A Case Study: An Interesting Look into Attention-Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)
As I have studied ADHD, I have come to realize that it is a controversial topic. This is obvious in many ways. In the thirty years that ADHD has been diagnosed in DSM, it has undergone three major changes in definition. The current definition in DSM-IV is widely accepted as the best measure of ADHD today. However, as pointed out in the articles by Armstrong and Smelter et al., that definition still requires much work. We also see discrepancies in the estimates of children believed to be afflicted by ADHD with some as high as 23% and some as low as 1%. The history of ADHD in Congress is another example of the complexity and confusion that taints this disorder. 37 However, I think it is of vital importance to ask ourselves a question: Is there relevance in existence? This reminds me of a comment William N. Bender made in his book Understanding ADHD: A Practical Guide for Teachers and Parents: One simple focus can assist in understanding ADHD; the children must be the single focus for educators and parents wading through the morass of information on ADHD. In any new field, one is wise to stay focused on the issue at hand, and in this area, the primary focus must be how to assist children and youth with this disorder.“33 Bender makes a compelling point in this statement, “stay focused on the issue at hand.” The issue at hand is not if ADHD is over-diagnosed or even if it exists. These are irrelevant. Through all the discrepancies on how ADHD is diagnosed, on the different definitions of the disorder, the debates in Congress, and the different opinions on estimates there is one constant: the children. Regardless if ADHD is a matter of human choice as in the case of Dan or if it is a biological disorder that inhibits a child’s ability to learn, the problem still exists that students are not doing well in school due to these particular problems. Thus, we must ask ourselves: What is the issue at hand? The issue is that students are not performing in school due to the “Holy Trinity,” impulsivity, inattention, and hyperactivity. Regardless if these symptoms are real or not, it is our duty as educators to find interventions that can assist these students so they can do better in school.