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Sara Doster English 1103-036 Susan Ingram 14 October 2012

ADHD in kids Starting with my topic of ADHD in students, one of the most inquisitive groups of people talking about this topic are parents living with children that have ADHD. Being the ones who have to take care of the child, they are curious about treatments, costs, safeness and effectiveness of treatments and the symptoms and effects that ADHD has on their child. Others like adults with ADHD and parents whose children have a friend with ADHD are also curious about the current standings in treatment effectiveness. Common questions from this group include: “Why am I like this?” or “What can I do to get a child back on track in school or at work.” Parents are frustrated and confused when it comes to dealing with their child’s ADHD. The symptoms and effects of ADHD are most difficult due to the child’s seeming lack of attention to the parents (Smith). Parents feel alone and at blame for this, and it isn’t their fault. Doctors believe that brain chemistry is the actual issue, not something that the parent’s did (Rauch). Parents feel this way about their children having ADHD because they cannot treat the issue. Parents are supposed to protect their children from anything that may cause them harm or struggle, but since they cannot protect their child from ADHD, it makes the home life a struggle. Most parents feel that the best way to help your child is to stay positive and be a good role model for them so that they have something to work off of in the long run (Rauch).

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Although most parents aren’t opposed to using medication to help their child, they are aware of the risks. Lack of appetite is one of the main symptoms of most ADHD medications. Parents realize though, that if they come up with a workable meal plan, their child can still eat normally and healthily, even on medication. The second group that may be talking about this is teachers. Teachers in all education scenes play a big role in teaching ADHD children due to the fact that the child’s behavior may not be at its best and that can be frustrating to the child, parent, and the teacher. The teacher has to be the mediator between all of these and learn to ways to help the child learn in a certain environment. “Snider, Frankenberger, and Aspensen (2000) found that teachers were involved in making the initial referral nearly 40% of the time. This suggests that teachers play an important role in the initial screening for ADHD. In light of current concerns about treatment of ADHD with stimulant medication, it is critical that teachers are knowledgeable and objective if they are to play a role in the diagnosis of ADHD” (Snider). Studies have found that teachers with the proper training and a good amount of experience under their belt are more confident in teaching ADHD children than a teacher who has not. So as long as teachers are properly trained, they feel confident and well about teaching an ADHD child. At first, teachers feel hopeless and frustrated when teaching and ADHD child due to their lack of attention, constant jittering and moving, and their disruptiveness during the class. But when properly trained and informed on how to teach children with ADHD, with different and creative techniques, a teacher could be very successful at teaching an ADHD child. The third group interested in this topic is doctors. “According to data provided by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (2002), there was a 900% increase in methylphenidate

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production from 1990 to 2001. Ninety percent of the methylphenidate was consumed in the United States for the treatment of ADHD” (ldonline). Methylphenidate, commonly known as Ritalin is just one of the most common ADHD drugs. “Production of other drugs used to treat ADHD has also increased. From 1993 to 2001, the production of amphetamines (Dexedrine and, later, Adderall) increased by 5,767%. By 2001, amphetamine production accounted for 44% of the stimulants produced in the United States, the vast majority of which are used to treat ADHD” (Snider). These statistics are stunning to doctors, causing for suspicion of over-diagnosis. The struggle for doctors, though, is that there is no definitive test for ADHD. Through studies, there is still no concrete evidence that a child with ADHD differs from a child without neurologically and biochemically. Doctors are still looking for concrete evidence of the main cause and exact symptoms of ADHD. Just because the medication helps the child, does not mean the child actually has ADHD (Snider). Doctors are also trying to figure out how ADHD affects a child. “Researchers gave 60 college students, half with ADHD, a series of tests measuring creativity across 10 domains…The ADHD group scored higher on creativity across the board, the study authors said, and also exhibited a greater preference for brainstorming and generating ideas than the non-ADHD group, which preferred refining and clarifying ideas” (health). So although ADHD can cause struggles in many areas, it can also be strength in some.

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Works Cited

Rauch, Kate. "Coping Tips for Parents of Children with ADHD." BabyCenter. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2012. Salamon, Maureen. "ADHD's Upside: Greater Creativity?" HealthDay. U.S.News & World Report, 17 Mar. 2011. Web. 14 Oct. 2012. Smith, Melinda, M.A, and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. "ADD/ADHD Parenting Tips." ADD/ADHD Parenting Tips. Healthguide.org, May 2012. Web. 14 Oct. 2012. Snider, Vicki E., Tracy Busch, and Linda Arrowood. "ADHD Teacher Knowledge of Stimulant Medication and ADHD." LD OnLine: The World's Leading Website on Learning Disabilities and ADHD. WETA, 2003. Web. 14 Oct. 2012.