated with ADHD in Running from Ritalin. This experiment is also
related to the slow reaction time that children with ADHD have when trying to focus on one
specific thing, also from Running from Ritalin.