ADHD/ADD & Behavioral Disorders


ADHD Definition and Facts

⦁ ADHD stands for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.
⦁ There are 3 main types of ADHD: predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive/impulsive, and combined type.
⦁ Anyone can have moments of being inattentive, impulsive, or hyperactive. Adults with ADHD, however, experience these symptoms repeatedly and in a way that is severe enough to have an impact at home, at school/work, or in social situations.
⦁ Symptoms must be present for at least 6 months in two or more settings (eg, home, school/work, with friends). In addition, symptoms must also have been present before the age of 12 and not be better explained by another mental disorder.
⦁ ADHD is a treatable medical condition. The exact cause of ADHD is unknown but it may be caused in part by an imbalance in chemical messengers that affect the brain.
⦁ These are not the only criteria used to diagnose ADHD. Diagnosis should be based on a complete history and only a doctor or trained health care professional can accurately diagnose ADHD.
⦁ Only a doctor or other trained health care professional can accurately diagnose ADHD.

What Causes ADHD?
The exact cause of ADHD is still unknown. Here’s what we do know:
Is ADHD genetic?
Research suggests that ADHD tends to run in families. However, this does not mean that all children in a family will have the disorder.
Neurotransmitter function could be involved.
The brain uses various chemicals called neurotransmitters to help send messages across the nervous system. An imbalance of these chemical messengers may result in the inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive symptoms of ADHD.
Certain environmental factors may play a role, too.
Certain external factors, such as smoking during pregnancy or complications from pregnancy, delivery, or infancy, may contribute to ADHD.

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Three Teaching Strategies

1. Provide Positive Attention
Providing positive attention can be a great way to reduce behavior problems. Sometimes, kids with ADHD can be exhausting. This can lead to their parents struggling to find extra time and energy to simply play with their child. However, providing your child with positive attention can be a great investment because it can reduce a lot of attention-seeking behaviors.
2. Give Effective Instructions
Kids with ADHD sometimes need extra help following directions. Ensure that you have your child’s full attention before giving directions. Have clear and consistent classroom rules. Set up reward system. Consistently enforce consequences for behaviors.

3. Allow Students Regular Breaks for Physical Movements
It is difficult for a child with ADHD to sit at the desk for long periods. Schedule in regular breaks during the day. Plan simple errands that allow the student to take papers to the office or return books to another classroom. Plan in regular times when student can walk down the hallway for a sip of water from the water fountain or a trip to the bathroom. These simple breaks will help with focus and to burn off any extra energy.

4. A Calm and Safe Educational Environment

A self-contained classroom for students with emotional disturbances, especially conduct disorders, needs to be arranged so students have individual desks and sufficient space so that students are not in close proximity to their neighbors. Classrooms for students with disabilities could also have:
⦁ Study carrels.
⦁ Computers at separate stations, both for student work and as a reinforcment.
⦁ A location in the room with a cloth divider or fire proof divider where students can go to cool off.
⦁ Bean bag chairs for students to relax.