ADD and ADHD from a Teachers Perspective
This article is intended to be the вЂњReaderвЂ™s DigestвЂќ version of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). I am not someone who is certified to diagnose either of these disorders, but I am a person who has made my profession dealing with them.
The most important thing to remember is that ADD has NOTHING to do with over-activity. The attention deficit in this case can sometimes go unnoticed. Sometimes parents and teachers say that these students вЂњzone outвЂќ. They can miss entire portions of lectures or miss time in class to complete assignments because of their inattention. This will affect all aspects of life. Even as adults people with ADD have trouble вЂњrememberingвЂќ things. It really isnвЂ™t a memory issue; it is the lack of attention when the information was presented.
ADHD differs from ADD in that there is a component of hyperactivity. People with ADHD lack attention and tend to be impulsive. Acts of inattention are not usually intentional. The impulsivity in some cases is uncontrollable.
ADHD makes it extremely hard for people to sit for long periods of time.
Things to consider in dealing with people with ADD/ADHD:
First, remember the nature of the disorder is biological. There is a medical issue in existence and it is not a decision made by the person. Second, for students with these disorders it might be helpful to break assignments into smaller parts. For example, if there is an essay due, break it down to parts: 1. An outline due, 2. Rough draft due, 3. Revisions, 4. Final copy. This helps to limit the amount of time the students needs to think ahead. Next, encourage people with these disorders to form routines and use agendas or day planners. These organizational modifications will really help in the long run. Lastly, you can seek medication from a doctor if nothing else has worked. In my opinion, there are very effective medications that really modify the inattentive behaviors. Just keep in mind it takes a while to get the right dose and that once you start you should not stop during breaks or holidays. The medications need to be at certain levels in the system to be effective. If you remove the medication it will take weeks to work again. Many parents take their children off the medication over the summer, but in many cases this makes the first quarter of the school year a disappointment. It is 9 weeks of medication adjustment.
I hope this gives parents some insight about ADD/ADHD. I would be happy to answer any questions that I can. If you suspect that your child has ADD or ADHD see your doctor. They have very simple ways of determining if there is a problem.