Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are developmental disabilities characterized by inattention, impulsivity and sometimes hyperactivity.  Each individual has his/her own pattern of characteristics.  No two people are alike.  Other characteristics are:

  • Distractibility
  • Forgetfulness
  • Becoming easily bored
  • Test anxiety
  • Low self-esteem
  • Disorganization
  • Procrastination
  • Restlessness
  • Following Directions
  • Temper flare-ups
  • Concentrating
  • Relationship problems
  • Listening problems
    • Producing work at a consistently normal level
    • Academic underachievement
    • Having problems organizing multi-steps task

Suggested modifications / guidelines when working with a student with a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD are:

  • Provide student with detailed course syllabus.
  • Put in writing your expectations of material to be covered, due dates, grading, etc. at the outset of the course.
  • Start each lecture with an outline or overview of the material to be covered during that period, including the context of previously covered material.  At the conclusion of class, briefly summarize key points.
  • Face students when speaking; use gestures and natural expressions to convey meaning.
  • Preset new or technical vocabulary on the chalkboard or a handout.  Use new terms in context to convey meaning.
  • Give assignments both orally and in written form to ensure correct interpretation.
  • Permit students to tape record lectures and/or use note taker services.
  • Prior to exams, provide review sessions and study questions that demonstrate the format and content the text.  Explain what constitutes a good answer and why.Prior to exams, provide review sessions and study questions that demonstrate the format and content the text.  Explain what constitutes a good answer and why.
  • Permit the use of simple calculators, scratch paper, spelling dictionaries, and electronic spellers during exams.
  • Give extended time for testing in a low distraction setting.

*Also see modifications discussed in the section on Learning Disabilities.

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