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ECED 230

Spring 2014

NAEYC Standard #1: Promoting development and Learningt

AHDH Research Report

Heidi Orman

Ivy Tech Community College


As stated in The exceptional child, “ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

means to have a short attention span accompanied by excessive activity” (Allen & Cowdery,

2012, p.176). ADHD was first described by Heinrich Hoffman as early as 1845. ADHD went

through a lot of name changes, some of which were brain injured and minimally brain damaged

(MBD). In the late 1960s it was called hyperactivity, and in 1980 the American Psychiatric

Association (APA) changed the name to Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) which had two

subcategories: ADD with hyperactivity, and ADD without hyperactivity (Allen & Cowdery,

2012, p.177).

Allen & Cowdery stated that, some people believed that ADD couldn’t exist without

hyperactivity, others believed it could. The solution in 1987 was ADHD. In 1994 the APA

revised the definition of ADHD saying attention problems and hyperactivity are different (2012,

p. 177). Nonetheless, what are the types and causes of ADHD? How do you diagnose it? What is

the prevalence of it, and what are the treatments and accommodations that come with ADHD?

The authors of The exceptional child indicate that there are three different types of

ADHD, the first is predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type, which means there is no

noteworthy inattention. The second type is predominantly inattentive type, which means there is

no noteworthy hyperactive-impulsive behavior, sometimes called ADD, which is an outdated

term for the entire disorder. The third type is a combined type, which displays both inattention

and hyperactive-impulsive behavior (Allen & Cowdery, 2012, p.177). In conjunction with these

types of ADHD, there are other disorders that might go along with it.

The exceptional child emphasizes that, in 20-30% of ADHD cases other learning

disabilities accompany the disorder. In 1/3 to 1/2 of ADHD cases, mostly boys, ODD or

Oppositional Defiant Disorder accompanies the condition. Conduct Disorder or CD accompanies


20-40% of the cases of ADHD. There is no accurate data for how many ADHD cases that

Bipolar Disorder accompanies (Allen &Cowdery, 2012, p. 179). There is no known specific

cause of ADHD.

There are however some hypotheses on the cause that are backed by studies. One is that

ADHD is genetic, a study done by Bee and Boyd in 2009 found that 1/4 of people have parents

with ADHD. In another study, twins showed the possibility of ADHD being genetic. Identical

twins are more likely to have it than fraternal twins (Allen & Cowdery, 2012, p.178-179).

Another possible cause that might have something to do with ADHD is a mother smoking

and drinking during pregnancy. Low birth weight, head injuries, exposure to lead, pesticides, or

other environmental toxins, increases the chance that a child will have ADHD. Even though no

one has found a cause of ADHD there is a way to diagnose it (Attention-deficit/hyperactivity

disorder, n.d.).

To diagnose ADHD the child has to go through a comprehensive evaluation that includes,

a clinical assessment of the child’s developmental level, their academics, social, and emotional

abilities. There must be clear evidence of clinically significant impairment in social, academic, or

occupational functioning. The child has to show symptoms before age 7, they must be

continuous and the symptoms must be present in two or more settings. The symptoms are

inattention and hyperactive-impulsive behavior, which is persistent, maladaptive, and

inconsistent with other children (Allen &Cowdery, 2012, p. 178). So, knowing the symptoms,

how many people have ADHD?

An estimated 4 ½ million children ages 3 to 17 have ADHD, or 7% of children. ADHD is

found in 11% of boys and 4% of girls. Boys have it 2 times more often than girls. The onset of

ADHD is about 3 or 4 years of age. You don’t grow out of ADHD. The symptoms do decrease

during teenage years (Allen & Cowdery, 2012, p.178-179). Between 30% and 70% of children

that have ADHD will have it as adults. Even with the prevalence of ADHD there are treatments

for it (Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, n.d.).

Treatments for ADHD are medication and/or behavior management, both work best

together. The medication can cause weight loss, insomnia, or increased blood pressure. In 1/4 or

more children with ADHD medication doesn’t work. Ritalin is the most commonly prescribed

drug for children with ADHD. Another medication for ADHD is Dexedrine (Allen &Cowdery,

2012, p.180). There are no known diets that help treat ADHD. Behavior management is where

you give children rewards when they are good, and punishments when they are bad. This is

needed even if medication works. Most misdiagnoses of ADHD are from inappropriate

environments (Allen & Cowdery, 2012, p.181). Some accommodations for children with ADHD

are extra time for assignments, special seating arrangements, providing the child with a note-

taking partner, and letting the student run occasional errands for the teacher (Flippin).

The history of ADHD is kind of scary, if a person was born in the 1800s then they would

have been considered brain damaged. Luckily, the APA changed the name to ADD in 1980.

Then they came up with ADHD in 1987, making 3 different types of the disorder. Sadly, there is

no known cause of ADHD. There are other disorders that come with ADHD, but that doesn’t

mean that you will have one. The process of diagnosing ADHD is very complicated, but

necessary. If you have ADHD you have 30 to 70% chance of having it as an adult. Even though

there are not very many treatments and accommodations when you have ADHD, there are some.

I hope you have learned something new about ADHD.



Allen, K. & Cowdery, G. (2012). The exceptional child (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth

Cengage Learning.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Causes of ADHD. (n.d.) WebMD. Retrieved from

Flippin, R. (n.d.). ADHD Accommodations: 6 Modifications teachers can use in the classroom

with ADD children . . . today!. Additude Living Well with Attention Deficit. Retrieved