Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is a disorder that affects between three to five percent of the children in our schools today. It is vital that teachers and parents learn to recognize signs of ADHD in children. In doing so they learn to modify the structure of their classroom and use techniques to help children succeed in school, specifically in learning to write. This disorder makes it difficult for children to complete many different tasks such as taking their thoughts and vocalizing them effectively on paper. There are many aides that can be implemented to help these children succeed in writing. There also are tips on how to organize your classroom and your students.
There is a disorder affecting between three to five percent of children in the United States that is believed to not exist (Moss 2008). “One that represents one of the most common reasons children are referred to mental health practitioners in the United States and is one of the most prevalent childhood psychiatric disorders” (Barkley1998). A disorder said to be present in between one to three students out of a classroom of thirty (Bailey 2007). The fact is, Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is real, and five to ten percent of the general population deals with it every day (Alexander-Roberts 1994). With so many children in schools affected by this disorder, it is increasingly important to be educated about ADHD. It is vital that teachers and parents learn to recognize signs of ADHD in children. In doing so they learn to modify the structure of their classroom and use techniques to help children succeed in school, specifically in learning to write. What is ADHD?
According to Barkley (2000),
“Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is a developmental disorder of self –control. It consists of problems with attention span, impulse control, and activity level” (p. 19). Research as to what causes ADHD is ongoing. Barkley(2000) states that “well-founded scientific research on the causes of ADHD has focused on disorders in the brain- either brain injuries or abnormal brain development” (p. 64). Scientists cannot deliberately damage a child’s brain to see what happens, and brain development is difficult to monitor, therefore there are still many challenges in strictly defining this disorder. Myths
There are many myths that have surfaced over the years surrounding ADHD. Some of these myths suggest that it is a “phantom disorder”, however according to (reference web page here) ninety-five years of scientific research back up the fact that ADHD is real, and in addition “this syndrome has been recognized as a disability by the courts, the United States Department of Education, the Office for Civil Rights, the United States Congress, the National Institutes of Health, and all major professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, and educational associations” (Booth, B. et al). Another myth is that ADHD is a disorder that is confined to the childhood years that disappears by the teenage years and certainly adulthood. However, studies have shown that 3/4 of the children with ADHD continue to struggle with it into adolescence (Wodrich 1994 p22). These are only two of the many myths that arise concerning ADHD. Such myths and the truths concerning them can be found on the internet. ADHDinfo.com is a good resource to refer to. Signs
With a variety of definitions, and with so many myths surrounding ADHD, how can parents or teachers identify children who may have ADHD? The DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) 4th Edition (1994) issued by the American Psychiatric Association lists three factors to look for in children’s behavior that may be signs of ADHD: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. For example, if a child does not follow through on instruction and fails to finish schoolwork (inattention), often leaves their seat in classroom or other situations where...