|ADD/ADHD is not an illness. Rather, it is an inborn individual difference. Just as some people come into the world with blue eyes and some with brown, and some with a tendency to be tall and some to be short, some people come into the world with good attention and some don't.|
|ADD is a term used to describe a collection of biologically based behavioral characteristics. Some combination of the following traits are usually seen in people with ADD/ADHD:
|ADD/ADHD manifests itself differently across a person's lifespan, depending on his/her pattern of strengths and weaknesses, stresses in his/her life, and the expectations they face. An appropriate evaluation of ADD/ADHD should include a medical, educational, vocational, and behavioral history, a survey of daily activities and independent functioning, a general and neurological examination, sensory screening, and a neuro-developmental assessment. Accordingly, effective treatment plans should be specific, tailored to the individual, and based on the results of a comprehensive assessment.|
Do You Know This Person?
|Justin, age 6|
|Justin makes the cut off for entry into first grade by five months. However, by the time parent-teacher conferences roll around, the teacher is convinced that Justin is immature. He is having a hard time staying in his seat, remembering to raise his hand, and waiting his turn at the drinking fountain. The teacher is sure that Justin needs more time to mature and that repeating first grade is the answer.|
|Melissa, age 8|
|Missy is a perfect angel. She quietly sits in the last seat of the fourth row of her third grade class. The rowdy disruptive kids sit in the front. Missy never causes any trouble; she is shy, polite, and ... flunking.|
|Doug, age 15|
|Doug was never a great student. Since middle school, he has been in constant danger of failing his courses. His teachers feel he is lazy with a bad attitude. The other kids are intimidated by his short fuse and tendency to pick a fight over anything. Actually, when you get to know Doug, he is a real marshmallow who feels lousy about himself.|
|Annie, age 35|
|Annie is an attractive mother of three. To look at her you would never guess what a disaster every area of her life has been since college. As a young teacher, she never developed lesson plans and couldn't control her classes. As a homemaker, she rarely cooks a meal, struggles to pick up the house, and has 45 half-done projects. She's depressed and her self-esteem is in the pits.
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