What is attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactive disorder?

Attention deficit disorder (commonly referred to as ADD or ADHD) is a neurologically based condition characterized by difficulties with attention, impulse control and hyperactivity. No one knows exactly what causes A.D.D or A.D.H.D.. Scientific evidence suggests that the disorder is genetically transmitted in many cases and results from a chemical imbalance in certain neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that help the brain regulate behavior.

Receiving a Diagnosis of ADD or ADHD

An accurate diagnosis requires an assessment by a well trained professional who is very familiar with ADD and or ADHD. The diagnosis of ADD and ADHD is based on the presence of a set of behaviors or symptoms and evidence of clinically significant impairment in the areas of social, academic, or occupational functioning. These impairments must be persistent, occurring over a period of time. Physicians (most often developmental pediatricians, psychiatrists, psychologists, educational psychologists and neuropsychologists can help to evaluate and give diagnostic clarification for the conditions of ADD and ADHD.

Treatment For ADD And ADHD

There is no “quick fix” or “cure” for ADD or ADHD; rather treatment for these conditions means the implementation of strategies to address the symptoms of ADD and ADHD effectively. Treatment for ADD and ADHD includes the education of the individual and his or her family members and the school team, positive and proactive behavioral interventions that provide structure, consistency and predictability, modifications and support at school and or work. For may individuals medication has proven a highly effective component of a comprehensive treatment plan. Medication does not “cure” ADD or ADHD but can significantly help alleviate many of the symptoms that cause impairment in daily life. Social skills training and psychotherapy to address any discord resulting from ADD and ADHD are also frequently a part of the treatment plan.