What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?
ADHD (inattentive, hyperactive, or combined presentation) is the most common neuro-developmental disorder affecting students in the classroom. These children may have difficulty paying attention, struggle to control impulsive behaviour and emotions, and lack important executive function skills.
In the classroom, signs might include:
– daydreaming / easily distracted
– forgetting instructions and material learned
– talking to peers during lessons
– making careless mistakes
– squirming and fidgeting in their seat
– time management difficulties
– interrupting others
– inability to stay on task
How does ADHD impact study habits?
Many students with ADHD are diagnosed with another disorder, making learning even more difficult. They may also struggle with anxiety, learning disabilities, auditory processing disorder, sensory processing disorder, or oppositional defiant disorder. Since these disorders can have similar symptoms, a diagnosis of ADHD can become difficult.
A good first step would be to test your child’s hearing and vision in order to rule out other issues that may be impacting their learning. Diagnosing ADHD usually involves completing a checklist for symptoms and collecting a history from parents, teachers, and other relevant professionals.
Stimulants or medication is often the most common treatment option. However, it’s important that you talk with your child’s doctor so that you understand your choices. While medication can help, it doesn’t come without its side effects and potential risks. As an alternative to medication, your doctor may recommend behaviour therapy, counselling, or social skills training. It’s important to note that medication does not cure ADHD or solve all of your child’s behaviour and learning challenges.
Tutoring for ADHD Students
Strategic Learning Clinic has been implementing Interactive Metronome (IM) since 2003, a brain training program aimed to improve attention and focus, motor planning, information processing, and timing. IM is a drug-free approach to helping students process and attend better in and out of the classroom.
As a parent, trust your gut. If you suspect your child has ADHD or is battling with another learning disability, take action sooner than later. In the midst of seeking treatment options, your child will need you to be their best advocate. Let your child know that there is nothing to be ashamed about. ADHD is a medical condition, not a personality flaw or a character weakness.