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The Nature of ADHD

According to statistics, the problem of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is rather a common one among schoolchildren. It might provide the impression that given its prevalenceit is not necessary to consider ADHD as a particularly serious disease. Nevertheless, thorough analysis of the assigned readings gave me an opportunity to realize the seriousness of this problem and its consequences. It turns out that the children who suffer from ADHD face various problems, since ADHD “can significantly impair the child's ability to absorb and make use of educational experiences and to function effectively in both academic and social environments” (Voeller, 2004). In fact, ADHD is associated not only with poor school performance. The consequences of ADHD may lead to the development of various bad habits, such as smoking, as well as the emergence of behavioral problems in communicating with both peers and adults. The special importance of this information is that it draws the attention of three parties involved - parents, teachers, and doctors - to the fact that the treatment of ADHD should not be delayed in any case, because the consequences can be much more serious than it seems at first glance. In addition, the importance of the information obtained is also in the fact that it gives a new understanding of the source of ADHD, pointing to the fact that ADHD is primarily genetic in nature, as evidenced by recent studies. No less important is the fact that parents, especially mothers, are also responsible for the occurrence of ADHD. According to the research, women who have drank alcohol or smoked during pregnancy are responsible for the development of ADHD in their children.

Information from the assigned readings was very helpful for me, since I learned a lot about ADHD. In general, the information both confirmed, expanded, and disproves my understanding of the disease. In particular, I have always considered ADHD as having primarily an acquired character due to a variety of behavioral problems in schoolchildren. For me, ADHD was of interest in view of the fact that I have seen it as a disease that has a negative impact primarily on student academic performance, since such behavioral characteristics as distraction of attention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity are known to have a negative impact on the learning process. They are considered an obstacle to successful learning, since the students cannot adequately perceive, analyze, and reproduce the information. Weakening of attention is manifested in the fact that the child is constantly distracted by extraneous sounds and objects. The child does not pay attention to details or forget them as well as rarely accurately and fully complies with all the instructions and data. In addition, the child often loses and forgets toys, pencils, and books. In turn, hyperactivity could be noticed when a child cannot sit quietly; he/she is always turning, squirming, etc. The child runs or gets up from his/her seat in situations where he/she has to sit still. My understanding of the problem primarily fitted the general idea about the symptoms and accepted forms of treatment for this disease. The fact that in most cases ADHD has a genetic character became unexpected news for me. The proposed material offers rather reasonable and convincing evidence of the genetic origin of ADHD. In this regard, studies that pointed to the fact that "ADHD is associated with an atypical pattern of brain development that appears in early childhood" are very important for me because they open the way for a more accurate diagnosis and more successful and rapid treatment (Voeller, 2004). Investigation of the features of the brain as a way to obtain new information about ADHD is seen as having a particularly important practical value. In addition, I did not know that ADHD is more prevalent among boys than girls. In my ideas, ADHD was independent of sex differences, so this news was quite surprising.

On the other hand, analysis of the assigned readings allowed me to verify the correctness of my assumption that "compared with boys with ADHD, the girls manifest more emotional distress, have higher rates of depression and anxiety, are highly vulnerable to stress, and have poor self-esteem and a limited sense of control "(Voeller, 2004). As we know, by their nature, male behavior is characterized by more intensive physical activity. Girls are also involved in sports; however male activity is more intense than female one. Men often prefer active sports, including those that are associated with a certain degree of risk and adrenaline. For this reason, boys react calmly to their inattention and impulsivity, partly because impulsivity is considered a natural feature of male behavior. In turn, women are calmer creatures. For this reason, it can be assumed that the unnatural state of hyperactivity is perceived by women's psychology as a violation of foundations of female behavior. For this reason, these scientific findings can be considered as a natural consequence, since awareness of this condition can lead girls to confusion, which in turn might result in depression and emotional distress. Finally, the information received confirmed my assumption that the successful treatment of the disease requires the use of a combined approach which involves a combination of medication and behavioral therapy.

In general, it is difficult to overestimate this information as it can give an impetus for further development of the treatment and diagnosis of ADHD. In my opinion, this information is important due to the fact that it opens up opportunities not only for successful treatment, but also for the successful prevention of disease. In this regard, consulting and observational work with families is rather important. Parents are the first people who can see the emergence and development of the disease in their children. The rapidity of detection and diagnosis of the disease influences on an effective solution of the problem. For this reason, work with parents must be carried out not only after the birth of a child, but also progressively as he/she matures. Measures are to be taken to increase responsibility of parents, especially women who plan to have children. Given the recent studies, women must understand the measure of responsibility for the life and health of their future children. In this regard, it is necessary to focus on preventive measures such as the fight against smoking and alcoholism. My task as a psychologist is to promote the dissemination of information on preventive measures against ADHD before conception and during pregnancy. Parents need to understand that first of all they are responsible for their child, and this responsibility should begin not after the baby’s birth but before his/her conception and during pregnancy. In addition, I can help those families who have encountered the same problem. My task will be to participate in solving the problem by providing the latest information regarding the nature and methods of treatment of ADHD. I understand that ADHD might not only develop in children, but also in adults and especially their mothers who most often are in contact with their children. The mother of a hyperactive child is usually excessively irritable and impulsive herself. She often has a lowered mood. Moreover, taking into account the latest scientific results, she is often can suffer from ADHD herself. As a psychologist, I will have to analyze the characteristics of the home environment in which the child lives and try to help resolve any family problems contributing to the development of ADHD in the child. In this regard, the study of the psychological status of the parents will be a major challenge for me. In the case of an unfavorable family situation, I can use family therapy which will remove the tension and discomfort in the relationship between parents and their child. In general, I will take into account the particular effectiveness of the combined treatment, which according to recent research suggests the possible use of behavioral therapy and medication.

To sum up, the problem of ADHD is rather severe and requires further investigation. The results of recent studies have a particularly important practical value for several reasons. Firstly, they allow people to understand that in most cases ADHD has a genetic character, while traditional approach involved interpretation of ADHD as having primarily a behavioral nature under the influence of various external factors. In addition, the understanding of the genetic nature of ADHD increases the potential for its successful prevention and treatment. Knowledge that the predisposition to ADHD is laid at the genetic level provides the development of methods to identify ADHD in children as they grow up. In addition, the value of recent studies lays in the fact that they have found a link between addictions of a future mother (smoking and alcohol) and the development of ADHD in her child. This means that various experts including psychologists should take all possible measures to combat these addictions. Finally, given the development of genetic science, knowledge about the genetic nature of ADHD can be successfully used to solve the problem before its inception. Thus, the promise of this information is unquestionable, since its application in practice is a new step in the successful treatment and prevention of ADHD.