Attention Deficit disorder (ADD) is a neurobiological condition
characterised by developmentally inappropriate level of attention,
concentration, activity, distractability and impulsivity.
ADD; ADHD; Attention deficit hyperactive disorder; Childhood
incidence and risk factors
Attention Deficit Disorder is the most commonly diagnosed
behavioural disorder of childhood, affecting an estimated
3% to 5% of school aged children.
much progress in the diagnosis and treatment of ADD, this
disorder remains highly controversial. The diverse and conflicting
opinions about ADD have resulted in confusion for families
and caregivers alike.
the cause of this disorder is unknown, scientists have determined
that there is a neurobiological basis for the disease. There
may be a familial component involved (genetic) in some, but
not all cases.
be seen with an increased incidence of ADD in children with
a first degree relative with ADHD, conduct disorders, antisocial
personality, substance abuse, and others. Genes are being
identified that are thought to be involved in ADD.
incidence of ADD has been increasing over the last 15 years,
possibly related to better diagnosis, changing expectations
or problems with supportive social structures. The disorder
is 3 to 10 times more common in males than females.
affected children, whether intellectually handicapped or not,
perform poorly in school because of the inability to attend
to tasks at hand or to sit still during the school day. The
diagnosis is generally not considered until school age, although
there may be earlier indicators of pending problems.
Attention deficit disorder is a complex issue and many preventive
measures have been proposed. None have been proven at this
The symptoms typically begins at 3 years of age.
*does not pay close attention to details; may make careless
mistakes at work, school, or other activities
*failure to complete tasks
*has difficulty maintaining attention in tasks or play activities
*does not listen when spoken to directly
*has difficulty organising tasks
*is easily distracted
*unable to follow more than one instruction at a time
*fidgeting, squirming in seat or moving constantly
*wandering, may leave the seat in the classroom when expected
*has trouble participating in "quiet" activities,
such as reading
*runs and climbs in inappropriate situations
*may blurt out answers before questions have been completed
*has difficulty awaiting turn
*inability to delay gratification
*social outcasts or loners (possibly an inability to play
in groups, but may perform in one-on-one situation)
*apparent disregard for own safety
*behaviour not usually modified by reward or punishment
*may have other specific learning disabilities
*failure to meet normal intellectual developmental milestones
(R) thedailystar.net 2004