Home  -  Back Issues  -  The Team  -  Contact Us
     Volume 4 Issue 32 | February 4, 2005 |

   Cover Story
   News Notes
   Special Feature
   Straight Talk
   Food for Thought
   Slice of Life
   Time Out
   Dhaka Diary
   Book Review
   New Flicks
   Write to Mita

   SWM Home



Attention Please...

Attention Deficit disorder (ADD) is a neurobiological condition characterised by developmentally inappropriate level of attention, concentration, activity, distractability and impulsivity.

Alternative Names
ADD; ADHD; Attention deficit hyperactive disorder; Childhood hyperkinesis

Causes, 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.

Despite 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.

While 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.

This may 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.

The apparent 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.

Typically 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 time.

The symptoms typically begins at 3 years of age.

Attention deficit:
*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 to stay
*has trouble participating in "quiet" activities, such as reading
*runs and climbs in inappropriate situations
*talks excessively

*may blurt out answers before questions have been completed
*has difficulty awaiting turn
*interrupts others
*disruptive behaviour

*sleep problems
*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



Copyright (R) thedailystar.net 2004