A child’s ability of paying attention and remembering previous lessons influences their chances of succeeding in school. Classrooms are generally very busy and there are a variety of distractions present that are all basically in competition for the attention of the child. Majority of the children are able to shut out the numerous distractions and focus on their lessons or the task at hand. However, there are also those who are suffering from attention deficit disorder or ADD. They are unable to focus on a single task and tend to be extremely inattentive, hyperactive and impulsive in nature. More common in children, it can also occur in adults.
The primary problem of attention deficit disorder is that those who suffer from it have problem learning and following directions and are unable to retain essential information. In some cases, this disorder may go away naturally with the passage of time. Some other conditions can also be associated with this disorder. Scientists have said that there are a variety of causes of attention deficit disorder. In most cases, this disorder typically occurs due to heredity and genes. The problem is passed down in the family.
Apart from that, brain injury can also cause ADD. This refers to injuries that occur not only after birth, but even in uteri or during the delivery. Some factors in the environment may also contribute to this type of disorder. The symptoms associated with it are increased through environmental factors such as food additives, sugar and even cigarette smoke. Usually, the symptoms of attention deficit disorder only become apparent in the child when they have joined school and are unable to participate in class and pay attention to what is being taught. Otherwise, the disorder might remain unnoticed by the family.
In order to diagnose ADD amongst the children, the DSM-IV criteria are used by doctors. They observe the behavior of the child to the said criteria. Detailed history of the emotional development and the milestones of a child are required by the physicians for this purpose. This history is also inclusive of day-to-day and normal problems faced in regular tasks like sleeping, feeding and eating. A PET scan might also be used for testing the individual for any physical and neurological abnormalities. People who are suffering from this disorder will have a significant difference in brain activities and hormone levels.
It is clear that a child, adolescent and even an adult may be affected by ADD. However, the impacts of this problem can also be psychological, meaning that they can have a negative influence on the confidence and self-esteem of individuals, especially when people are not aware of their condition. Special education programs have been developed for helping people in coping with their attention deficit disorder. Techniques are taught to the patient for coping with this problem, which include behavioral modification. They need to avoid over-stimulating situations and have to learn consistency.
Furthermore, there are also medications such as Cylert, Adderall and Ritalin that can be used by people who are faced with the problem of ADD.