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Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) : defining the role of the school in the assessment and management of children with ADHD and the effect that children with this disorder can have on family

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Cox, AJ 1998 , 'Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) : defining the role of the school in the assessment and management of children with ADHD and the effect that children with this disorder can have on family', Coursework Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common disorders of childhood. It is a neurobehavioural disorder that effects 2-3% of the population. It has gained a wider acceptance and awareness amongst the medical and general communities alike in the last decade. This could, in part, be due to the increased coverage of the disorder within all forms of the media. Some would argue that this exposure has been to a point, which has made ADHD the behavioural "flavour of the month".
With the increased awareness and acceptance, the incidence in Australia has also appeared to increase. This apparent epidemic of ADHD that we are currently witnessing is more likely a result of the under recognition in the past of a behavioural syndrome with a strongly biological basis. While the increased awareness of this condition has lead to a diagnosis of ADHD in children who have in the past been labeled merely as "naughty", the label of ADHD is sometimes used indiscriminately to explain the difficult behaviour exhibited by some children.
An important repercussion of the increased exposure of ADHD is that major advances have been made in all areas of the disorder. The clinical picture has been refined and the developmental manifestations have been delineated. Patterns of co-morbidity have been documented and although the cause of ADHD still eludes the medical profession, various aetiological factors have been investigated.
Despite the increased acceptance and media coverage, ignorance about ADHD is still widespread. There are still those within the medical profession and general community who are not entirely convinced that ADHD exists. Dr Simon Clarke, consultant paediatrician at the New Children's Hospital, Westmead, NSW, admits that the anti-ADD view is still common among many doctors. "But ADD is a real condition" he says. "It exists in 2-3% of children, and not treating it is very dangerous because it exposes these kids to further failure, and their families to serious problems." It is essential that attitudes towards children with this "hidden disorder" change if a child with ADHD and ultimately the community as a whole are to benefit.
The school system has also been slow to accept ADHD as a 'real' condition that requires attention within the school setting. Treatment of ADHD in schools has received comparatively little attention, even though children spend more time in school than in most other structured environments.
It is in the school environment that children have their most consistent, extensive contact with a variety of trained professionals. Schools have the potential to play a strategic and beneficial role in the treatment of ADHD children. For this reason, it is important that the involvement of the school in the management of ADHD children is encouraged and supported at both a federal and state government levels. However, in Australia at present, there have not been adequate measures undertaken to enable the educational system to accommodate the needs of children with ADHD.
Another of the wide reaching effects that ADHD can have on the community that is too often forgotten, is the effect on the immediate family of an ADHD child. The "inside" experiences of ADHD have not yet been fully researched. Issues such as the effect of an ADHD on the marital relationships, the social life of the family and the siblings have hardly been touched on.
The parents of these children are subject to often, daily abuse, both emotional and physical, from their own children. Not to mention the constant negative comments that ignorant outsiders make about their parenting abilities. The siblings of ADHD children suffer too. Their needs are often neglected as their parents struggle to maintain manageable behaviour from their ADHD child.

Item Type: Thesis - Coursework Master
Authors/Creators:Cox, AJ
Keywords: Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, Attention-deficit-disordered children
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1998 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (BMedSc)--University of Tasmania, 1998. Includes bibliographical references

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