Excerpt from Chapter 1:
The ADD and ADHD Answer Book gives you the answers to your important questions. Over fifteen years in private practice specializing in evaluating and treating AD/HD has given me the inside perspective of what parents really want to know. The answers in this book are the same answers I would give to you if we were having a face-to-face consultation in my office. The answers are based on the current research and state-of-the-art psychological techniques.
This book differs from all other books about AD/HD because, like a dictionary, this book can be used as a reference. Over the years, as your child progresses through the various stages of this disorder, you will have The ADD and ADHD Answer Book on your reference shelf to find the answers to your new questions.
The ADD and ADHD Answer Book will transform you into a well-informed consumer. You will have extensive knowledge direct from a child psychologist who specializes in AD/HD. You will have straightforward, no holds barred, honest information about what you are likely to face over the years in raising your child with AD/HD. You will have the most current information based on research and clinical practice.
In writing The ADD and ADHD Answer Book, it is my hope that it becomes your guidebook and that you will use it frequently. I hope that you will turn to this book each time you have a question. It is my wish that you will use the numerous techniques in this book that I, and many child psychologists, have used over the years in treating children with AD/HD. I hope that you find the inspiration to apply the techniques, despite the tireless effort it requires on your part. While some of your reward for your hard work will come in the days, weeks, and months ahead, your true reward will come in the years ahead when you see your child succeed in school, find his place with friends, like who he has become, and find a passion in life that he can make his life's work.
- What are the three types of ADD and ADHD?
- What are the symptoms of ADD?
- What does an ADD child look like in daily life?
- What other symptoms are associated with ADD?
- What are the symptoms of ADHD?
- What does an ADHD child look like in daily life?
- What other symptoms are associated with ADHD?
- How is the ADD child different from the ADHD child?
- Are ADD and ADHD real disorders?
- Is AD/HD over-diagnosed?
- Doesn't every child have symptoms of AD/HD?
- How can it be AD/HD when he can play video games for hours?
- Is there a difference between boys and girls who have AD/HD?
- Is AD/HD caused by something in the brain?
- Is AD/HD genetic?
- Can poor parenting cause AD/HD?
- What effect does the family environment have on AD/HD?
- Does watching television cause AD/HD?
- Do sugar and food allergies cause AD/HD?
- What other causes of AD/HD are suspected?
- Is there a cure for AD/HD?
- How is AD/HD treated?
- What can behavior modification do to help AD/HD?
- What can family therapy do to help?
- What can social skills group therapy do to help?
- What can individual therapy do to help?
- What treatments do not work?
- What should parents know when selecting treatment?
What are the three types of ADD and ADHD?
Before we can begin to answer the many questions about ADD and ADHD, it is important to learn the terminology and understand the difference between the language that parents use and the language you will hear from doctors.
The terminology of ADD and ADHD are defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV-TR published by the American Psychiatric Association. ADD and ADHD have had various labels over the years, including minimal brain dysfunction and hyperkinesis. The current terminology for both ADD and ADHD is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
There are three types of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder:
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Primarily Inattentive Type. Children who have this type are inattentive and distractible. Even though the word "hyperactivity" is included in the label, there is no hyperactivity. This type is commonly called ADD.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Primarily Hyperactive-Impulsive Type. Children with this disorder are overactive and impulsive. This type is most often called ADHD.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Combined Type. These children are inattentive and distractible, as well as hyperactive and impulsive. This type is also referred to as ADHD.
What are the symptoms of ADD?
ADD is the inattentive type of ADHD. Children with ADD have six or more of the following symptoms, some of which start before they reach seven years of age:
- Forgetful in daily activities
- Poor attention to details and careless mistakes in schoolwork and homework
- Easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
- Trouble sustaining attention
- Loses things necessary for tasks or activities
- Dislikes and is reluctant to exert sustained mental effort
- Does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish chores and schoolwork
- Difficulty organizing tasks and activities
- Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
Because toddlers and early elementary school children are not expected to sustain attention for long periods, or to keep track of their own belongings, ADD often does not become problematic until third or fourth grade when children are expected to function more independently.
Symptoms must be present for at least six months and appear in more than one setting. Children's symptoms are most commonly seen at home and at school, but they are also likely to show up in other settings where attention is needed such as church or temple, music lessons, and sport activities.