Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)/ Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)/ Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)

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Symptoms within the classroom

There are many warnings signs to Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)/ Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), some may make careless mistakes, not paying attention to detail, not able to follow directions, often loses things, not being able to complete the task at hand, and often they are not able to sit still. (Jaska, 1998). These symptoms occur on a daily bases. ADD is a broader topic; ADHD is a subtype with in this category. Children can be diagnosed with ADD with or with out hyperactivity. ADD/ADHD is genetically linked disorder. Some parents may want to blame it on their child, but in fact it runs within families. If a parent or a teacher sees some of these patterns forming, they should seek professional help. These professionals can identify the problem; they can see psychologist, psychiatrist, pediatrician, and neurologist or any other specialist in this area. Many of these professionals use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III-R), which is a clinical manual that describes systems of all the different disorders that are known to the association (Hocutt, et al, 1993).

Many parents want to blame the educational system or the teacher for this disorder occurring to their child. There has been a notice of the increase in both private and public school that children are being diagnosed with ADD/ADHD disorder. Sometimes looked at as an easy escape goat, but this is not always true. As a teacher, one must be able to recognize and know how to provide accommodation for these students in the classroom (Polloway, et al, 1998). Teachers can use “four fundamental intervention areas: environmental management which includes; psychosocial: teacher, family, peers and students, physical: assertive technology, seating and arrangement of classroom, instructional: transitions, grouping lesson planning, procedural: classroom rules.

Instructional accommodations one must look at; curriculum, materials, involvement and the final products, student- regulated strategies you must increase attention/focus, modify impulsive responding, and provide help for peer relations. And lastly is there medical management treatment” (1998), this is a model for intervention. This can be overwhelming for one teacher. A classroom filled with children with all needing something different can in the long run be harmful for the students. That is why many teachers need teaching assistance to help them. This would provide more attention to each child.

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With more teachers in the classroom, they will be able observe the difficulties that ADD/ADHD student may be going though and can alter the lessons so that it helps them learn. However, these children have to have the proper educational opportunity. A wrong diagnoses can be detrimental to the child’s education.

Parents should be aware that their children have rights within the school. In 1973, Congress passed Americans with Disabilities Act, which all schools must follow (Booth, 1998). Under this disabilities act students with ADD are included, and receive services that will help them though school. This act was important because it would keep the fact that they ADD private, which would be good if they were ashamed to admit that they have it. The information would only be identified between the school and the parent. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, provided with an IEP (Individual Education Plan), which made accommodation for the learning resources and even the different leering environment if they desired (1998).

There is a normal distribution of children with ADD/ADHD in the United States. 3% to 5% of the present school aged children have ADD/ADHD, which happens to be 1.35 million to 2.25 million children. “Most ADHD children are of average or greater intelligence” (Leroux, Levitt-Perlman, 2000). Many people think if a child has ADD/ADHD they have a learning disability, which is not always true. ADD/ADHD and learning disability are two different disorders that are often intertwined with each other. Many of these students whom have ADD/ADHD often have high IQs. In The Gifted Children with Attention Deficit Disorder: An Identification and Intervention Challenge by Janice Leroux and Marla Levitt-Perlman believe that Attention Deficit Disorder/ Attention Deficit hyperactivity Disorder are much alike. Their symptoms can be the same. ADHD is a neurobiological condition, which exhibits developmentally inappropriate levels of inattention. Also, there are boarder line students, which are smart and might have the ability to higher intelligence, but they have difficultly getting there because of their hyperactivity. In another study, The IQs of Children with ADHD are Normally Distributed. Used over two hundred children contribute to this study. 131 of them met the criteria for ADHD and 137 met the reading disability (RD). Students with ADHD; 13% of them scored below average, 60% of the students scored average and 27% above. Then students with RD; 26% scored below, 61% of the students scored average and 13% above. ADHD and RD 36% below average, 56% scored average and 18% above. “Children with ADHD did display a positively skewed distribution of IQ scores” (Kaplan, et al, 2000). On average the students preformed nicely across the board. These two-journal look at some of the same material. The journal both found that many of the children with ADD/ ADHD have normal to high IQs. With the aid of tables it illustrates to the reader how all the students preformed on their tests.

Percent of children, by Group, Scoring in the Average, Above-Average,

And Below –Average Ranges for FSIQ (Kaplan, et al, 2000)









Note ADHD = attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder: RD = reading disability: ADHD = attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and a reading disability.

There are teachers that believe that these students are just not applying themselves. That may be true in some cases, but not all. One of the symptoms of this disorder is having difficultly with pay attention and following though on tasks. There are children whom are so smart that they don’t know there own ability and have inability to apply them selves. Gifted students and children with ADD/ADHD have some of the similar characteristic.

Many gifted, LD and ADD/ADHD students often have some social problem or difficulties with other students. These children often find themselves with unequal balance between their social skills and their intellectual abilities (Leroux, Levitt-Perlman, 2000). Very often these students have a hyperactivity disorder, which they can never sit or have difficulty, other children view to be different. Many of schooled aged children see something different from them or what is thought to be the norm; the other child is viewed as weird and is isolated from the children. As this manifest to get larger and as time goes on these children’s social problems gets worse. This can cause their social skills never to improve.

Ways to help and treat ADD/ADHD

There are a few ways that you can begin to treat ADD/ADHD. One way that can help the child is to be put on medication. There are 4 main medication that are out on the market to help with ADD/ADHD; Ritalin, Dexedrine, Adderal, and Pemoline (Cylet). These are the most popular prescribed drugs for school-aged children. All four of these drugs are used to help decrease restlessness and increase attention (Bailey, 1999).
Dexedrine, these stimulants help the children control their hyperactivity, their inability to pay attention, and other behaviors that they might have. “80% of children with ADHD respond favorably to stimulant medication treatment”(Jaska, 1998).

There are ways to help the student weather they are on medication they should still see a psychiatrist to help them with their behavioral problems. By seeing a psychiatrist, they can help them though talking and giving advice (Jaska, 1998). This professional is there to help them though their bad and good days. With there help these children can improve their self-esteem, which will have an effect on there social out look and skills. Even though this might be tough on the family, they have an influence too.
Parents can begin to help their child by learning about ADD/ADHD. Many children that have ADD/ADHD have some level of a behavioral problem. Many of the tribulations stem from social problems. This problem may become more of a dilemma if they go with out any treatment. Many psychologist want these children to have psyological evaluations and to seek see a professional on a regular bases. The behaviors could work against the child. When you have to discipline the child, one has to be forceful. Being forceful is to get the child attention and to explain to them that they misbehaved.

Educators often use the reward system for pleasant behavior. Many find this a way of encouraging the proper behavior in the classroom. Some teacher are making sure that they use more hand-on teaching, do to the fact that this is the only way that some of these children can learn (Bender, 1997). Also, found helpful with teaching children with ADD/ADHD, is a daily checklist for them of behaviors weather it was good or bad and making behavior contract with the students (1997). When having the lack of attention from certain students, on must have a structured lesson. That lesson not just help the whole class, but will assist with keeping the attention of the students whom have ADD. Even the physical environment can be distracting to students with ADD/ADHD. Having the door close would keep some of the physical and acoustic sound out (1997). This will cut down on the outside the classroom disturbance that might occur. The noise can be a disturbance to the whole the class, so a closed door could be beneficial to the entire class. When teaching one must keep hope in the children, they too get frustrated as well. When there is permants, it gives the children a sense of comfort. Teacher and parents often find that “daily communication between school and home in order for them to have a positive educational experience for their child” (Booth, 1998).

When a child is going though a tuff time with ADD/ADHD the family feels it too. Some families are supportive and others are not. The family environment can be crucial to the way that these children deal with their own personal disorder. As the rough time do come along the have has to be present to help them. No one said it would be easy. The parents are to have the final say, they are the decision maker of the house, but parents have to under that their child might have special needs that their children might not need (Booth, 1998). Over time the parents will see a pattern or routine that happens in certain situations and will know how to handle it properly. Time management and early enforcement are found to help control ADD/ADHD (1998).


The purpose of this research was to looks at the significant issues immediate to ADD/ADHD. With a high amount affect school aged children, if one is to teach or encounter these students one should have a better understanding of their disorder. This paper explored some of causes and effects. When working in a school one must be aware of some of the warning signs that these children poses, remember that the symptoms happen on a daily bases. Even though ADD is a broader topic, and ADHD is a sub-type, which can and will have an effect on the attention that a child has. It is important that if signs are reoccurring, the child should be checked out to see if they have ADD/ADHD. As a parent it is essential to understand that it is not the child’s fault. As one begins to understand ADD/ADHD a professional can help them over come their problems or barriers within themselves. In conclusion, medication and professional help will decrease the amount of problems and the inattention that these students encounter.


Bender, W.N. (1997). Understanding ADHD: A practical guide for teachers and parents. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. This book provides a guide for teachers and parents to use for helping their child or students with ADD/ADHD.

Dowdy, C., Patton, J., Smith, T. & Polloway, E. (1998). Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder in the classroom: A practical guide for teachers. Texas: PRO-ED. The book helps teacher look for the warning signs and ways to help their students whom have ADD/ADHD.

Hocutt, A., Mc Kinney, J. & Montague, M. (1993). Issues in education of students with Attention Deficit Disorder: Introduction to the special issue. Journal of Exceptional Children. Pp 103-106. Retrieved September 29, 2001 from Academic Search/ EBSCO database. The Journal of Exceptional children explore the issue of student with ADD/ADHD and the special issues that may rise up.

Jaksa, P. (1998). What is ADD/ADHD. Retrieved September 30, 2000, from offers information on what exactly is ADD/ADHD in medical and also, in regular terms.

Kaplan, J. Bonnie, Crawford, G. Susan, Dewey, M. Deborah & et al. (2000). The IQs of Children with ADHD are Normally Distributed. Journal of Learning Disabilities. Pp 425-432. Retrieved September 29, 2001 from Academic Search/ EBSCO database. This Journal discusses the research found, that children with ADHD are dispersed among all IQ ranges.

Leroux, J. & Letvitt-Perlman, M. (2000). The gifted child with Attention Deficit Disorder: An identification and intervention challenge. Roeper Review pp.171-175.
Retrieved September 29, 2001 from Academic Search/ EBSCO database. The journal in Roeper Review looks at the identification of ADD/ADHD and the changes that occur.

Mrug, Sylvie, Hoza, Betsy & Gerdes, Alyson C. (2001). Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Peer Relationships and Peer-Oriented Interventions. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development. Pp 51-77. Retrieved November 13, 2001 from ERIC (EBSCO) database. This journal focal point was to look at the peer relationships with students with ADHD.

Pisecco, Stewart, Baker, David B., Silva Phil A & et al. Boys with Reading Disabilities and/or ADHD: Distinction in Early childhood. Journal of Learning Disabilities. Pp 98-106. Retrieved November 13, 2001 from ERIC (EBSCO) database. Studied the difference between 11 years old boys with RD and ADHD with variation of how boys of 3 to 5 years old scored.

Rosemond, John. (2001,November 10). Ritalin isn't one of the three R's. The San Diego Union-Tribune, Pg E-11. Rosemond looks at view of Attention Deficit in the classroom and how it could be over diagnosed.

Some basic facts about ADD medication. (2000). Retrieved September 30, 2001, from gives great information on the facts that of medication for ADD/ADHD, which every parent should know.

Soukhanov, Anne H. (1992). The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Lanuage. (third edition). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Werb, Jessica. (2001, August 24). Attention Deficit Disorder. The Times Educational Supplement, Pg 8. Werd discusses some static’s that are found with children with ADD/ADHD, in their diagnoses and medication received.

What causes ADD? (2000). Retrieved September 30, 2001, from gives great information on what are some of the cause of ADD.
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