Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) is a medical condition, which can be characterized with continuous difficulties of a child with paying attention on something and hyperactivity. For children with AD/HD it is difficult to control own actions or get properly concentrated. Less than 7% of school students suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and the majority of them are boys.

The latest amendment to IDEA includes AD/HD to the section of “Other Health Impairment”, definition of which is the following:  “…having limited strength, vitality or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that is due to chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, and sickle cell anemia; and adversely affects a child’s educational performance.” [34 Code of Federal Regulations §300.7(c) (9)]

There are three common types of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Inattentive, Hyperactive-Impulsive and Combined. The main characteristics of the first type are inattention, inability to focus or to follow the instructions, inability to organize work and pay attention on details, distractibility, etc. Children with Hyperactive-Impulsive type of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are excessively active and dynamic, they can not stay quiet for long and usually very talkative, and often they interrupt the speech or the game. Children with Combined type, correspondently, demonstrate syndromes of both above mentioned types. Of course, all the children from time to time may be hyperactive and energetic, but AD/HD is diagnosed only in cases, when such behavior is usual, not an exceptional for a child.

As a rule, symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are revealed at the age of 6-7, but sometimes it takes longer for a child to demonstrate them. In early teen ages this disorder may develop into sever forms of psychological problems, like inability to control own behavior, etc. Besides, for children with different types of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder there is a big danger to receive complications, which can be characterized with lack of self-confidence, deep dejection, depression, poor social skills, anxiety, etc. But usually in later age symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder decrease.

Education and schooling may become a real problem for students with AD/HD, because it takes a lot of attention and requires patience. Teaching strategies and support are exceptionally important for such children. The approaches must be based on stimulating a student with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder to learn organizational and self-control skills. Teachers must give assignments and tasks very specifically, with clear rules and simple directions step by step. It is good to specify schedules for every task, but it is also important to give some extra time for students with AD/HD. Teachers must pay a lot of attention on discipline and encouragement, and also purposefully direct physical activity of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder children (for example, calling student to work at the board, etc.).

It is important to underline, that in order to achieve success in educating of a child with any of the mentioned psychological disabilities, any teaching strategy and approach must be supported by proper parental care and attention. The best way to create effective educational plan is to combine the efforts of school teachers and parents of problematic children. Parents and teachers must exchange information about the development and individual progress of the students with disabilities and together find out the most effective tactics to provide such children with emotional support and steady encouragement.

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