ADHD Part 1

By: Liz Tedone
By: Liz Tedone

Knoxville (WVLT) - Now that the school year is underway, you may notice your child is having trouble adjusting in the
classroom.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is the most common behavioral disorder in young people.

With the right diagnosis and treatment, ADHD is manageable.

But there are other disorders that produce the same symptoms.

Volunteer TV's Liz Tedone explains in part one of this special report.

Dr. Bill Allen says, "Not focusing attention doesn't automatically mean ADHD."

ADHD is the most common neurobehavioral disorder in young children, and many experts would agree it's over-diagnosed. In a true diagnosis, several other factors are ruled out first, including stress and depression.

"Children who have a learning disability can look ADHD. They may not focus because reading is really hard for them."

There are two major criteria that must be followed to get the proper ADHD diagnosis. Starting with your child's school psychologist, a cognitive and academic test must be conducted. And parents and teachers will have to fill out their own questionnaires so doctors can get an idea of the big picture.

And if your child is not ADHD, but continues to have difficulty in school, there could be other factors like symptoms of the autism spectrum or another "disorder" Dr. Allen calls frustration intolerance. It's when young people can't deal with challenges properly because they live in a world with instant technology.

"So if you don't have to practice frustration tolerance, when the teacher says come here I want you to do this assignment, that's a little frustrating for you, you're going to be off task."

Meanwhile the behavioral characteristics of ADHD can be an asset, and the medicines available can allow children and adults to function well.

More details in part two of our special report.

Thursday, we'll take a look at how being ADHD can give you an advantage in certain life situations and how medicine used to treat it can work against you.


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  • by Jane Location: Williamsburg VA on Oct 5, 2007 at 03:45 PM
    Yes, there are many possible triggers for ADHD, one very big one is a group of synthetic food additives, including dyes. These chemicals, which go by names like Red 40 and Yellow 5 are synthesized from petroleum, and most start out at petroleum refineries in China. They have been found to trigger various learning, behavior and health problems. You can find the scientific literature at www.ADDdiet.com. Earlier this month a major study was published in The Lancet, showing that a blend of food dyes plus one preservative caused disturbed behavior and attention problems in children, including those who did not have any prior diagnosis. For the past 31 years the non-profit Feingold Association has shown parents how to determine if the worst of the additives are triggering these symptoms. That same web site www.ADDdiet.com gives a great deal of information. We parent volunteers have helped our own children and offer assistance to other families.
  • by Veverly A Knight Location: Miami, Florida on Oct 4, 2007 at 05:30 PM
    My 6 year old son was tested 6 times for ADHD he dose not have it. However, he has an Audiotory Speech processing delay which causes him to act out in school. How can I go about trying to find out if this behavior is caused by some type of food or drink?

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