Russell Barkley (1995) defines Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder as a disorder experienced in the developmental stage of children which is manifested by signs such as attention problems, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. It is a real disorder and a real problem and often results to negative implications.
It can cause emotional difficulties too on the part of the parent. Attention Deficit Disorder is a hidden disability as there are no outward signs that there is something physically wrong with the central nervous system or brain except for the series of behavioral changes (as cited in the About Website, 2006) . It is a real childhood illness that affect the way children act, think, and feel.
Several explanations of the factors that led to the development of this disorder have been offered. The genetic aspect bears one. As cited in the report by the National Health and Medical Research Council Government of Australia (2000), people with this disorder underwent cases of mutations in their dopamine transporter genes (Cook, Stein, Krakowski et al 1995) or receptor genes (D4 receptor gene ÷ Ebstein, Novick, Umansky et al. 1996). Also in this report, congenital factors may also play a role in the development of ADHD. Maternal substance abuse such as the use of nicotine, cocaine may induce symptoms related to ADHD (Nichols and Chen 1981).
The strength of genetic influence on ADHD is confounded in these evidences from previous studies taking into account environmental influences as written through a personal communication by Dr. Galves et al (2003) as they explain that the findings on how genes can affect the development of ADHD is strengthened by the fact that through the direct synthesis of proteins — stress, trauma, and lack of parental responsiveness can alter the correct processes of this. This process of protein synthesis is far more complicated than the common knowledge on this as purveyed by the media. Simply stated, the process of gene transcription can be influenced by external factors mentioned above.
Attention disorders also run in families, so there are likely to be genetic influences. On some previous studies on children, 25% of the close relatives of these children with ADHD also have the same disorder. Studies of twins even strengthen the positive relationship between genes and ADHD.
The relationship between the parent and child temperament is also an important thing to look at in analyzing the factors that may contribute to the development of this disorder. However, Dr. Galves et. al (2003). maintain that genetic factors are not the major influences of ADHD as they cite the study of Lewis, Amini, and Lannon (2000) for this argument: “The process of genetic information sets down the brain’s basic macro and microanatomy. But experiences also play a vital role here.
It narrows down the macro possibilities into an outcome. Experience then can induce or deter genetic capacities. Infant-parent interaction affects the neurodevelopment of the baby in his primal years. Parents mold the child’s inherited emotional brain into the neural core of the self. In conclusion, Genes and experience contribute to the make-up of child’s neural core”.