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
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.