AD/HD rarely exists by itself. More children than not have at least one of the disorders. It is estimated that approximately two thirds of children with AD/HD have at least one other mental disorder and as many as 10 percent have three or more disorders. Mental disorders often norm rather than the exception... The breakdown of coexisting disorders and took something like this:
• Second disorder: 66 percent• Learning Problems: 50 percent• Oppositional Defiant Disorder: 33 percent• Anxiety Disorder: 25 to 30 percent• Conduct Disorder: 25 percent• Depression 10 to 30% percent• Obsessive-Compulsive disorder: 10 to 17 percent• Three or more disorders: 10 percent• Learning disorders: 10 percent• Tourette's: 7 percent(Ashley, Susan The ADD & ADHD Answer Book, Sourcebooks, Inc., Naperville, Illinois, 2005, p.53).
A child who clearly hears instructions but is inefficient in processing the information into short term memory. He/she then "forgets," and gets in trouble. In reality, this is the result of an auditory processing problem;A child who is not as efficient as other children in retrieving information from his/her cognitive storage, and takes more time to find the answer to a question. Unaware that the teacher has gotten a correct answer from the other children and has asked a new question because he/she had been concentrating on finding the answer, the LD child gives out that answer for the previous question. His/her correct answer (to the previous question) but incorrect answer (to the current question!) is seen as him/her being funny by his/her classmates, but as being disruptive by the teacher.A child is attentive and understands the materials presented, and participates appropriately verbally in class, then turns in an unclear jumbled written assignment with disconnected thoughts. Criticized for poor effort, the child actually has an LD processing problem that makes it difficult and confusing as he/she tries to put ideas and opinions in written form.A child is a very slow reader and is making very minimal progress becoming a better reader. He/she is thought to not care and/or mentally deficient. The child may have an undiagnosed visual perception learning disability creating difficulty in distinguishing the differences in letters that are "mirrors" of each other: "b" & "d", "p" & "q", "M" & "W", "Z" & "N".
Auditory (listening) Strengths:Spelling, Phonics, Vocabulary, Ten Verbal Excuses, Talks a lot,Reads out loud well.Auditory (listening) Weaknesses:Poor Reading, Poor Following Directions, Can't Hear Differencesbetween sounds, Says "gizmo", "whosit", Poor comprehension.Visual (seeing) Strengths:Enjoys books w/ pictures, Recalls location of objects, Comments on clothing, Puzzles, Drawings, Notice/comment on visual detail.Visual (seeing) Weaknesses:Short attention for paper/pencil tasks, Poor printing, Poor visual memory, Poor spacing when writing, Skip words when reading aloud.Motor Kinesthetic (movement, touch) Strengths:Bear hugs, Thump buddies on back, Loves climbing-never spills,Touch everything, Makes airplanes & fans from paper, Loves clay, sandbox.Motor Kinesthetic (movement, touch) Weaknesses:Illegible handwriting, Dislikes drawing, Awkward, clumsy, Poor speech, Lacks interests other than TV, Exhibit body tension.
"The essential features of this disorder are developmentally inappropriate degrees of inattention, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity. People with the disorder generally display some disturbance in each of these areas, but to varying degrees."
Effects on Mother (since the Mother often has primary care responsibilities for the Difficult Child): Bewilderment, Exhaustion, Anger, Guilt, Embarrassment, Inadequacy, Depression, Isolation, Victimization, Lack of Satisfaction, Feeling Trapped, Over-Involvement. The Mother can become jealous of father's relatively conflict relationship with the child.Effects on father (since the Mother spends so much of her attention and energy on the Difficult Child); The often father feels shut out; he questions what mother is doing; is upset that his wife has no energy for him.Effects on siblings (since the Difficult Child draws much of the attention and energy of the parents to him/her): The siblings often feel ignored and their needs unmet, which may be true; they often feel anger at the Difficult Child and at the parents; they may take on pseudo-parental roles required for family functioning that their parents are too distracted to perform.
1. Activity Level: How active generally is the child/person from an early age?2. Distractibility: How easily is the child/person distracted? Can s/he pay attention?3. Intensity: How loud is the child/person generally, whether happy or unhappy?4. Regularity: How predictable is the child/person in his/her patterns of sleep, appetite, bowel habits?5. Persistence: Does the child/person stay with something s/he likes? How persistent or stubborn is s/he when wants something?6. Sensory threshold: How does the child/person react to sensory stimuli: noise, bright lights, colors, smells, pain, warm weather, tastes, the texture and feel of clothes? Is s/he easily bothered? Is s/he easily over-stimulated?7. Approach/withdrawal: What is the child/person's initial response to newness- new places, people, foods, clothes?8. Adaptability: How does the child/person deal with transition and change?9. Mood: What is the child/person's basic mood? Do positive or negative reactions predominate?
High Activity Level- he/she tends to be very physically active; touches everything; moving all the time. (This could be a positive trait if it just meant having a lot of energy, but the way it combines with other traits contribute to negative consequences).High Approach- he/she tends to jump into anything new without looking first to see if it is OK or safe. (This could be a positive trait if it just meant always quickly taking advantage or going for any new opportunity, but sometimes the opportunities involve problems. Also, there are problems with the way it combines with other traits that contribute to negative consequences).High Distractibility- this causes the child to lose focus and lose track of what he/she may have been doing previously- sometimes to his/her and/or others' detriment. (This could be a positive trait if it allows the person to notice other opportunities that may be beneficial).
Low Sensory Threshold- this means it does not take a lot of stimulation for the child to be overwhelmed. (In other situations, low sensory threshold or high sensitivity to the environment could be a potentially positive trait, if it enables the person to anticipate a negative change early enough to help him/her avoid the problem).Although, he/she may be creating much of the stimulation (chaos) in the environment, he/she still cannot deal with it well. Instead, he/she is greatly bothered by all the stimulation.
High Intensity- which means he/she acts and reacts to everything with great intensity. (As a positive trait, such a person would be considered very "passionate"). In this profile, since he/she is overwhelmed, frustrated, and bothered, this means he/she is extremely overwhelmed, frustrated, and bothered.
Low Adaptability- which often leads to a single stereotypical and ineffective way to handle problems. (On the other hand, some work encourages a single minded approach). If he/she had High Adaptability, he/she would be able to more easily search for, chose, and activate a more successful solution.
High Persistence- whether he/she is successful in getting what he/she wants, he/she will keep at it very persistently; he/she has difficulty quitting even though he/she may become extremely frustrated at not succeeding. (This could be a positive trait if it just meant being very determined and never quitting in order to succeed at difficult tasks).
Charlie's Profile: Very active- may be hyperactive. Has been a very happy kid up until recently. His overall mood has turned more and more negative since the beginning of the first grade (now in third grade). Gets overstimulated easily when there is a lot of noise and activity. Does not handle it well at all. Gets wild and bothered. Won't give up. Keeps on pushing; won't take "no" for an answer. Has trouble coming up with alternatives when he is frustrated. Gets more and more upset. Starts throwing tantrums. Gets angry and lashes out at anyone around, "It's your fault! You're mean! I hate you! I wish you weren't my mother. I want to live with my father! You don't care about me!"Charlie has been criticized over and over for not sitting still, for touching things, for blurting out and interrupting others, for his tantrums, for getting into fights at school, for not listening, for not behaving, and so on and so forth. As a result, his self-esteem has suffered a lot. He does not see himself as a good kid; instead he thinks he can't be a good kid. He has tried so hard, but been a failure at it. He is seeing himself as a failure. He alternates between being depressed, being angry, and being excited and happy.Stepfather's Profile: Very similar to child's profile with two key differences that allow him to be fairly successful despite some very challenging traits like his stepchild's: The stepfather seems to be able to deal with all the noise and activity better. This allows him to tolerate the stimulation that sets his stepchild off. The stepfather is very good at coming up with new ideas and approached when he has problems. This allows him to look for, find, and activate alternative solutions that his stepchild never sees.The stepfather gets frustrated that his stepchild isn't able to be adaptable like he is. He can't see why the child just doesn't try something else like he does!The stepfather also gets frustrated with his wife's ineffective discipline interactions with the child. He feels that she just isn't creative enough in dealing with him. He has less trouble with his stepchild (relatively) and gets angry that his wife complains about being overwhelmed. Sometimes he feels that he and his stepchild are on the same side against her.Mother's Profile: Quite different from both husband and child's. It is hard for her to keep up with her husband and child energy. Both her husband and child outlast her in conflicts; they are both more staying power and get more passionate- it just becomes too much for her to deal with them in arguments. She often feels herself being dragged into things by her son and her husband too fast for her own comfort. When that happens she resists but is often overwhelmed. She ends up feeling her needs are disrespected by them both.She catches the brunt of Charlie's temper tantrums and stubbornness. Dealing with him wears her out. And, she resents her husbands relatively easier time with Charlie. She really resents his critical and impatient attitude toward her parenting. On top of that, her husband's somewhat similar traits to his stepchild make him almost as much a challenge for the mother to live with as the child. "He's as bad as Charlie sometimes!" Instead of having her husband as an ally, she experiences as an obstacle or even an adversary to her in dealing with Charlie.She sees herself as relatively easy going and easy to live with. And, doesn't see what she has done to deserve this. She feels and sometimes acts like a victim, and gets even more infuriated when her husband doesn't sympathize with her!Family Profile: All in the family are challenged to stay on task when there is family chaos. The child tends to get bothered first, the mother next, and the father little or not at all. In fact, the father may be the one who is creating all the stimulation in the first place!
TRAITS CHILD MOTHER FATHER1. Activity Level HIGH LOW HIGH2. Distractibility HIGH HIGH HIGH3. Intensity HIGH MED HIGH4. Regularity HIGH LOW LOW5. Persistence HIGH LOW HIGH6. Sensory threshold LOW MED HIGH7. Approach/Withdrawal HIGH LOW HIGH8. Adaptability LOW MED HIGH9. Mood + + +
+ Low Sensory Threshold (bothered by all the stimulation), which could be mitigated if the child was highly adaptable or would just let it go. However, the child has+ Low Adaptability + High Persistenceso he/she continues to do what does not work over and over, which frustrates him/her and he/she reacts with+ High Intensity! which gives you the hyperactive child!