Does your child get into trouble at school for silly or impulsive behaviors? Does he have too much energy to sit still? Is he smart, but unfocused in a traditional classroom?
If so, he may have Attention Deficit Disorder, commonly called ADHD or ADD. Having ADHD makes education challenging, but by no means impossible. Most kids with ADHD have an active, hands-on, doing kind of learning style and simply need a more active learning environment, which you can provide by schooling at home.
First, let’s learn more about what ADHD is:
Some common symptoms of ADHD or ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) according to the DSM-IV (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition) include: “often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes; often has difficulty sustaining attention to tasks; often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly; often fails to follow instructions carefully and completely; losing or forgetting important things; feeling restless, often fidgeting with hands or feet, or squirming; running or climbing excessively; often talks excessively; often blurts out answers before hearing the whole question; often has difficulty awaiting turn. Please keep in mind that the exact nature and severity of AD/HD symptoms varies from person to person. Approximately one-third of people with AD/HD do not have the hyperactive or overactive behavior component, for example.” (Attention Deficit Disorder Association)
“Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) is a condition affecting children and adults that is characterized by problems with attention, impulsivity, and overactivity. It affects between 3-7 percent of schoolage children, and between 2-4 percent of adults.” (National Resource Center on AD/HD) .
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is very common in today’s society. Although many people refer to ADD vs. ADHD, there is really only one “clinical” diagnosis.
Clinically, the condition is known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, but one is designated as being “primarily inattentive type” (or ADHD without the Hyperactivity). Clinical ADHD is either active, inattentive, or mixed. “Active” ADHD is a condition of having attention deficits accompanied by hyperactivity and impulsiveness.
“Inattentive-type” ADHD is what most people refer to as ADD. This form of ADHD causes a person difficulty with maintaining attention and focus, but does not have accompanying levels of impulsivity and physical activity. “Mixed-type” ADHD causes significant issues with inattention and some degree of accompanying impulsiveness.
ADHD can have a pervasive effect on a child’s learning, and affects them all the time. ADHD, whether inattentive type or hyperactive type, can make it difficult for a child to learn any subject. The child may be cognitively bright or even gifted, but inability to focus attention when needed may make a child seem incapable of learning.
Additionally, if a child has ADHD symptoms, his nervous system may have additional issues with sensory integration. A child with sensory-integration issues finds it difficult to process or deal with external stimuli, as does a child with attention deficits.
Sensory integration issues often manifest as tantrums over socks that don’t ‘fit’, shirts with collars or tags, a desire to wear sweats, meltdowns in active environments, auditory defensiveness in regard to noisy environments, etc. To learn more about children who have issues with both ADHD and sensory integration, I highly recommend **”Out of Sync Child“, by Carol Kranowitz.
“Remediation” for ADHD is difficult, and I’m not sure it can ever be completely “remediated”. More likely, ADHD is ‘managed’. A child can be taught to focus attention for increasing lengths of time and to control impulsivity, which helps a child perform better in all academic areas.
Remediating ADHD, whether inattentive-type (ADD), active-type, or mixed-type, can be handled in a variety of ways. There are means for building brain functioning, concentration, alleviating anxiety and anger that often accompany ADD/ADHD. Along the way, someone will likely recommend medication. You will want to consider various avenues of managing ADHD and the accompanying behaviors. You will find our analysis of alternatives for managing ADHD through medication or by using other treatments of interest.
Additionally, you will want to consider brain-based programs or “brain training” to enhance concentration, planning, sequencing, processing speed, etc. Helping improve your child’s brain functioning is an effective way to “remediate” ADHD, or help your child improve his ability to learn. You will definitely want to read our page dedicated to programs that offer brain-based skills enhancement.
ADHD can be a challenging disability to deal with in relation to learning, but children with ADHD are often lively, creative, and bright. Don’t let your child’s difficulties discourage you. Over time, as you learn to deal with the condition, you will find your child ajoy to teach.
To find out more about dealing with ADHD, you may want to consider these resources:
Calm Kids Program – The Calm Kids Program Increases Your Childs Concentration, Focus And Attention Span As Well Calming Him Down In Minutes…perfect For The Hyperactive/Add Child.
**”Delivered from Distraction: Getting the Most out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder” by Edward Hallowell. This is the follow-up book to “Driven to Distraction”. “Delivered From Distraction” deals more heavily with diagnosis, solutions, and becoming successful in spite of having ADHD. I found the book an excellent reference and would also recommend considering the Delivered from Distraction Audiobook version if you have difficulty finishing reading books. You won’t regret the extra expenditure.. I found listening to the audiobook to be the best move I could have made.
An additional resource where you can find resources, information,and comfort in similar cases is the magazine called **ADDitude. ADDitude Magazine is designed to serve as a resource for people with ADD or AD/HD or people who have children with ADD or AD/HD.