Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Definition

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) is a chronic neurological condition characterized by problems with attention, focusing and persistence and often, but not always, hyperactivity. ADD/ADHD must be diagnosed by a medical doctor, psychiatrist or licensed psychologist and sometimes medication is prescribed.

Characteristics

Classroom skills

  • Difficulty paying attention when spoken to, inconsistent concentration.
  • Has trouble listening to a lecture and taking notes at the same time.
  • Is easily distracted by background noise or visual stimulation, unable to pay attention, may appear to be hurried in one-to-one meetings.
  • Difficulty memorizing basic facts.

Study skills

  • Difficulty reading or comprehending word problems.
  • Compositions lack organization and development of ideas.
  • Trouble sustaining attention. Restless, fidgety. Lacks attention to details.
  • Forgets things, loses or leaves positions. Difficulty following instructions.
  • Impatient and easily frustrated. For many students the harder they try the worse their symptoms become.

Social skills

  • Easily overwhelmed by tasks of daily living. Poor organization and time management. Difficulty completing projects. Inconsistent work performance. Trouble maintaining an organized work area.
  • Makes decisions impulsively. Difficulty delaying gratification, stimulation seeking. Makes comments without considering their impact.

Suggestions

Many of the suggestions outlined in the section on Learning Disabilities are applicable to students with ADD.

Accommodations

Upon determination of eligibility for services, students may be entitled to receive one or more of the following accommodations:

  • Learning Strategies 
  • Testing Accommodations - Extended time on exams
  • Note Taking Services
  • FM system
  • Alternate Media
  • Reduced academic course loads.