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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, Angela 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', Unspecified thesis, University of Tasmania.

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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." 1It 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 - Unspecified
Authors/Creators:Cox, Angela
Keywords: Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, Attention-deficit-disordered children
Copyright Holders: The Author
Additional Information:

Cover title. Thesis (B.Med.Sc.)--University of Tasmania, 1998. Includes bibliographical references

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