Rethinking ADHD: Integrated Approaches to Helping Children at Home and at School

Rethinking ADHD: Integrated Approaches to Helping Children at Home and at School

Rethinking ADHD: Integrated Approaches to Helping Children at Home and at School

Rethinking ADHD: Integrated Approaches to Helping Children at Home and at School

Synopsis

An integrated understanding of the causes of ADHD and a total approach to helping children

Excerpt

The past ten to fifteen years have seen significant changes in the way in which children's behaviour problems have been described and diagnosed. These changes have been particularly striking in North America where, according to Barkley (1998a), 3–5 per cent of the school-age population has been prescribed psychostimulant drugs. Australia and the United Kingdom have also experienced dramatic increases in the numbers of children and adolescents diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In Australia for example, there has been a twentyfold increase in prescription rates for these drugs since 1990 and current figures indicate that more than 300 000 prescriptions are issued annually (Mackey & Kopras, 2001). In North America the increase in rates of diagnosis for ADHD and drug prescriptions has been so rapid that the statistics are considered to be obsolete by the time they are published in scientific journals (McCubbin & Cohen, 1999).

What is ADHD? How the problem is currently presented

The fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), published by the American Psychiatric Association and regarded as the standard internationally recognised manual of criteria for the assessment and diagnosis of mental disorder, identifies the three core manifestations of ADHD as . . .

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