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What Do You Know About AD/HD?

What is ADD/ADHD?

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are believed to be neurologically-based disorders that begin in childhood, before the age of seven. It has the potential to seriously affect the child behaviorally, psychologically, educationally, and spiritually.

In the past, the central component in the problem of AD/HD was thought to be an inability to focus and/or concentrate. More recent research suggests that while that is certainly a key element in AD/HD, the core component is a problem with inhibition-the ability to wait. Simply put, people with AD/HD lack self-control.

Today the terms AD/HD are used to describe MANY children with behavior that is out of control; however, it is estimated that about 5% of American children truly have the disorder. In the past, it was believed that boys with AD/HD outnumbered girls, but current studies show numbers are about even.

Who Gets AD/HD?

It is estimated that as many as 7.2 million children between the ages of 5 and 18 have AD/HD in the USA. Studies indicate that the disorder is found in all countries and ethnic groups.

What Are the Characteristics of AD/HD?

1. INATTENTION (will exhibit at least three of the following):
-fails to finish things he starts
-often seems not to listen
-is easily distracted
-has difficulty concentrating on tasks requiring sustained attention
-has difficulty sticking to a play activity unless it is highly stimulating

2. IMPULSIVITY (exhibits at least three of the following):
-often acts or speaks before thinking
-shifts excessively from one activity to another
-has difficulty organizing work (not due to mental inability)
-needs a lot of supervision
-frequently calls out in class
-has difficulty waiting a turn in games or group situations

3. HYPERACTIVITY (not necessarily a component; if it is, child exhibits at least two of the following):
-runs about or climbs excessively
-has difficulty sitting still or fidgets excessively
-has difficulty staying seated
-moves about excessively during sleep/doesn't sleep
-is always "on the go"

These problems must have been present before the age of seven, and have lasted for at least six months. They must not be related to other intense disorders or physical illnesses.

The severity of AD/HD ranges from mild to severe. The more severe cases are usually diagnosed early in childhood because they are so obvious. Most children are recommended for diagnosis between the ages of 8 and 10 years old. Less severe cases may not be diagnosed until the adolescent years.

What are the Associated Problems?

IN SCHOOL, the child doesn't pay attention, distracts others, fails to complete work, rushes through assignments, is sloppy, makes careless errors, loses things, and has poor social skills. These result in feelings of failure and poor self-esteem, and social rejection. Often teachers become frustrated and angry with the child. During free-play or organized sports where a high level of motor activity is expected, the child may function quite well.

This child definitely needs more direction, structure and encouragement than other children his age in school and in group activities; however, he may function fairly well when working one-on-one. His low tolerance for frustration and delayed gratification cause him to give up easily on tasks that are difficult for him, or when people do not do what he desires.

AT HOME, the child fails to follow through on chores and parental requests, climbs excessively, breaks things, appears to ignore others' feelings, talks endlessly, and engages in reckless and dangerous activities.

On The Positive Side . . .

People with AD/HD are usually:

- Intelligent
- Creative
- Friendly
- Happy
- Athletic
- Enthusiastic
- Energetic
- Affectionate
- Humorous
- Personable

Many well-known people have AD/HD.

How is AD/HD Treated?

AD/HD are life-long problems for which there is no known cure. Managing the problem is the method of treatment. A team approach is the most effective. The best results are obtained through parent training, teacher support, behavioral management programs and counseling for the child and medication, when necessary.

Medications most frequently used include Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall, Dexedrine, and Strattera. None of these are addictive.

What Can Parents and Teachers Do?

- Understand that AD/HD is basically a biological problem that creates many challenges for a young person. The child cannot help having the problem.


- Provide firm but loving discipline.

- Be consistent

- Set clear and reasonable rules. Just a few will be enough.

- Establish a routine and stick to it.

- Give LOTS of positive & immediate feedback.


AD/HD is An Explanation for the person's behavior but it is not an excuse. This individual may need more direction, structure and encouragement than others but he/she can learn to deal with the problem.

Schedule an Appointment Today

We are a team of experienced counselors that are here to help you. Our staff has a diverse set of abilities and specialties in order to assist clients with a wide variety of needs. To schedule an appointment or to get more information, please call our Hanover, PA office at 717.630.2255. (Learn more about our Christian counseling services).


Suggested Reading

CCES does not necessarily endorse all comments by the authors. These materials are not intended to be a substitute for professional counseling; therefore, CCES is not to be held liable for any event that transpires as a result of reading these materials.

*You & Your A.D.D. Child
by Paul Warren and Jody Capehart

*ADD and Hyperactivity, The Bible Cure Series
by Don Colbert, M.D.

*ADD: Attention Deficit Disorder
by Theresa Lamson

*Adult AD/HD: A Reader Friendly Guide to Identifying, Understanding, and Treating Adult Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
by Michele Novotni, Ph.D. and Thomas Whiteman, Ph.D.

The A.D.D. Book for Kids
by Shelley Rotner and Sheila Kelly

The A.D.D. Book
by William Sears and Lynda Thompson

*Why ADHD Doesn't Mean Disaster
by Dennis Swanberg, Diane Passno and Walt Larimore, M.D.

*The Homeschooler's Guide to Attentional Difficulties: Practial Tips for Daily Success
by Jill J. Dixon

by Russell A. Barkley

p>Driven To Distraction
by Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey

*The Attention Deficit Child
by Grant Martin

* Denotes a Christian book

Other Helpful Resources

CHADD (Children & Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder)
8181 Professional Place, Suite 201
Landover, MD 20785
1-800-233-4050 or 1-301-306-7070

National Resource Center

National ADDA (National Attention Deficit Disorder Association)
1788 Second Street, Suite 200
Highland Park, IL 60035

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