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Understanding ADHD
Understanding ADHD

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Understanding ADHD


In this course you will be learning about a neurodevelopmental condition called attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. A neurodevelopmental condition occurs when childhood development differs from a typical trajectory. In the first session of this course you will cover the prevalence of ADHD and how it is experienced by those who have the condition, followed by how it is diagnosed and the possible risk factors for the condition. In the second session, you will look at some of the changes in the brain in people with ADHD and consider how the condition is managed both with, and without, medication.

Reflecting on your perceptions of ADHD

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

Before you study this topic, it is helpful to reflect on any pre-existing perceptions and beliefs you may have about ADHD. These may come from personal experiences, previous study, or even media coverage. Spend a few minutes now noting down any thoughts that come to mind when you think about a person with ADHD. For example, are they male, female, young or old, and how do they behave? You may wish to use the box provided.

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When people think of ADHD they generally associate the condition with children rather than adults, and often boys rather than girls. They may think that these children are badly behaved and often will note that they struggle with attention. Some people do not think ADHD is a real condition but rather a label given to badly behaved children, whose bad behaviour is caused by poor parenting. As you work through this topic keep your own beliefs, and those we have just outlined, in mind and reflect on which beliefs may be challenged or confirmed by what you learn.

This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course SK298 Brain, mind and mental health [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .