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What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disordered (ADHD) affects between 3 and 5 percent of the school- age population. Children with ADHD face substantial social difficulties at school, but in the face of their learning challenges, these issues are often overlooked. Children are either mislabeled as behavioral problems or their social issues are just slight enough to slide under the radar. As a result, they don't qualify for professional services and are left to survive on their own in the harsh social environment of the America School (Socialskillsbuilder.com). 

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHA) is neurological condition that involves problems with inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity that are developmentally inconsistent with the age of child. Children with ADHD may also experience difficulty in reading, math and written communications (Identifying and Treating ADHD). ADHD is a chronic disorder, meaning that it affects an individual throughout life. The symptoms are also pervasive, meaning they occur in multiple settings, rather than just one. Current research supports the idea of two distinct characteristics of ADHD, inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity. A child with these characteristics typically demonstrates the following signs:

Inattention

Has difficulty concentrating

Has unrelated thoughts

Has problems focusing and sustaining attention

Appears to not be listening

Performance depends on task

May have better attention to enjoyed activities

Have difficulty planning, organizing, and completing tasks on time

Has problems learning new things

Demonstrates poor self-regulation of behavior, that is, he or she has difficulty monitoring and modifying behavior to fit different situations and settings

Hyperactivity

Seems unable to sit still (e.g., squirming in his/her seat, roaming around the room, tapping pencil, wiggling feet, and touching everything)

Appears restless and fidgety

May bounce from one activity to the next

Often tries to do more than one thing at once

Impulsivity

Difficulty thinking before acting (e.g., hitting a classmate when he/she is upset or frustrated)

Problems waiting his/her turn, such as when playing a game (Child Development Guide).

How does ADHD affect School Performance?

The school experience can be challenging for students with ADHD. Students usually are identified only after consistently demonstrating a failure to understand or follow rules or to complete required tasks. Other common reasons for referral include frequent classroom disruptions and poor academic performance.

Studies found that students with ADHD, compared to students without ADHD, had persistent academic difficulties that resulted in the following: lower average marks, more failed grades, more expulsions, increased dropout rates, and a lower rate of college undergraduate completion (Weiss & Hechtman as cited in Johnston, 2002; Ingersoll, 1988). The disruptive behavior sometimes associated with the disorder may make students with ADHD more susceptible to suspensions and expulsions. A study by Barkley and colleagues (1990b) found that 46 percent of their student study group with ADHD had been suspended and 11 percent had been expelled (U.S. Department of Education).

Developmental Period - High School

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder does not disappear at age 13 as some have said in the past. Many teenagers in Junior High School and in High School are significantly impacted by ADHD. Because there is some growth in the frontal lobes of the brain between ages 11 and 13, some junior high school students and high school students will have fewer symptoms of ADHD as a teen than they did as a child in elementary school. The problem won't go away, but may become less severe.  Though some teens seem to "outgrow" their attention deficit disorder symptoms, the great majority will require both treatments for ADHD, and help at school, throughout their teen years.Students with ADHD can be successful in junior high or high school, provided that teachers, parents, and the student all work together to keep the student organized and focused to completing the task at hand (ADHD in School).

Social concerns

In conversations ADHD students often ramble and say embarrassing things to peers.  Students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder tend to get into the most trouble during times with little structure or little supervision. Enlisting the support of peers in the classroom can greatly enhance the ADHD student's self-esteem. Students with good social awareness and who like to be helpful can be paired with the attention deficit student. This pairing can take the form of being a "study buddy" while doing activities or projects. Cross-age tutoring with older or younger students can also have social benefits. Most successful pairing is done with adequate preparation of the paired student, planning meetings with the pair to set expectations, and with parental permission.

Pairing expectations and time-commitments should be fairly limited in scope to increase the opportunity for success and lessen the constraints on the paired students. Students with ADD ADHD tend to do well in the cooperative group instructional format. A small student grouping of three to five members, in which the students "sink or swim" together to complete assignments/projects, encourage students to share organizational ideas and responsibilities, and gives an ideal setting for processing interpersonal skills on a regular basis (ADHD in School). Cross-age tutoring with older student is excellent idea and is very effecting. My daughter who is eight has been diagnosed with ADHD and finally she got high school student as a tutor. She can not stop talking about Summer (that is tutor's name), but I can not stop talking how her social, math and reading skills has improved since she got Summer for a tutor.

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