The definition of ADD is, “ADD is officially called Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, or AD/HD (American Psychiatric Association, 1994), although most lay people, and even some professionals, still call it ADD.”-www.add-adhd.org. What is ADHD? “ADHD is a chronic condition that affects millions of children and often persists into adulthood. ADHD includes a combination of problems, such as difficulty sustaining attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior.”-www.mayoclinic.org. ADHD is a common behavioral disorder that affects about 10% of school-age children. Boys are about three times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with it. The most popular temporary treatment for ADHD/ADD is a drug named Adderall.“Adderall contains a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine are central nervous system stimulants that affect chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control, Adderall is used to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)”.-www.drugs.com. Most people who take Adderall say that it just makes their brain work more efficiently. Things become clearer, and it becomes much easier to stay focused. Adderall isn’t all good though, there are numerous side effects such as: dry mouth, loss of appetite, difficulty falling asleep, weight loss, advanced arteriosclerosis, symptomatic cardiovascular disease, moderate to severe hypertension, hyperthyroidism, known hypersensitivity or idiosyncrasy to the sympathomimetic amines, glaucoma, agitated states. Adderall is not your only option though. There are numerous drugs that can ease the symptoms of ADD/ADHD. For example Ritalin is another popular temporary treatment of ADD/ADHD symptoms. “Ritalin (methylphenidate) is a central nervous system stimulant. It affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control.”- www.drugs.com. Most people say that the effects of Adderall and Ritalin are the same, but there side effects are slightly different. Ritalin’s side effects are:stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, vision problems, dizziness, mild headache, sweating, mild skin rash, numbness, tingling, cold feeling in your hands or feet, nervous feeling, sleep problems (insomnia), weight loss, fast heartbeat, chest pain, fever. Another popular drug used to treat ADD/ADHD is Concerta. Concerta has a good number of side effects as well including but not limited to: Abdominal or stomach pain, headache, loss of appetite, nervousness, stuffy nose, trouble sleeping, unusually warm skin, anger, dizziness, drowsiness, fear, irritability, muscle aches, nausea, runny nose, scalp hair loss, and acting with excitement.Confusion, feeling like surroundings are not real, depression, hives or welts, numbness of the hands, painful or difficult urination, pale skin, paleness or cold feeling in the fingertips and toes, red irritated eyes, red swollen or scaly skin, seeing hearing or feeling things that are not there, severe or sudden headache, shortness of breath, sores ulcers or white spots on the lips or in the mouth, sudden loss of coordination, sudden slurring of speech, tingling or pain in the fingers or toes when exposed to cold, unusual behavior, unusual tiredness or weakness, weight loss, yellow skin or eyes, fast heartbeat, chest pain, fever, joint pain, skin rash or hives.Focalin is again a popular drug prescribed to temporarily treat symptoms of ADD/ADHD, but through my research this drug has the least amount of possible side effects. Those side effects being: Acid or sour stomach belching, heartburn, indigestion, loss of appetite, nausea, stomach discomfort upset or pain, throat pain, weight loss, Fast pounding or irregular heartbeat, Blurred vision, vision changes, Incidence not known, onvulsions, jerking of the arms and legs, muscle spasm, sudden loss of consciousness.
Drug side effect information found at www.drugs.com
So how does it affect kids in the classroom? School can be challenging for kids with ADHD. On average, kids with ADD/ADHD have; lower average marks, more failed grades, more explosions, increased dropout rates, doesn’t pay attention to details, makes carless mistakes, frequently loses or misplaces homework books or toys, gets bored with tasks before there done, has difficulty remembering things, appears to not listen, and a lower rate of college undergraduate completion. In comparison to kids who don’t have ADD/ADHD.