While Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is blamed for many student’s behavioral issues or grades, only about 8 – 10% of students actually suffer from this disorder. ADHD affects a child’s ability to pay attention and to focus on one task for more than a few minutes. While you can look for warning signs, you must get your child professionally tested before attributing their behavior to ADHD. If your child does have ADHD, early detection can help teachers, parents and family members to understand and cope with the symptoms of ADHD.
ADHD is three times more likely to affect boys than girls and is divided into three categories, each with its own symptoms. All children will display some of these symptoms, but ADHD is an inability to follow commands and focus which seriously affects performance at school both academically and socially.
Symptoms must manifest before the child is seven years old and must be persistent i.e. if the child only displays these symptoms when they are excited or anxious, they may just be normal, excitable children.
The three different categories of ADHD are:
• Poor attention to detail which results in errors
• Inability to pay attention for more than a few minutes
• Trouble listening
• Difficulty following simple instructions
• A tendency to avoid tasks that require thinking
• Tendency to lose things
• Forgetful and distracted
• Constant fidgeting
• Inability to sit still
• Inability to play quietly
• Excessively talkative
• Inability to wait their turn
• Tendency to interrupt often
The third category is a combination of the above. Most students have combination type ADHD and display five or six symptoms from the categories above.
Treating ADHD can be done through medication, behavioral therapy, diet and alternative medicines which help to reduce symptoms and allow the child to succeed socially and academically.
Be sure to include your family, teachers, in-home tutors and friends in your treatment plan so that they can all help to ensure your child is getting the best help possible. When teachers and tutors know that your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, it may encourage them to be more patient. Educators will also know to give instructions that are short and precise if they want your child to follow them.
Educators can also structure classes so that your child has many tasks that each take only a short time, rather than longer tasks which require sustained focus. Educators can also mitigate distractions by seating students away from the windows or in the front of the class.