As much as 10% of school age children have attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, commonly referred to as ADHD. These students have difficulty focusing and quite often their grades suffer.
There are three types of ADHD: inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive, and combined. A child with inattentive ADHD is unable to pay attention. Taking tests are incredibly difficult because of the inability to focus. Even a sustained period of playtime can be difficult. Inattentive kids are forgetful, are unorganized, easily distracted, and can’t follow instructions. They often lose things or forget where they put them.
A hyperactive-impulsive child talks excessively, blurts out answers, and excessively plays. They may fidget in class because they’re unable to stay seated. They have problems waiting in line or taking turns and often interrupt others. The combined type is a combination of hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive.
There are also coexisting conditions that show up in children with ADHD. As many as 35% of kids with ADHD also have oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder. This makes them more hostile and prone to trouble. Other conditions that affect 18%-25% of ADHD kids are mood and anxiety disorders. Generally the inattentive-type kids deal with depression and feelings of isolation. They tend to have low self-esteem and worry about their performance at school and in social areas.
Half of all kids with ADHD have a learning disability. The most common is dyslexia. Medications can help treat a child with the condition but they need extra help and support in school. Teachers and parents need to keep to a routine, following the same schedule each day. Environments need to be organized to avoid distractions. Limit choices given to the child to avoid them feeling overwhelmed. Creating a reward system for reaching their goals or for positive behavior has been known to keep them on track. Whether in school or home, discipline using time outs or by taking away stimulating objects to create a sense of boredom.