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Chasing Happy...


We all have been to the fair or the ball game and seen the cotton candy vendors. My favorite color cotton candy is blue. It looks sooooooo good and it tastes sooooooo sweet. It literally melts in your mouth. There is a draw to cotton candy. Maybe the sheer size of the ball of spun sugar is what draws us. It seems you get so much for the price you pay. Once when channel surfing on my tv I saw a show on how they actually make cotton candy. It has very little to do with cotton and has very little in the way of ingredients. Basically, you mix together sugar, and food coloring and spin it in a special machine. There really is no nutritional value. Nothing in cotton candy can actually be used by our body for sustenance. We could not live long on a diet of sugar and food coloring no matter how good it taste.

Knowing these facts, would it make any sense at all to depend on cotton candy for our nutritional survival? Could you live very long on a diet of only cotton candy? Sadly, many people operate this way in in day to day life.

Chasing happy is the propensity we have as human being to chase after things that give us an immediate, feel good experience but leave us unsatisfied and hungry for something more. We look out at life and observe what others are searching for and we set off to find something similar to meet our needs. When we find our blue cotton candy we eat as much as we can. By the way, cotton candy doesn't store well. With-in days it shrinks down to a compact, hardened clump of sugar. So we stuff in as much as possible in one sitting. A disturbing realization begins to settle in on us. We start to feel sick from the overdose of sugar and realize we are still hungry. We are very disappointed and sometimes angry that blue cotton candy was not the answer. We ponder our situation. Regain our resolve. Look out at life and make the determination that the problem lies in blue cotton candy. The answer springs to our mind. Pink cotton candy must hold the nutrients we need to survive. So, off we go in search of pink cotton candy. We search in familiar areas, following the footprints of others, hoping we will find what we are searching for.

Sadly, like Bono, from the group U2, we cry out "I still haven't found what I'm looking for" or from the country group Sugarland "There's Gotta Be Something More!!"

What are kids chasing today that they think will make them happy? A sense of belonging  and being wanted drives many For some it is the feeling of being connected to something bigger than themselves. Peer relationships are the central focus when kids hit the teen years. They know what there parents think of them, so they set their focus on what their peers think of them. As they move through puberty they begin to wonder, "where do I fit in the world?" and"what does the opposite sex think of me?". Many hours a day are spent planning how to meet this need for peer belonging. Kids think "if I can belong to that group, have that girlfriend or boyfriend, if my group of friends calls me on Friday night to hang out, I will have some food to feed my desperate hunger gnawing at my insides."
They search from blue, to pink, to green, to yellow cotton candy. Nothing seems to satisfy the hunger for significance and deep relationship. We all hunger and thirst for answers to the questions: "Who am I? and Who loves me?

Many come to realize that the rainbow of cotton candy colors they have tried do not satisfy, they dont really answer the questions, so they take a different approach. Maybe black cotton candy from the dark side will do the trick. It is not the cotton candy we think of made of pure cane sugar, but it does have an immediate, although temporary ability, to numb the pain. If the hunger I feel can't be fed by the things I see in the world around me, then I will......I must deaden the pain. Illegitimate sex, drugs, and alcohol are much more powerful than cotton candy to deaden the hunger pain deep inside at least on a short term basis. The draw is unmistakable, alluring, and addicting.

Youth today are searching for answers. We have to address their issues and help them find their innate value and help  connect them to deep, meaningful relationships. Family, school, sports and church are all important in creating an atmosphere of belonging and worth for young people.


Used  by Permission only. Copyright Dan Hicks


"This is my friend.......Dream Stealer"


Seduction leads to deception which leads to delusion which ends in destruction.

Many years ago I went to my dentist Gerry to have a tooth checked. The aching, throbbing pain was increasing and I had put it off long enough. I don't really enjoy going to the dentist. Usually they are the bearers of bad news and I end up handing over a lot of cash. I have to say though, the idea of having very few teeth left was not very appealing either. So there I was, my mouth open wide as Gerry prepared to "numb me up". He would always pinch my cheek and say "this is our friend" and then he would stick me several times with a needle the size of my index finger. Well at least it looked awfully big. Novicaine is an amazing drug. Within minutes all my pain was gone and Gerry could go to work drilling and filling. I left his office an hour later, pain free, although still numb on the entire right side of my face.
A couple hours later the numbness started to wear off but a worrisome thing happened. As the novicaine wore off, the pain came back. I was perplexed and annoyed. What was the going on? I had trusted Gerry to solve my problem. He had failed, although the novicaine had worked just fine. A call was placed and at 9pm Gerry met me to see what the problem was. He said this was very unusual, but the work on one tooth had triggered a reaction in the neighboring tooth. So we went through the process again. He pinched my cheek and said, "remember the needle and novicaine is our friend". Well at that point I was ready to get my own needle and novicaine and pinch my own cheek. What did I need Gerry for? I could numb my own pain if it returned. Thankfully, Gerry fixed both teeth and the pain was gone.

Novicaine was truly my friend. It helped me through some tough pain.
I have often wondered what would have happened if I had self medicated and ignored the pain.
Hmmmmm ......teeth rotting and fallen out may not have been pleasant. My whole body could have been poisoned by the insueing infection. But who would have known. As long as I stayed numb to the pain and kept my mouth shut, no one would know.

As we we begin to look at youth drug issues, we must look at how they view their drugs, what the drugs do for them and how pain from life can drive a young person to self medicate to cope and find belonging in their peer group of choice.

One young man told me that "90% of his freinds smoked marijuana". He said for him, "it helped to take the edge off the anxiety he struggles with".

Another said, "I like using with my friends. We just chill and laugh. With all the doom and gloom in the world why not try to feel less anxious".

Many kids talk about marijuana, prescription drugs and alcohol as if they were very good friends. "if you are stressed out at school, a couple vicodin take the edge off". "When my parents are on my case about grades or chores I smoke some weed.  I feel less anxious and can chill".

" According to the report "2009 Monitoring the future Results":  "Marijuana is the most widely abused illicit drug in this nation among both youth and adults.  Forty-two percent of high school seniors have tried marijuana, with 20.6% of them reporting that they have used marijuana in the last 30 days. Teens who start smoking marijuana at a younger age have a higher chance of drug addiction."

A 2002 Monitoring the Future Study conducted annually in our nations' schools  since 1975 by the University of Michigan through a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse found in all cases drug use has increased with continuous  increases noted for seniors and 10th graders in small urban and rural areas.

"Marijuana use among youths has reached epidemic proportions. The level of tetrahydrocannibol (THC), the psychoactive chemical in marijuana continues to increase as a fault of genetic re-engineering, yet, society and policy makers undermine the full impact of marijuana abuse among our youths. The result is a serious impairment of  our marijuana smoking youths in their educational, social economic, and overall wellbeing."
Dr. Kay Wachuka in Marijuana Impaired Youth

Similar detrimental effects can be linked with the prolonged teen use of spice, the synthetic version of marijuana, including:  Lack of concentration, short-term memory, and critical skills needed for learning and processing information.  Marijuana and its equivalent spice can also lead to more serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, anxiety, and even suicide.

Spice has mostly likely entered your community as another way for teens to experience highs.  As spice is still legal to purchase in many states, it is logical that it will only grow in popularity."

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Young people often times lack the logical connection between substance abuse and adverse consequences from substance abuse. Street education and connection to peers offer immediate protection against thinking logically about the consequences of using and abusing drugs. For many youth, drugs offer a way of coping with the stresses, problems and pain of day to day life. Many who have been physically, emotionally, verbally or sexually abused, emotionally effected by a divorce or death in the family, experience neglect or have been impacted by the negative economy, use drugs as a way of navigating the pain so they can survive another day.

Peer pressure is the single most important factor in youth marijuana addiction. Kids must learn ways to resist this pressure. The longing to belong draws youth into relationships with marijuana smoking youth and it becomes a central social activity. Everyone wants to belong. Remember the theme song from the sitcom Cheers? "I want to go where everyone knows my name, Where all our problems are the same.....

Although novicaine numbed my pain for a time, it was not my forever friend. Marijuana is a dream stealer. Kids who smoke marijuana begin to lose their grasp on what was important to then. They let school slide, they give up on sports, they forget the ambitions they felt earlier in life and the see their dreams die. Relationships with family and significant others begin to crumble as well.

I find a subtle but a consistant attitude when talking with young people who use marijuana. They all seem to
downplay the effect on their course in life. Most lose sight of the horizon, the dreams they once had for college, sports and relationships.


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We must educate our youth about the adverse effects of drugs. The THC levels in marijuana today is much higher than the 60's and 70's. Addiction is a very real possibility and health issues increase with young people who smoke regularly. Many kids will say "no one overdoses on pot". Actually this is not true. The potency of marijuana today has caused overdoses (Wachuka, Marijuana Impaired Youth).

We must teach them coping skills to combat the peer pressure. Just saying no is not so easy to when you are constantly bombarded at school with pressure to use.
We must surround them with caring adults who can help them deal with the day to day pain
that demands to be numbed out. If you walk around with awounded , hurting, or needy heart, you would be
tempted to take the needle and plunge it into your chest injecting anything that would
numb the pain.
Hurting hearts although numb, do not heal on their own. Many kids will need open heart surgery to heal the wounds. Then they will see through the fog, through the deception and delusion and realize drugs are not their friend.....its name is Dream Stealer, it is seductive and it leads to destruction not life.


Used  by Permission only. Copyright Dan Hicks


"It's complicated".....The lives of young people today.


I have many scars from 13 surgeries and various other mishaps. I remember falling on the gravel road on the way to the bus when I was 6. I can see the scars and remember the pain and blood but they no longer hurt and I only rarely think of them. Another scar is on my hand.  I was living on the farm my senior year in high school. As I looked out at the field I saw a horse chasing one of my calves, threatening to stomp the life out of him. I ran for the field but had to navigate a barbed wire fence. I jumped between the wires not paying much attention to it. I new time was running out for that little calf. After rescuing the calf I noticed blood running down my hand. Ever since, I have had a inch and half scar visible just below my wrist. I don't think  of it much now that it has been healed but I remember the details perfectly. It just doesn't hurt any more. Other scars are bigger and the story more serious. A 10inch scar reminds me of a diagnosis of cancer and my thankfulness for more years on this earth. A huge scar on my knee reminds me that there is some titanium holding it together and the near death experience from the anesthesia in recovery.

Lives become broken by a variety of things. Divorce, abuse, family crisis, stress at school, and many others. These events contribute to how children grow and face life. They are the soil , so to speak , that the roots of young lives grow in. With out the proper nourishment the roots of apathy develop. On the surface we see the malnourished tree with fruit that tells us something is wrong under the surface.

Each person can be cracked and broken into pieces. Shattered by life as if a tornado had swept through their life, leaving a path of broken glass and debri. If we see each person as a glass vase that has been dropped and broken, we can picture a persons life that has experienced difficult storms through the years. These challenges may not have been avoidable. Some may be just normal life events. Others may be abuses perpetrated by someone in the family or from an outside source.
These pieces can represent the trauma that has contributed to one of the roots of apathy. For example, divorce can cause insecurity, leaving a child to wonder who they are and being fearful of abandonment. They question their value as a person and look through this colored piece of glass, evaluating every relationship, wondering " will they leave me too?"

When working with young people, we need to look below the surface to the pieces that have been broken. All the pieces are still there, waiting to be gathered and put back together. It's complicated. People are complicated. There is no easy fix. Young people need adults who can come alongside and help them see the pieces, the fragments of who they are and understand how they were broken and then guide them into the process of gathering the pieces and putting them back together. As the individual parts are put back together a picture of a whole person begins to take shape. Like the assembling of a stained glass window, a picture begins to come into to view.  We begin to see a beautiful, one of a kind, masterpiece constructed from the brokenness of a young persons life. The pieces are glued together by faith, hope, love, forgiveness, perseverance, kindness, self-control, uniqueness, etc. Caring adults come alongside to help with the gathering, shaping, soldering and polishing.  Once complete a stained, broken, scarred, collection of fragmented glass becomes an amazing one of a kind, masterpiece, reflecting the uniqueness, value and beauty that is within each person. The pieces were all still there. The talents and qualities, the uniqueness and value of the individual were always there. They just had to be discovered, gathered and assembled. Young people know it is complicated to navigate the brokenness and repair the shattered dreams. They need understanding adults who can help them muster the strength to gather up the broken pieces of their life. Working together to arrange the pieces, young people, with the help of caring adults, glue them together and begin to see the beauty.

The first step is to hear and understand the story behind the individual pieces of a broken person. We all have shaping events in our life that effect who we are and how we deal with life. Caring adults (parents, extended family, teachers, coaches and pastors can come alongside and build relational equity. As young people begin to trust that we care, they will allow us to help them put the pieces back together.

The storms can cause many different broken pieces that vary in size and shape and color, depending on the circumstances. What is common to all is the effect on the lives of young people.  Each area is a shattered piece that reflects a challenging obstacle that many kids are dealing with today and drastically effects their lives and how they perform at  school.
Used  by Permission only. Copyright Dan Hicks






As I get older, my vision is not as clear as it used to be. Slowly, inch by inch, I have lost that close up eyesight. It started with reading small print but eventually, large print was getting fuzzy. After a few years now the dashboard is blurry, making it hard to see the speedometer. The chp officer didn't seem to buy that excuse for going 66 in a 55. As a result  I have a fancy pair of progressive bifocals to help me keep things in focus. As long as I adjust my eyes up and down the lens I can get decent vision. What a pain to get up in years. I am saving up for the lasik procedure. How great it would be to see 20/20again.

Kids with ADHD often feel like they have fuzzy vision. An easily distracted kid can miss a lot of details in a classroom. When the teacher is writing on the board tonights homework at the end of the class period, it is easy to be come distracted by the commotion around the room.  I relate this to fuzzy vision because the distractions make it difficult for a student to focus in clearly on what is being required. They miss a lot of the when instructions are being given by teachers in class or by parents at home.

Outside the classroom, we see a similar fuzziness in social conversations. Kids with ADHD miss subtle nuances of conversations and feel out of step with the flow. They don't always pick up on others feelings or subtle cues. This eventually relegates them to the shadows of interactions with peers or they over compensate by dominating the dialogue. They just talk louder and faster than everyone else to get their point across. This"talking over" can be frustrating to those listening or to teachers and parents who don't feel the child is getting the point of the instruction or conversation.
Relationships that are healthy, take a constant give and take. A level of focus is necessary in order to hear and feel like you are heard by another.

An overall sense of anxiety, frustration and anger can build as attempts to be successful in school or relationships fail. The reaction from parents , teachers and peers can cause a young person to feel like they always screw up somehow.

They either muster their strength to try harder or rebel in anger to the authority figures who demand more of them. Rebellion to authority is a natural outflow. A lack of taking responsibility can follow. The thinking goes something like this, "if I don't take on anything too difficult I can't fail and feel bad".  But, life generally pushes us to take on more responsibility. As young people grow through high school and into college age they are excepted to become adults. To become responsible members of society. Pressure, stress and anxiety build.

A young person with ADHD may struggle with how to relieve e stress and anxiety. They are vulnerable to marijuana, alcohol and prescription drugs, all of which at the outset "take the edge off". But , as with any plan that avoids accepting responsibility, the stress ends up greater as more negative consequence arise. Relationship issues, employment struggles and difficulties if completing college all come center stage.

As with a child who needs glasses to help them see the chalk board, a young person with ADHD needs help to compensate for their distractibility and lack of focus to details.

I often picture the road to success for someone with ADHD like a southern California highway. We lived in So Cal for about nine years and one of the biggest adjustments was learning to negotiate the busy highways. Often times I felt like Jimmy Johnson stepping into my multiple colored jumpsuit and strapping myself into car so I could join the NASCAR race that was my commute to work each day. The freeways have up to six or seven lanes at times with people coming and going at high rates of speed. I hadn't realized how stressful it was until I moved away to an area with only two lanes maximum. My commute went from 45 min each way to 2 min.

When developing a plan for a young person with ADHD we need to understand how stressful each day can be and each task can be. Driving down the onramp to a six lane highway can be a daunting task. To have confidence to speed up into the flow of traffic takes practice, courage and determination.

A successful plan must include navigating several different lanes, so to speak, in order to facilitate moving toward the destination. The goal is to become a responsible, organized, healthy adult who can maintain relationships, set goals and enjoy the unique abilities and gifts an ADHD individual has buried inside them.

1) Medication has been one of the lanes most used of the past thirty years. Ritalin became the drug of choice and was prescribed to many, many children.

2) Counseling to help the family and individual understand ADHD can be very helpful. Clearing up misunderstandings and setting relational boundaries is critical if an environment is going to develop where everyone can be successful.
Developing a healthy self esteem, while dealing with unique obstacles is very important.
We all have "issues". We all have strengths and weakness that we must learn to manage in our lives. ADHD has it's difficulties but their are some great benefits that can be explored. People with ADHD are some of the most talented people the world has known.
Albert Einstein and Dustin Hoffman are famous examples. A side effect of ADHD is the ability to become hyper-focused on something. This super focus can help a person to really concentrate on a particular problem or goal. Ideas can come flooding to the surface, needing to be organized and completed.

"Christopher Knight
Remember Knight as middle bro Peter on The Brady Bunch? He's said on that in watching energetic, quirky Peter, viewers were also watching Knight's public struggle with ADHD. (He also had trouble memorizing lines.)

After difficulties with reading and writing, and dropping out of college, Knight was eventually diagnosed with ADHD nine years ago. He compares getting medication for ADHD to getting glasses for poor vision."

3) A person with ADHD must accept responsibility for themselves and be committed to wearing their glasses. Glasses do no good if the are buried in our back pack. Young people need to learn how to take notes, use reminder devices on their phones to be on time and keep a calendar of future events and deadlines.

4) Removing distractions as much as possible is vital for success.This lane in the freeway is very important. As drivers we know it is safer if you aren't driving in a middle lane with people passing on the left and the right at the same time.
Moving to the front of the classroom can help reduce the distractions of other classmates. Checking a designated area for updates to homework assignments each day will serve to maintain a day to day log of what needs to be done. There is a"piling on effect" when a child falls behind. They don't feel like they can ever catch up so they give up and look to other sources for a feeling of success. Having a to do list each day will help to organize the most important things in each day. Checking that list and carrying those not completed to tomorrows list will to avoid the piling on effect. It realty gives us a sense of accomplishment when we check things off the list. Perpetual incompleteness can act like a weight around a young persons neck. Marking things off the list brings a sense of freedom and confidence that life can be managed. It also gives a confidence that bigger projects can be taken on and completed.

5)Having designated homework area can be the key to success for a student who is easily distracted. Many kids go to their room to do homework, turn on the music, log in to their Facebook and open their algebra book. An ADHD kid hears the sound of someone logging in and before long is engrossed in following all the chatting going on amongst their friends. The result, very little homework gets done. The long term result is poor grades and more stress, which leads to anger and rebellion. No one starts out wanting  to be a failure. Young people will look for places to be successful even if they are not legitimate.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective ADD Adults

1) Do what you're good at. Don't spend too much time trying to get good at what you're bad at. (You did enough of that in school).

2)Delegate what your bad at to others, as often as possible.

3)Connect your energy to a creative outlet.

4)Get well enough organized to achieve your goals. the key here is "well enough". That doesn't mean you have to be very well organized at all-just well enough organized to achieve your goals.

5)Ask for and heed advice from people you trust-ignore, as best you can, the dream breakers and finger waggers.

6)Make sure you keep up contact with a few close friends.

7)Go with your positive side. Even though you have a negative side, make decisions and run your life with your positive side.
From Delivered From Distraction by Edward M Hallowell, M.D. Pg 37

ADHD can be surprisingly hard to spot because it affects individual children so differently.
ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (formerly known as ADD) is a neurological condition that causes children to lose focus and behave in ways that, if untreated, may make it difficult for them to successfully participate in school, social and family life. Children with ADHD can be inattentive, hyperactive or impulsive, and many have a combination of these behaviors. Other learning disabilities or mental conditions can also accompany ADHD.

Although it's the nation's most common childhood mental disorder -- 8 percent of all U.S. kids, which translates to about 5 million, have been diagnosed -- ADHD can be surprisingly hard to spot because it affects individual children so differently. ADHD kids can be rowdy troublemakers who get into fights and fail at school, excessively chatty straight-A know-it-alls who constantly interrupt their teachers, or "space cadets" who stare out the window unaware that rest of the class has left for lunch. While all young children can be impulsive, hyperactive or inattentive at times, for children with ADHD these behaviors are so frequent and severe that they interfere with normal activities, often leaving them confused, frustrated, or angry.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, boys are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls (9.5 percent of all boys, versus 5.9 percent of girls) but experts are unsure if that means more boys actually have the condition, or if they're just more likely to have the type of ADHD that results in disruptive behavior. Kids who act out, especially in school, are more likely to be noticed and referred for diagnosis than those who drift off into their own world.

The good news is that a great deal of research has been done on ADHD (which has been a recognized mental condition since the 1960s) and there are a number of strategies, including medication, behavioral modification and school accommodations, that can help children manage their condition and lead successful, happy lives.

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

ADHD has three subtypes; predominately hyperactive-impulsive, predominately inattentive, and combined hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive.
Most children are evaluated for ADHD shortly after they enter grade school because their inability to focus, follow directions and control behavior becomes a real barrier to success in that structured setting.

ADHD has three subtypes; predominately hyperactive-impulsive, predominately inattentive, and combined hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive. That means your child may have all of the symptoms in one category, or several from each.

The symptoms listed below come from the American Psychiatric Associations Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV, (DSM IV) and are the criteria a doctor would use to diagnose your child. However, because living, breathing kids are more than a collection of lists in a diagnostic manual, well also provide some examples of how these behaviors can play out in real life.

For the behaviors listed below to be truly considered signs of ADHD, they must last for six months, be more severe than in other children the same age  i.e., theyre causing significant problems at school, home and/or in social settings -- and some symptoms should have been present before your child turned 7.

ADHD/Inattentive Type

This is the child that gets labeled as lazy, spacey, ditzy or incompetent. His teacher may groan in frustration at how he daydreams and tunes out during class. She may come home with her sweater buttoned wrong, inside out or forgotten altogether. He may leave his glove at Little League  every single practice. Parents may have to deal with the terror of waiting at the bus stop for a child who doesnt show up because he got on the wrong school bus and didnt notice till it drove away. A child may lose friends because she forgets she was invited for a play date or walks right past playmates without seeing them because her mind is elsewhere.

A child must have had 6 of the following 9 symptoms for more than six months to be diagnosed with ADHD/inattentive type:

Does not pay close attention to details, makes careless mistakes
Often has trouble keeping attention on tasks
Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish work or chores (because of failure to understand, not defiance)
Often has trouble organizing activities
Often avoids or dislikes things that take a lot of mental effort for a long period of time.
Often loses things needed for tasks and activities
Is often easily distracted
Is often forgetful in daily activities
ADHD Hyperactive/Impulsive Type

Only about 5% of kids who have ADHD are classified as this type, which is typically diagnosed at preschool age. Most of those diagnosed will later go on to develop the inattentive or combined type.

People think of hyperactive and impulsive kids as wild, obnoxious, bratty problem children or, worst of all, just plain bad. She may grab toys and refuse to share long after others have gotten the concept. A hyperactive child will keep playing tag while his classmates line up. He may frighten or intimidate other children by pushing or yelling, or he could be the loveable, but virtually untamable class clown. Hyperactive kids are often daredevils, prone to taking flying leaps off the couch. Parents of hyperactive and impulsive kids dread calls from school or a neighbor asking them to come get their misbehaving child, and theyre driven to exhaustion by kids that never nap, sit still or stop talking.

A child must have 6 of the following 9 symptoms for more than six months to be diagnosed with ADHD/hyperactive-impulsive type:

Often fidgets with hands and feet or squirms in seat
Often gets up from seat
Often excessively runs about our climbs when not appropriate
Often has trouble playing or doing leisure activities quietly
Is on the go as if driven by a motor
Often talks excessively
Often blurts out answers before questions have been finished
Often has trouble waiting his turn
Often interrupts or intrudes on others
ADHD Combined Hyperactive-impulsive and Inattentive Type

This is the most common type of ADHD, with symptoms of both the inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive types. Remember, not all children with ADHD display all the symptoms.

Research has not determined what exactly causes ADHD, but scientists believe it could be in imbalance in neurotransmitters, the chemicals that regulate how the brain processes and regulates responses to stimuli. Also, a landmark 1996 study conducted at the National Institutes for Mental Health (NIMH) also found that two portions of the brain thought to regulate attention are smaller in children with ADHD. Since then, brain imaging technology has advanced and many other studies have shown disparities between the brains of children with and without ADHD, including one 2007 study that showed that the brains of children with ADHD mature in the same pattern as those of other children, but up to three years later.  Scientists are still working to discover just what these differences mean.

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

Used  by Permission only. Copyright Dan Hicks


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