Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects three to seven percent of students. There are a number of symptoms associated with the disorder which makes diagnoses a little more difficult. Symptoms can include an inability to focus or pay attention in class, disruptive behavior, emotional meltdowns, interrupting when others are speaking, inability to follow instructions and constant fidgeting. If your student displays more than one of these symptoms, they may have ADHD.
No parent likes to hear that their student is not performing well in class or that they are a problem for the teacher. Perhaps you have become so accustomed to their behavior that you don’t really notice. If your student’s teachers complain often and their grades are suffering, it may be time to have them tested. If they are diagnosed with ADHD, there are a number of dietary and behavioral changes that you can make that will help them to fit in and perform well at school.
ADHD affects students differently and you will have to work closely with your medical professional and teacher to create a support system for your student. You can get help dealing with ADHD students under either Section 504 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act or the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act. Both of these acts require the teacher and school to work together with parents, students and medical professionals to create a plan that serves your student’s educational needs.
There are a number of ways for the school to help meet student’s particular needs including keeping them in a classroom with their peers, providing one-to-one assistance or creating a special class for students with special needs.
Students with ADHD not only have excess energy and a lack of concentration, they also suffer from disorganization and may have trouble forming goals and sticking to a plan. They can also have trouble retaining information and may have difficulty transitioning from one mental task to another. ADHD students can be more emotional and when they find social or academic situations overwhelming they can have emotional outbursts.
Catching ADHD early will help you to work with your teachers to find ways of dealing with your student’s particular needs. This means that they are able to keep up with their peers academically and this prevents them from feeling like a failure. You can also work on social and behavioral strategies that help them to fit in and reduce their disruption of the class.
Its imperative that you work with your medical professional and teachers to tweak coping strategies as your child grows and develops. Having ADHD can be manageable when all the players on your team work together.
Additional Resources for ADHD Students
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry