What is ADHD?
– Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
Also referred to as Attention Deficit Disorder
One of the most common neurobehavioral
disorders of childhood.
Usually diagnosed in childhood and often lasts
The average age of onset is 7 years old.
It affects 3-5% of school-age children
60% of children who experience ADHD in
childhood continue to have symptoms as adults
ADHD has 3 subtypes
Most symptoms (six or more) are in the hyperactivityimpulsivity categories.
Fewer than six symptoms of inattention are
present, although inattention may still be present to
The majority of symptoms (six or more) are in the
attention category and fewer than six symptoms of
hyperactivity-impulsivity are present, although
hyperactivity-impulsivity may still be present to some
Children with this subtype are less likely to act out or
have difficulties getting along with other children.
ADHD has 3 subtypes
Six or more symptoms of inattention and six
or more symptoms of hyperactivityimpulsivity are present.
Most children have the combined type of
Symptoms of Inattention
Frequently switch from one activity to another
Difficulty focusing on one thing
Becomes bored easily
Difficult to focus attention on organizing & completing a
task or learning something new
Trouble completing or turning in homework assignments
Often loses things needed to complete tasks or activities
Doesn’t seem to listen when spoken to
Becomes easily confused, and moves slowly
Difficulty processing information as quickly & accurately
Struggles to follow instructions
Symptoms of hyperactivity
and squirms in their seats
Dashes around, touching or playing with
anything & everything in sight
Trouble sitting still during dinner, school, and
Constantly in motion
Difficulty doing quiet tasks or activities
Symptoms of Impulsivity
Blurts out inappropriate comments
Shows emotions without restraint
Acts without regard for consequences
Difficulty waiting for things they want or waiting
their turns in games
Often interrupts conversations or others activities
May often come off as aggressive or unruly.
Myths about ADHD children
kids with ADD/ADHD are hyperactive.
Kids with ADD/ADHD can never pay attention.
Kids with ADD/ADHD could behave better if they
Kids will eventually grow out of ADD/ADHD.
Medication is the best treatment option for
Scientists are not sure what causes ADHD.
Learning about specific genes could help researchers
lead to better treatment.
Studies suggest a potential link between cigarette
smoking and alcohol use during pregnancy and ADHD
Children who have suffered a brain injury may show
some behaviors similar to those of ADHD. However, only
a small percentage of children with ADHD have
suffered a traumatic brain injury.
The idea that refined sugar causes ADHD or makes
symptoms worse is popular, but more research
discounts this theory than supports it.
Recent British research indicates a possible link
between consumption of certain food additives
like artificial colors or preservatives, and an
increase in activity.
Who is at Risk?
ADHD affects about 4.1% of American adults age
18 years and older in a given year.
The disorder affects 9.0% of American children
ages 13 to 18 years.
Boys are four times at risk than girls.
This is because the guidelines used in assessment and
diagnosis have traditionally focused on males.
Undiagnosed women tend to recognize their
ADHD after a child has been diagnosed & the
woman begins to see similar behavior in herself.
Most common medication is called a
Various types of psychotherapy
Education or training
Or a combination of treatments
Treatments can relieve many of the disorder’s
symptoms, but there is no cure.
Researchers are developing more effective
treatments & interventions, & using new tools
such as brain imaging, to better understand
ADHD and to find more effective ways to
treat and prevent it.
are no one-size-fits-all approach
Sometimes several different medications or
dosages must be tried before finding one that
works for a particular child.
medications come in short-acting, longacting, or extended release varieties.
In each, the active ingredient is the same, but it is
released differently in the body.
are many medications that can be used
Medications do NOT cure ADHD.
Child in the
They demand attention by talking out of turn or moving around the
They have trouble following instructions, especially when they’re
presented in a list.
They often forget to write down homework assignments, do them, or
bring completed work to school.
They often lack fine motor control, which makes note-taking difficult &
handwriting a trial to read.
They often have trouble with operations that require ordered steps, such
as long division or solving equations.
They usually have problems with long-term projects where there is not
They don’t pull their weight during group work & may even keep a group
from accomplishing its tasks.
Tend to have low grades.
Seat the child where distractions are minimized.
Structure the student’s environment to accommodate his/her needs.
Seat the child away from potentially distracting areas (such as
doors, windows, and computers
Child should sit at the front of the class, where it is easier to pay attention
Use a signal to help the child stay on task.
Find ways to praise the child.
Center constructive criticism between compliments.
Find opportunities to allow hyperactive children to use their energy.
Have the child look directly at your eyes when speaking to them.
When giving directions, keep them short and simple.
Create a system to make it easy for parents & students to get homework
Find a student that can work as a “homework buddy.”
Reduce homework assignments.
Have more difficult concepts earlier in the day.
Give directions to one assignment at a time instead of directions to multiple tasks all
Vary the pace and type of activity to maximize the student’s attention
Teacher may need to repeat instructions, if needed.