Essay by vanikumUniversity, Bachelor's July 2004

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Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a disruptive behaviour disorder of childhood and represents a syndrome of developmentally inappropriate levels of inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity (Association, 1994; DuPaul, 2003). It is one of the most commonly diagnosed and controversial of the child clinical syndromes (Jones, 2002). ADHD's frequent Comorbidity with other conditions such as, conduct disorder, depression, anxiety and other disorders (Biederman, Newcorn, & Sprich, 1991) clouds interpretation of the ADHD thus adding to the controversy.

However, there has been a considerable attention paid in developing reliable and valid procedures for diagnosing ADHD (DuPaul, 2003). DuPaul (2003) states that at the present time "assessment methods include diagnostic interviews with parents and teachers, completion of behaviour rating scales by parents and teachers, examination of archival data to establish duration of symptoms, and direct observations of critical behaviors in an analog or classroom settings" (p.116). The criteria for ADHD diagnoses can be met through these methods.

Establishing that a child displays a high frequency of critical number of symptoms for the diagnoses can induce subjectivity to the documenting processes due to the presence of teacher and parents perceptions in these processes. There is no definite objective set of criteria to determine who has ADHD. However, probability of an accurate diagnosis can be increased by carefully and thoroughly examining all data presented before determining the diagnosis.

The diagnosis of children with ADHD is fast becoming a widespread problem today. One may ask whether ADHD is a social construct related to changes in expectations of children. So many children are being diagnosed with this disorder because the criteria for diagnosis accept the subjectivity or the opinion of the person doing the diagnosis. It is quite possible in some cases where ADHD was diagnosed by one person may differ from another person doing the diagnosis. In...