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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Kathryn Oswood. What is ADHD?.

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what is adhd
What is ADHD?
  • ADHD is a condition characterized by severe problems of inattention, hyperactivity, and/or impulsivity; often found in people with learning disabilities (Hallahan,, 2009). It is one of the most common mental disorders that develop in children. Symptoms may continue into adolescence and adulthood. If left untreated, ADHD can lead to poor school/work performance, poor social relationships and a general feeling of low self esteem (Low, 2009).
  • There are three types of ADHD
    • Primarily Inattentive
    • Primarily Hyperactive
    • Combined (Hallahan,, 2009).
  • About 3-5%of preschool and school age children have ADHD or about two million children in the U.S. (Hallahan, 2009; Low, 2009).
  • 30-70%of children with ADHD will continue to have symptoms into adolescence and adulthood (Low, 2009).
  • 3 times more boys are diagnosed with ADHD than girls (Hallahan, 2009).
behavioral characteristics
Behavioral Characteristics
  • Impaired Behavioral Inhibition
    • The inability to…
      • Wait one’s turn
      • Recognize inappropriate responses
      • Resist distractions
      • Refrain from responding immediately
  • Impaired Executive Functions
    • Difficulty or inability to…
      • Regulate behavior through inner speech
      • Control emotions
      • Control arousal levels
      • Analyze problems
      • Communicate solutions to a problem to others (Hallahan, 2009).
coexisting conditions
Coexisting Conditions
  • Learning Disabilities
    • 10-25% overlap between students with ADHD and learning disabilities.
  • Aggressive, acting-out behaviors


  • Withdrawn, anxious, depressed
    • Anxiety is seen in 15-35% of children with ADHD (Hallahan, 2009).
  • Emotional or Behavioral Disorders
    • 25-50% of people with ADHD also have a form
    • of emotional or behavioral disorder.
educational considerations classroom structure
Educational Considerations:Classroom Structure
  • Clear
  • Predictable
  • Uncomplicated
    • Create a simple overarching daily routine that the student can learn by heart.
    • Number of tasks should be small and tight.
      • These should be displayed publically or taped to the student’s desk (Hallahan, 2009).
educational considerations management
Educational Considerations:Management
  • Contingency-based Self-management
    • The student is responsible for recording their own behavior and receive consequences and reinforcements contingent on the behaviors.
      • Example: the student tallies how many times they get out of their seat.
  • Group Contingency
    • The behavior of one student is tied to the whole class group-contingency plan.
      • Students must work together to meet a goal (Hallahan, 2009).
educational considerations iep requirements
Educational Considerations:IEP Requirements
  • A student with ADHD can be considered for special education under the category Other Health Impaired (OHI).
    • “In instances where the ADD is a chronic or acute health problem that results in limited alertness, which adversely affects educational performance” (Hallahan, 2009).
    • Otherwise, it is the coexisting conditions such as academic or behavioral disorders that will qualify a student with ADHD for and IEP.
  • Students with ADHD can also qualify for accommodations under Section 504.
educational considerations strategies
Educational Considerations:Strategies
  • Move closer to the ADHD child when you want his/her attention.
  • Ask the ADHD child to do small errands/chores to redirect negative energy.
  • Focus on Positive Channeling
    • Encourage rather than criticize.
    • Tell them what you want them to do (not just what not to do).
    • Refrain from accusations.
    • Catch the child exhibiting positive behavior.
    • Shape behavior through praise.
  • Adjust Your Expectations
  • Give One-Step Directions
  • Ask About the Parents' Method of Discipline
  • Help the ADHD Child "Switch Gears" Slowly
  • React Calmly (Low, 2009).
educational considerations interventions
Educational Considerations: Interventions
  • Preferential seating.
  • Reduce assignments and homework.
  • Give assignments one at a time and/or chunk assignments.
  • Allow extra time to complete tasks.
  • Allow the student to take a test or work on assignments in a quiet area free from distractions.
  • Provide class notes.
  • Assign a study buddy.
  • Tape record directions or lectures.
  • Allow frequent breaks.
  • Have a system of communication between parents and teachers (Low, 2009).
educational considerations assessment
Educational Considerations:Assessment
  • Curriculum-based measurement (CBM)
    • Takes little time and focuses on one particular task.
      • Monitor academics, attention and behavior.
  • Conners' Rating Scales-Revised (CRS-R)
    • Measures opposition, inattention, anxiety, and social problems.
      • Monitors treatment effects over time.
  • Momentary Time Sampling
    • An interval recording procedure to collect data on a specific behavior.
      • Monitors a specific behavior in brief intervals (e.g. 15 minutes can be broken into 15 intervals of 1 minute each), (Hallahan, 2009).
  • Low, K. (2009). Learn more about Attention Deficit Disorder. Health's Disease and Condition. Retrieved from
  • Hallahan, D. P., Kauffman, J. M., Pullen, P. C. (2009). Exceptional learners: An introduction to special education (222-259).Boston, MA: Pearson.
  • Slide 3. ADHD prevalence in U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from
  • Slide 4. Focus. Welcome to ADHD 2.0. Retrieved from
  • Slide 5. ADHD pie chart. The Harvard Mahoney Neuroscience Institute. Retrieved from
  • Slide 9. Dennis the Menace. Impulsivity. Retrieved from