The Causes of Attention-Deficit
The majority of cases of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder appear to be genetically transmitted and chemically produced. Stating it differently, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder seems to be hereditary and what is inherited is abnormal chemical functioning within the brain. Stimulant drugs, the most effective treatment for ADHD, most probably have a normalizing effect, correcting the imbalances that are believed to produce ADHD.
How the child is treated and raised can affect the severity of his problem, but it cannot cause the problem. Certain types of raising may make the problem worse; certain types may make the problem better. No forms of raising can produce ADHD problems in a child who is not temperamentally predisposed to them. Because child-rearing techniques can to some degree affect the seriousness of the ADHD child's problem, changes in these techniques are usually helpful. They will be discussed in Chapter 5 on treatment. Even though such psychological approaches can be helpful in the management of the ADHD child, this does not affect the explanation of the origin of the syndrome--the basic source of the difficulties seems to be inborn.