Challenge yourself! In the time I have used this exercise with my classes, very few students scored 100% – see what score you can get!
Read the text below and complete the task that follows.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD as it is more commonly referred to, is often erroneously considered to be a relatively modern ailment. In fact, it was first diagnosed as far back as 1845 by Dr Heinrich Hoffman, although it was not until the turn of the century that ADHD was given medical credence as Dr G. F. Still presented a paper to the Royal College of Physicians in England. Since that date, many scientists, doctors and psychologists have vastly increased the fund of information available, slowly reversing the impression that children with ADHD are simply badly brought up. It is now commonly understood that although most children have little difficulty in concentrating on a subject, for those with ADHD, attention spans are short.
However, Robert Ashcroft, Headmaster of Oreno College, is sceptical, referring to such diagnoses as a pseudo-science. The situation, claims Ashcroft, has spawned from a modern trend towards scientifically categorising our actions, and is simply another argument in a fundamentally flawed society that does not wish to take responsibility for its behaviour.
Karen Waters is vocal in her opposition to Ashcroft and his supporters. Working with the Mental Health Board, Waters is concerned that until ADHD is officially recognised, it will continue to be misdiagnosed and sufferers will not get the help and support they need. It would appear that the tide is turning in her favour, as all but a few schools around the country have on their staff professionals trained to recognise the signs, but Waters feels this is not yet enough. Awareness of the condition, she claims, needs to be in all levels of society, not just in schools.
Although few would argue that the symptoms of ADHD can be problematic at times, not everyone sees ADHD as a negative thing. It has been argued that where traditional thinking sees lack of attention, others see boredom and a thirst for action. Those with ADHD are considered to be more creative, more likely to take risks, both physical and academic, so long as there is stimulation in it. The term ‘attention deficit’ is misleading, as what we are really seeing is attention inconsistency. These people have a high level of energy and, if they can find a place in the business community, can work tirelessly and brainstorm with much greater ease than so-called ‘normal’ people. They are intuitive and can work at problems from a different perspective, offering a flexibility that is a positive attribute in business. It is not them, argues Waters, but society itself that is disordered.
With such stalwart champions, it is not beyond possibility that those with ADHD will find the support and understanding that their condition requires.
Are the following statements TRUE, FALSE OR NOT GIVEN according to the article? Find evidence for your answer if possible.
1. ADHD is not a new condition.
Show answer TRUE (erroneously considered…modern ailment)
2. It was first identified in a paper presented to the Royal College of Physicians.
Show answer FALSE (diagnosed 1845…Heinrich Hoffman)
3. Ashcroft does not believe in ADHD.
Show answer TRUE (sceptical…pseudo-science)
4. Ashcroft blames families for the situation.
Show answer NOT GIVEN
5. Waters believes ADHD is too easily mistaken for other problems.
Show answer TRUE (misdiagnosed)
6. Not many schools have people available to help.
Show answer FALSE (all but a few schools have…professionals)
7. Most people do not see the negative side of ADHD.
Show answer FALSE (few would argue…problematic at times)
8. The term given to the condition is inaccurate.
Show answer TRUE (term…is misleading)
9. An increasing number of ADHD sufferers are being employed in business.
Show answer NOT GIVEN
10. There is a chance ADHD sufferers will be better understood in the future.
Show answer TRUE (not beyond possibility…find the support and understanding)
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