2. What is ADD, ADHD and Dyslexia?
ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) has been broadly defined as any condition in which the degree to which a patient has trouble paying attention is greater than what is considered to be "normal". The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has created a list of symptoms by which they suggest diagnosing the condition. Being symptoms, naturally, there is a fair amount of subjectivity as to the severity in displaying a symptom vis a vis the intolerance or standards of the person (parent or teacher) who is exposed to the symptom.
Generally, if a pre-teen child has 6 or more of the symptoms, then they are considered to be ADD. If a teen has 5 or more of the symptoms, they are considered to be ADD. If an adult has 4 or more of the symptoms, they are considered to be ADD. Unfortunately, these broadly defined symptoms have resulted in many misdiagnoses as the root cause(s) of the symptoms is rarely investigated. Hence the APA, along with several other organizations have recently had a number of class action suits lodged against them for the over-prescribing of psychotropics for children that were diagnosed with ADD.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD or AD-HD) may be considered the hyperactive or impulsive form or variant of Attention Deficit Disorder. There are some who prefer to solely use the term ADHD even for ADD kids who do not have hyperactivity. More discussion.
Dyslexia is classically defined as a learning disorder marked by impairment of the ability to recognize and comprehend written words. [New Latin : dys- + Greek lexis, speech (from legein, to speak)]. It is more accurately characterized by difficulty with or an inability to accurately see, hear, speak, write, process and or comprehend language. Other sources define it as "a disturbance of the ability to read. Broadly: [a] disturbance of the ability to use language" whether spoken or written. There are a number of different types of dyslexia. Various Types of Dyslexia
Dyslexic usually refers to a person who has dyslexia (i.e. his brother is dyslexic <=> his dyslexic brother, a common trait of a dyslexic person is the reversals of letters or sounds or the confusion thereof).
Medical insurance companies recognize ADHD as a valid diagnosis and real condition and are willing to pay for treatment (generally the giving of psychotropics). Unfortunately, most insurances are not willing to pay for treatment for a learning disability. In reality the two conditions (ADD & learning disabilities) are so closely intertwined, (i.e. ~80% of children/adults that have ADD have learning or other cognitive problems), that for all intents and purposes, they are the same.
But is this broad definition a good one? With 30 years of experience in the field of ADD and dyslexia, how should we define ADD?
ease of understanding we might say there is a visual dyslexia, auditory dyslexia
or a dyslexia involving the ability to translate sounds or sights through the
motor system to the hands (writing down words that one might hear). In
more technical or scientific terms these are labeled as:
· Dysnemkinetic (visual and memory related dyslexia) - Deficit in the ability to develop the necessary motor skills for writing symbols such as letters or numbers as the neural skills are not imprinted adequately in the memory of the brain.
· Dysphonetic (auditory dyslexia)- Deficit in the ability to correctly associate the sound of a given letter/letter combination and to differentiate between nuances of sounds.
· Dyseidetic - Deficit in the ability to recognize words as a whole and to pronounce them correctly.
· Dysphoneidetic - Deficit in the ability to correctly associate the sound of a given letter/letter combination within a word as a whole, and to pronounce them correctly.
· Dysnemkinphonetic - Deficit in the ability to develop the necessary motor skills for writing letters or numbers and in pronouncing the symbols correctly.
· Dysnemkineidetic - Deficit in the ability to develop the necessary motor skills for writing letters or numbers and in pronouncing the symbols correctly either by syllable or by the word in its entirety.
- Deficit in the ability to develop the necessary motor skills for writing
letters or numbers and in pronouncing the symbols correctly either by syllable
or by the word in its entirety.
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