As a student, what is a good reason why a social worker should know about ADHD especially in children

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Since the job of social workers is, in part, the protection of children, they must know all that they can about the children under their care in order to help them. Moreover, there is one division of these professionals, clinical social workers, whose task it is to diagnose and treat the behavioral, social, and mental issues of those under their care. Therefore, it is necessary and imperative that clinical social workers, especially, become aware of ADHD in children. For, then, they can understand the source of certain behaviors as genetic rather than social, and treat them accordingly.

Always it is essential to understand the roots of behaviors in order to treat the behavior. Identifying classic symptoms of ADHD will prompt the correct treatment. For example, if a child is defiant in his/her behavior, a social worker may tend to look for actions in the parent which have precipitated a behavioral reaction in the child. However, if social workers are aware that the child has ADHD, they may be able to more quickly rule out certain acts of mis-parenting as a cause of this behavior, and, thus, address the real cause. Obviously, then, frustration is reduced and treatment can be given more quickly. However, it is important to realize that not all causes of ADHD are medical; so, the social worker will need to identity those environmental factors that exist with ADHD. For instance, in his research on prenatal stress, Glover writes,

As it is more common in children of anxious or stressed mothers, some argue that ADHD is an adaptation that helps children face a stressful or dangerous environment with, for example, increased impulsivity and exploratory behavior.

Also, studies have revealed that ADHD occurs more commonly in children who have experienced violence and emotional abuse.

When children understand the causes of their behavior, their anxiety is reduced as they do not feel isolated in their anxieties and emotional disturbances. Knowing that there is a medical treatment available to them often reduces their emotional confusion, especially because the social worker and parent both can comfort them by telling them they are not so abnormal since many others have similar conditions, and that things can be "fixed."

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