Monday, February 28, 2011

ADHD: Part 1

So many children these days are diagnosed with ADHD. Nearly a million American kids may be misdiagnosed with ADHD according to an article in the March 2011 article of Good Housekeeping magazine. This is because of simply due to age-related maturity gaps (which usually disappear over time). A study found that young kindergartners are 60 percent more likely to be deemed hyperactive than older peers. If your child has a late birthday and distractibility is a concern, consider waiting it out first, says study author Todd Elder, Ph.D.

In an article from the Good Morning America show, the single most common child behavioral diagnosis, ADHD is a highly prevalent developmental disorder characterized by inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsivity. The approximately 2 million affected children often fall behind their peers in development of motor control, motor overflow (unintentional movement) and balance. The inability to control or inhibit voluntary actions is suspected to contribute to the core diagnostic features of excessive hyperactivity, impulsivity and off-task (distractible) behavior.

In the study, researchers looked at 50 right-handed children — 25 with ADHD and 25 typically developing, ages 8-12 years. Each subject completed five tasks of sequential finger-tapping on each hand. In this exercise, the children tapped each finger to the thumb of the same hand, in sequence. The tapping hand alternated between left-handed finger sequencing and right-handed finger sequencing. Excessive mirror overflow, defined as unintentional and unnecessary movements occurring in the same muscles on the opposite side of the body, were measured using video and a device that recorded finger position. These methods provided precise quantification of the amount of overflow movement, a major advance over prior studies that relied on qualitative scales. During left-handed finger tapping, children with ADHD showed more than twice as much mirror overflow than typically developing children. The differences were particularly prominent for boys with ADHD who showed nearly four times as much mirror overflow than typically developing boys on one of the two measures used in the study.

Tomorrow will be a continuation of this article from Good Morning America show.


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