Terms for Developmental Disorders

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  • 0:01 Short Attention Span
  • 0:28 ADD, ADHD, & Learning…
  • 2:31 Autism & Asperger's
  • 3:19 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
Did you know that some people with developmental disorders are also some of the most gifted? Don't let ADD, ADHD, learning disabilities, and other developmental disorders make you think otherwise.

Short Attention Span

I definitely have a short attention span when it comes to stuff I simply could care less about. NASCAR (sorry folks), the latest legal case challenge, or what selfie some celebrity posted online make me turn my attention elsewhere within a nanosecond. But, just because someone has a short attention span, that doesn't mean they have something like ADD or ADHD, which are just two examples of developmental disorders this lesson is going to define.

ADD, ADHD, & Learning Disabilities

ADD, attention deficit disorder, now formally known as ADHD, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, is a developmental disorder characterized by a short attention span and a pattern of impulsiveness. Hyperactivity is sometimes present, as well. Hyperactivity is a term that refers to restlessness or an excess of movement.

Such short attention spans and impulsiveness are found most often in social, occupational, and academic settings, and they're far more common in boys than girls. Importantly, the individuals who are affected by ADHD usually have normal or even above average intelligence levels.

Now, if a little boy is running around with friends after school and not finishing his homework one day, but doesn't do it again, that doesn't mean he has ADHD. He's probably just being a little boy, maybe a little mischievous boy. But if he's consistently distracted, forgetful, and making mistakes in multiple settings, then it might be a result of ADHD.

As I said before, ADHD tends to occur in people with normal intelligence levels. This is also true of learning disabilities, disorders where children have difficulty learning things like reading, writing, and math. These disorders do not arise as a result of some emotional disturbance, nor do they occur because the person is sight or hearing impaired.

Dyslexia is one such learning disability. Dyslexia is a learning disorder marked by problems processing words, as most characteristically reflected by difficulty in learning to read. The word itself comes from 'dys-,' which means 'impaired' or 'difficult' and '-lexis,' which means 'words' or 'language.'

However, many people with learning disabilities have overcome their barriers to achieve amazing things. For example, inventor Alexander Graham Bell, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, and mathematician and author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll, all had or are suspected to have had dyslexia.

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