Wolraich and Baumgaertel in “The Prevalence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Based on the New DSM-IV Criteria” (1996) observe that ADHD is “the most common mental disorder in children” (p. 168). From a parent’s perspective, ADHD is a troubling disorder feared due to its adverse effects on the behavior of children. Wolraich and Baumgaertel (1996) further notes that the symptoms for the disorder “are usually well developed by school age” children and are also “most clearly and consistently observed in the school and classroom environment” (p. 170).
For the parent, ADHD is a disorder that should be given strict consideration as it may greatly affect their child’s school performance and overall mental development. The article gives a detailed account of the history of ADHD, consistently citing earlier researches conducted in examining the disorder. The article also emphasizes the previous criteria in determining the disorder. In essence, Wolraich and Baumgaertel (1996) argue that DSM-IV as a new criteria for the prevalence of ADHD.
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In their research, the authors obtained teachers who will fill-up a behavior rating scale for their students. Children from kindergarten to fifth grade in a middle Tennessee county participated in a second study under the same research. Moreover, the questionnaires used in the research consisted of a modified teacher rating scale in order to fit the DSM-IV. In the studies, a principal component factor analysis with varimax rotation was used. Wolraich and Baumgaertel (1996) found similarities among the studies and that ADHD is indeed a prevalent disorder among school children.
With DSM-IV as the new criteria, the researchers confirm that the scope of ADHD is more prevalent than we may already know. From the perspective of the parent, it can hardly be denied that the behaviors of their children may reflect symptoms of ADHD in one way or another. By noting the research findings of Wolraich and Baumgaertel (1996), parents may soon realize that their children may have ADHD or show symptoms of the disorder. It may cause a reason for alarm which can ultimately result to an increase in the efforts of parents to constantly monitor their children’s behavior both at home and in school.
I have learned that ADHD is indeed a serious disorder because it is prevalent among children who, in their young age, are still on the verge of learning many things which are basic to one’s life. If that is the case, ADHD poses a threat on the younger generation of learners which should be a sufficient reason for the learning institutions and key officers to assess the school services being provided and to create measures which will address the symptoms of the disorder manifested by young learners with ADHD. Without doubt, my perspective towards ADHD and those who have it has changed.
The prevalence of ADHD among children taught me that the disorder is not a simple problem which has a ready-made solution. Because the disorder is primarily rooted in the human brain, one’s attitude towards children with ADHD should not be in a harsh way. Learning to treat children with the disorder with respect and understanding is a must. If the facts presented by Wolraich and Baumgaertel (1996) are not compelling enough, I cannot think of any other compelling force to make people rethink their attitudes towards people with ADHD.
In case one may wonder, the research done by the authors of the article is a credible research primarily because the authors have accurately and objectively presented their findings with no regard to personal bias. More importantly, the authors have the authority and scholastic records to back-up their efforts in the research. For one, Mark Wolraich is the Child Development Center’s director as well as a Professor of Pediatrics in Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
On the other hand, Anna Baumgaertel is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the same university. Apart from the thing that the authors have presented, there are still other things I would like to know. For instance, can ADHD last a lifetime? Inasmuch as ADHD can be acquired by children at a young age, does it also indicate that the disorder can be carried over to one’s adulthood or later years on life? Hyperactivity is one of the symptoms in determining if a person has the disorder.
But it is certainly not the sole defining symptom in identifying traces of ADHD in a person’s behavior. If that is the case, then it is more than likely that grown-ups and the elderly may also manifest ADHD. Or is it? Another thing that I would like to know is whether ADHD can be directly cured by medicines or medical and surgical operations. Since the disorder has strong relation to a person’s brain, can doctors make use of brain surgery in order to ‘correct’ what seems to be a flaw in one’s brain and eventually relieve the person suffering from ADHD?
Or can it be the case that continuous medication through pills or perhaps through injection of medicine in the form of fluids can result to an immediate and long-lasting cure for the disorder? Lastly, if ADHD is best manifested through the behavior of children, what can parents do in order to counter or at least lessen the possibility for children with the disorder to suddenly turn towards a hyperactive state?
It seems much is yet to be explored about the nature of ADHD and those who suffer from it. For the moment, it is sufficient to know that the disorder is a serious problem and necessitates serious solutions for both parents, teachers and doctors. Reference Wolraich, M. & Baumgaertel, A. (1996). The Prevalence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Based on the New DSM-IV Criteria. Peabody Journal of Education, 71 (4), 168-186.
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