What is ADD?
What is ADD
Attention deficit disorder (ADD) is a common condition that The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates 3% to 5% of US children have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). But, what is ADD? ADD is believed to be a common condition affecting the areas of the brain that help control impulses, concentration and the ability to organize thoughts and actions.
ADD affects children, adolescents and can continue into adulthood. Experts are unsure whether children ever outgrow ADD. This means that ADD may be more common in adults than previously thought.
What is the Cause of ADD
ADD experienced by children and adults, must be carefully differentiated from normal energetic behaviors. No known research describes what causes ADD, nor have any brain pathologies resulting from ADD ever been found. This makes it difficult to determine what the root cause is. What has been observed is an inability of the brain to adapt to one’s environment in an appropriate manner. Due to its effect on specific neurotransmitters produced in the Hypothalamus of the brain, nutrition appears to have a major impact on what causes ADD. With normal mental processes, “time” is what keeps everything from happening at once. With ADD, mental processes appear to compress “time” allowing thoughts and behaviors to translate directly into action.
What are the common symptoms of ADD
Psychologist can only determine specific patterns that are consistent with ADD. Describing symptoms does not determine a true diagnosis of ADD. For a diagnosis of ADD, six or more of the following common symptoms of ADD need to be present over a 6 month period, to a degree that is disruptive and inappropriate.
- fidgeting with hands or feet
- difficulty remaining seated
- being easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
- difficulty awaiting turn in games or group activities
- blurting out answers before questions are completed
- difficulty in following instructions
- difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
- shifting from one incomplete task to another
- talking excessively
- interrupting or intruding on others
- not listening to what is being said
- forgetting things necessary for tasks or activities
- engaging in physically dangerous activities without considering possible consequences
Common Misconceptions about ADD
The concept of a young brain being “wired” wrong does not address the impact of a difficulty to learn. The common symptoms of ADD can be misleading in that there are various learning styles among children and adults. Some are auditory (listening) learners; some are visual (sight) learners and some are tactile (touch) learners. If a child or adult learns best by a physical hands on approach (investigation by touch) but the instruction is geared to the auditory learner (learn by listening), that learner will quickly become disinterested and retreat to what is more appropriate to their learning style.
- A child may display ADD symptoms, becoming fidgety, bored or inattentive, perhaps even disruptive in the classroom because his learning method has not been challenged.
- There are no scientific references, diagnostic tests or lab finding offered to validate the ADD as a traditional “disease” process.
- There is no evidence of a valid medical diagnosis of ADD based on the “Chemical Imbalance” theory.
Tips for Living with ADD
Following are eight tips to help you live successfully with ADD. These are excellent things to work on with your ADD coach.
- Improve Your Self-Talk
- Increase Your Personal Awareness
- Create Systems and Structure to Make Your Life Run More Easily
- Exercise Regularly
- Eat a Healthy Diet
- Learn How Much You Can Handle
- Get Enough Sleep.
- Work with an ADD skills coach