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AttentionDeficit/Hyperactivity

Disorder Defined

Source: Deborah Deutsch Smith


2012 Pearson

AttentionDeficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Defined

ADHD is classified under other health


impairments under IDEA 04.
The American Psychiatric Association (APA)
defines ADHD as a persistent pattern of
frequent and severe inattention and/or
hyperactivity-impulsivity.
These behaviors occur in more than one
setting.
These behaviors significantly impair social,
academic, or occupational functioning.

AttentionDeficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Defined

Students with ADHD may not qualify for


special education services if the behaviors
associated with it do not interfere with
academic performance.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act provides
students with the right to receive
accommodations within the general education
environment for testing and to complete
assignments.
To qualify for special education services,
students must experience heightened
alertness to environmental stimuli, which
results in limited alertness to their educational
environment, which in turn adversely affects
educational performance (U.S. Department of

Comorbidity of ADHD
Comorbidity of ADHD with Learning
Disabilities:
Approximately one-third of all students with ADHD
also have a learning disability.
Students with ADHD tend to score lower on
standardized achievement tests than students
without disabilities.

Comorbidity of ADHD with Emotional or


Behavioral Disorders:
One study shows approximately 58% of students
with ADHD were also classified as EBD.
Boys have higher referral rates due to their
exhibiting more aggressive behaviors.

Characteristics
Inattention
Inability to focus on details of tasks
Difficulty following directions
Difficulty in changing tasks
Organizational problems
Carelessness, distractibility, and
forgetfulness

Hyperactivity
These behaviors are subjective,
ranging from energetic to
squirmy.

Characteristics (continued)
Impulsivity
Inability to pinpoint relevant information
in questions or problems
Blurting out answers without careful
consideration
Interrupting other conversations, leading
to a decrease in social acceptance

Academic Performance
Difficulty studying
Disorganization
Forgetfulness

Characteristics (continued)
Social Behavior
Hyperactivity and poor social
behaviors that cause these students
to have few friends (rejection that
may result in social withdrawal and
isolation)

Positive Characteristics
Intuitiveness
Emotional awareness
Creativity
Exuberance

Prevalence
General consensus is that between 3% and 7%
of all schoolchildren have ADHD.
Boys are identified at significantly higher rates.
Girls are under-identified.
Lack of awareness of how girls behavior differs from
that of boys

Rates of ADHD identification in U.S. are no


greater than those in many other countries.
Japan (7%)
Germany (18%)
Australia (2%)

Culture is an important factor when


interpreting student behavior.

Causes and Prevention


Causes
Unknown
Possibly brain injury, genetic
contributions
Risk factors (prenatal drug and
alcohol use)
Biological predisposition
Growing consensus for neurological
basis
Research focus is on executive
functioning of the brain

Causes and Prevention


Prevention
More must be learned about the
causes of ADHD before preventive
measures can
be devised

Overcoming Challenges
Many students require more than
just behavioral and instructional
interventions.
Medication can provide students
with additional help to focus on
academic instruction.
Just as some students need
glasses to see better, some
students need medication to help
them pay better attention and
control their behavior. (AAP,

Assessment and
Identification

Diagnostic interviews
Medical examinations
Behavior-rating scales
Standardized tests
Observations

Early Identification
It is difficult to differentiate
between preschoolers with ADHD
and typically-active preschoolers.
However, governmental
regulations require the behavioral
characteristics of ADHD to be
demonstrated before the age of
seven to qualify for special
education.

Pre-Referral and
Identification

Pre-Referral
Teachers should focus on preventing behavior problems.
The physical and instructional environment and structure
of classrooms should be assessed.
Classroom routines are critical.
Consistent rules, procedures, and consequences are
needed.

Identification
Multi-dimensional evaluations
Diagnostic interviews
Medical examinations
Behavior rating scales
Standardized tests
Observations

Evaluation: Testing
Accommodations
The most common testing
accommodation is extended time.
Although research shows that
extended time does not improve
performance, students have reported
feeling more positive about the
testing situation.

Testing in an alternate setting


Fewer distractions
Less comparing to peers, relief of
testing anxiety

Early Intervention
Medical intervention
Parent behavior training
Classroom intervention
Positive reinforcement
Daily rewards
Response cost

Teaching Students with


ADHD
Access to general education
curriculum
It is important to identify each
students specific challenges and
develop strategies to address these
areas of need in order for students to
benefit.

Instructional Accommodations
Desk placement in quiet, distractionfree area
Preferential seating near teacher

Teaching Students with


ADHD
Validated Practices
Functional Behavior Analysis (FBA): useful in
determining why students engage in specific
behaviors
Highly-structured learning environment
Direct instruction
Peer tutoring
Self-regulation strategies
Self-monitoring
Self-instructions
Self-reinforcement
Goal setting
Graphic organizers

Technology
Students with ADHD do not rely on
technology; however, instructional
technology, like computers and
special processing software that
help organize thoughts and assist
in problem-solving, is often helpful
to these students.

Transition Through
Adulthood
Most people with ADHD do not grow out of it,
and they may require support to continue
academically.
Important components of an effective college
program for students with ADHD include:

Individualized Academic Support Plan (similar to IEP).


Frequent communication with academic specialists.
A center that provides help in study skills.
Self advocacy.
Assistance to students with managing stress.
Career development activities.

Collaboration
With Related Service Providers
(Nurse)
Frequently involved with dispensing
medication
Serves as liaison between parent,
school, and medical office

Collaborative Practices
Information Sharing
The teacher is often the one who
spends the most time with the
student during the school day.
It is critical to collaborate and share
information with the school nurse and
other members of the IEP team
regarding the students behavior and
performance in class.

Partnerships with Families


and Communities
Information can empower parents.
Teachers can assist parents in
finding resources, support groups,
and accurate information.
Teachers can assist families with
the implementation of successful
strategies.
Home schedules, organization,
rewards

Challenge Questions
Why is it important for teachers to
be
aware of the characteristics of
ADHD?
What are some examples of how the
learning environment can be
modified to
help these students succeed?