Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AHDH) is viewed as a neuro-developmental disorder throughout the world. Most cultures recognize that it presents chronic symptoms that cause dysfunction and is a condition that should receive treatment. Although there is some international consensus regarding ADHD, the methods and prevalence of treatment vary greatly from one country to the next. A recent study examined the tolerance and treatment protocols for ADHD in ten different countries, including the United States, Norway, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Israel, Germany, China and Brazil. The researchers assessed historical data, educational attitudes, costs, treatments, diagnoses, and stigmas relating to ADHD within these ten countries and discovered that there were significant variances. Most notably, the differences were not in the prevalence of ADHD or cultural factors, but rather in the definition of the disorder and the treatments provided.
Consistency was discovered in the amount of medication used, the duration of regimen and the cost of the medication as being more expensive annually. Several of the countries employ medication as a first-line treatment, and other countries, like the United Kingdom, urge psychosocial and therapeutic treatments to be attempted before or with medication. In Canada, the decision is left up to the client and doctor. Another striking variation was found in the educational acceptance and tolerance of ADHD. Symptoms of hyperactivity and excessive movement are more readily accepted in Israel where there is an expectation of higher activity levels within the classrooms. However, children in China are required to stay seated and quiet for most of their school day, which creates a less tolerant environment for those displaying symptoms of ADHD. Brazil takes an entirely different approach and relies on the constructivism theory in that behaviors may not be a result of a disorder and therefore, there are very few disruptions in the school environment as a result of ADHD symptoms.
© Copyright 2011 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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