“Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition affecting children and adults that is characterized by problems with attention, impulsivity, and overactivity” (CHADD). “It is a neurobiological disorder that affect 3-7 percent of school age children and may be seen as before the age of 7. The current diagnostic label is attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, however, in the past several other names have been used, such as brain-damaged, minimal brain dysfunction, hyperkinetic impulsive disorder, and attention deficit disorder (CHADD). ADHD is a controversial disorder. Some understand it to be a true disability, while others believe “good teaching and discipline at home resolve the problems” (Kauffman 2005).
ADHD is characterized by not focusing, inability to sustain attention, hyperactive, distracted, impulsive, noisy, irritable, fight, and are destructive. Students who exhibit these characteristics have difficulty finding and keeping friends. They are difficult to live with and drive the teachers to discomposure (Kauffman 2005). Early identification and treatment are important due to the serious consequences of school failure; depression, substance abuse, delinquency, and job failure are some of the serious consequences (CHADD).
Students with ADHD may experience lower grades, failed grades, more expulsions, and increased drop out. The student’s hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention interfere with the challenges of school. According to the U.S. Department of Education (2003),
Difficulty sustaining attention to a task may contribute to missing important details in assignments, daydreaming during lectures, and difficulty organizing details assignments. Hyperactivity may be expressed in either verbal or physical disruptions in class. Impulsivity may lead to careless errors, responding to questions without fully formulating the best answers, and only attending to activities that entertaining or novel.
Teachers can help improve the student’s educational experience through strategies and interventions. The following is a short list the teacher may try using:
• Work on the most difficult concepts in the morning
• Use task analysis
• Vary the pace and type of activity
• Seat student way from distractions
• Provide notebooks and folders for organization
Interventions may include behavioral and cognitive strategies. “Behavioral interventions are means making certain that rewarding consequence follows desirable behavior and that either no consequence or punishing consequences follow undesirable behavior” (Kauffman 2005). Other intervention may include token reinforcement, response cost, and time out. Giving students choices in assignment can also be helpful.
Cognitive strategy training includes 1. Self-instruction, teaching students to talk to themselves about what they are doing and how to do it. 2. Self-monitoring, helps students stay on task.
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