Aug 012013

Does your child have ADHD symptoms or get into trouble at school for silly or impulsive behaviors?

Is your child smart, but distracted in a traditional classroom?

If so, your child may have Attention Deficit Disorder. It is commonly called ADHD or ADD. Having ADHD makes learning a challenge. However, learning IS possible.

ADHD Learning Styles

Most kids with ADHD symptoms have an active, hands-on, doing kind of learning style. They simply need a more active learning environment, which you can provide by schooling at home.

Let’s learn more about ADHD symptoms:

Some common ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) or ADHD symptoms, 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 ADHD do not have the hyperactive or overactive behavior component, for example.” (Attention Deficit Disorder Association)

“Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition affecting children and adults that is characterized by problems with attention, impulsivity, and overactivity. It affects between 3-7 percent of school-aged 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 only known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. However, ADD is designated as being “primarily inattentive type.” Inattentive type is ADHD without Hyperactivity as a symptom of ADHD.

Clinical ADHD is either active, inattentive, or mixed. The differences are based upon the ADHD symptoms that your child may regularly show.

Active-type” 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. However, it doesn’t have high levels of impulsivity or physical activity.

Mixed-type” ADHD causes significant issues with inattention. It includes some degree of impulsiveness, but not as much as Active-type ADHD.

Does Your Child Have ADHD Symptoms?

You might find it interesting to look at Vanderbilt’s Parent Checklist with scoring sheet.  Don’t use this tool to diagnose your child. Just look at it to see the types of behaviors that kids who have ADHD symptoms often demonstrate.

If your child has a lot of ADHD symptoms, it’d be a good idea for you to schedule your child for a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation. An evaluator can determine if your child has ADHD with or without other learning disabilities.

Teaching Kids with ADHD symptoms or diagnosis:

ADHD can have a pervasive effect on a child’s learning. ADHD affects your child ALL of the time. ADHD, whether inattentive type or hyperactive type, can make it difficult for a child to learn any subject.

Your child may be cognitively bright or even gifted and have ADHD. However, the 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. 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. He can also learn to control impulsivity. Learning these skills helps a child with ADHD 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 ways to build brain functioning, concentration, and to lessen anxiety and anger that often accompany ADHD.

Along the way, someone will probably recommend medication for your child’s ADHD symptoms. Parents often consider a variety of ways to manage ADHD and it’s behaviors. You can read information about alternatives for managing ADHD through medication or by using other treatments on our ADHD alternatives page.

You may also want to consider brain-based programs or “brain training” to improve your child’s concentration, planning, sequencing, processing speed, etc. Improving your child’s brain functioning is an great way to “remediate” ADHD. It can improve your child’s ability to learn. You will definitely want to read our page about brain-based programs.

ADHD can be a challenging to deal with when it comes to learning. However, children with ADHD are often lively, creative, and bright. Don’t let your child’s issues with learning discourage you. Over time, as you learn to deal with the ADHD. You may even find your child a joy to teach because of his active ADHD spirit!

To find out more about dealing with ADHD, you may want to consider these resources:

*Calm Kids Program – The Calm Kids Program helps your child’s focus for learning and attention span. It helps you calm your child down in minutes. It can be perfect for improving your child’s ADHD symptoms of distraction.

*”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 deals more heavily with diagnosis and solutions. It talks about helping a person become successful in spite of having ADHD. I found the book an excellent reference. I would also recommend considering the Delivered from Distraction Audiobook version if you never seem to finish reading books. You won’t regret the extra expenditure.. I found listening to the audiobook to be the easiest for me.

Another resource where you can find information, and comfort is the magazine called **ADDitude. ADDitude Magazine is written for people with ADD or ADHD or parents who have children with ADD or ADHD.

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