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This condition may be simultaneously the most over-diagnosed and the most under-diagnosed of childhood disorders.
JACKSONVILLE, FL, September 18, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Professional Development Resources has announced a new addition to its continuing education (CE) curriculum for mental health professionals: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The course is based on a recent publication from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
According to NIMH (http://1.usa.gov/dytcmd), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is "one of the most common childhood brain disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Symptoms include difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity (over-activity). These symptoms can make it difficult for a child with ADHD to succeed in school, get along with other children or adults, or finish tasks at home."
What are the Symptoms of ADHD in Children?
The key behaviors of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. While it is normal for all children to be inattentive, hyperactive, or impulsive sometimes, for children with ADHD, these behaviors are more severe and occur more often. To
be diagnosed with the disorder, a child must have symptoms for 6 or more months and to a degree that is greater than other children of the same age. This determination requires a careful diagnosis by a trained professional.
"This condition may be simultaneously the most over-diagnosed and the most under-diagnosed of childhood disorders," says Leo Christie, PhD, President and CEO of Professional Development Resources. "How is that possible? Over-diagnosis means giving the diagnosis of ADHD to someone who does not actually have it. Under-diagnosis means failing to identify ADHD in an individual who actually does have it. In either case, the treatment cannot be right if the diagnosis is wrong. That is one of the reasons we are offering this free online CE course to health professionals."
ADHD Can Be Mistaken for Other Problems (and Other Problems Can Be Mistaken for ADHD)
Not every case of ADHD comes with hyperactivity. Parents and teachers can miss the fact that children who only have symptoms of inattention have ADHD because they are often quiet and less likely to act out. They may sit quietly, seeming to work, but they are often not paying attention to what they are doing. They may get along well with other children, whereas children who have more symptoms of hyperactivity or impulsivity tend to have social problems.
But children with the inattentive kind of ADHD are not the only ones whose disorders can be missed. For example, adults may think that children with the hyperactive and impulsive symptoms just have disciplinary problems. Conversely, some children who have behavior problems for some other reason may be mistaken for children with ADHD. Again, the situation requires careful diagnosis in order to be sure the correct problem is being addressed.
How is ADHD Diagnosed?
The disorder can be hard to diagnose. Symptoms usually appear early in life, often between the ages of 3 and 6. Most young children get distracted, act impulsively, and struggle to concentrate at one time or another. In addition, children mature at different rates and have different personalities, temperaments, and energy levels. Sometimes these normal factors may be mistaken for ADHD.
No single test can diagnose a child as having ADHD. Instead, a licensed health professional needs to gather information about the child, and his or her behavior and environment. A family may want to first talk with the child's pediatrician. Some
pediatricians can assess the child themselves, but many will refer the family to a mental health specialist with experience in childhood brain disorders such as ADHD. The pediatrician or mental health specialist will first try to rule out other
possibilities for the symptoms. For example, certain situations, events, or health conditions may cause temporary behaviors in a child that seem like ADHD. School-aged children may also need an educational assessment.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) includes chapters on the core symptoms of ADHD, how the condition is diagnosed, what other disorders can coexist with it, and the various forms of treatment - including medications and psychotherapy. Other sections address working with the child's school, the special needs of teens with ADHD, and what ADHD looks like in adults.
About Professional Development Resources, Inc.
Professional Development Resources is a Florida nonprofit educational corporation founded in 1992 by licensed marriage and family therapist Leo Christie, PhD. The company, which is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) - as well as many other national and state boards - has focused its efforts on making accredited continuing education units more cost-effective and widely accessible to health professionals by offering online home study coursework. Its current expanded curriculum includes a wide variety of clinical topics intended to equip health professionals to offer state-of-the art services to their clients.
Leo Christie, PhD, CEO
Professional Development Resources, Inc.
Professional Development Resources, Inc. is a Florida nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. Our mission is to provide busy health care professionals with accredited continuing education units on topics that are vital to contemporary clinical practice. In addition to our staff, we have a Professional Advisory Board consisting of accomplished professionals representing disciplines for which we offer our CEU credits. We are located in Jacksonville, Florida. Federal Tax ID 59-3138625.
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