Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (cont.)
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History of ADHD in Children
Contrary to some media accounts, attention disorders are not new. Childhood hyperactivity was a focus of interest in the early 1900s. Today, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention are the focus, but disability related to hyperactivity and distractibility has been alluded to throughout medical history. Historical figures of diverse backgrounds and accomplishment have demonstrated behavior compatible with ADHD. Mozart composed and remembered entire musical compositions but disliked the tedious task and attention to detail necessary when transcribing to paper. Einstein would spend hours and even days sitting quietly in a chair doing "thought experiments," including complex series of mathematical calculations and revisions. Ben Franklin failed in school due to his perfectionist and impulsive behaviors. He later mastered five languages (self-taught) and was highly respected as an author, scientist, inventor, and businessman (publisher). What is new is the greater awareness of ADHD thanks to rapidly mounting research findings.
In the United States, ADHD affects about 8%-10% of children. Similar rates are reported in other developed countries such as Germany, New Zealand, and Canada.
There is disagreement over whether ADHD persists as children grow into adults.
People with ADHD are much more likely than the general population to have other related conditions such as learning disorders, restless legs syndrome, ophthalmic convergence insufficiency, depression, anxiety disorder, antisocial personality disorder, substance abuse disorder, conduct disorder, and obsessive-compulsive behavior. People with ADHD are also more likely than the general population to have a family member with ADHD or one of the related conditions.
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