Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder
Concentration and attention difficulties with or without hyperactivity is called Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) and is a neurologically-based medical condition. It is a developmental disability characterized by inattention (difficulty sustaining attention to tasks), impulsiveness (difficulty in refraining from saying or doing whatever comes to mind), and/or hyperactivity (excessive talking, fidgeting, or movement).
In an academic setting, students with AD/HD may have difficulty grasping the main idea of a lecture or reading assignment. They may experience slow reading and/or writing, and they may be hampered by their inability to screen out distractions while studying or taking exams. Those students with AD/HD for whom pharmaceuticals are prescribed may also be subject to side effects of the medication. As with any other type of disability, there is considerable variability among students diagnosed as having AD/HD.
Students with AD/HD may have difficulty with one or more of the following:
- Starting, organizing, and completing tasks.
- Following directions.
- Making transitions.
- Interacting with others.
- Producing work at a consistent level.
- Organizing problems in multiple steps.
A student with AD/HD may have accommodations similar to those for students with learning disabilities:
- Perform better in morning classes.
- Need to sit at the front of class.
- Need assignment organizers.
- Need assignments in writing.
- Need directions written down in order (a visual checklist).
- Need assistance in organizing multi-step tasks (a visual checklist).
- Benefit from structure using lists and/or schedules (a visual checklist).