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Some only display inattention, some display hyperactivity, some display both.Time management, inattention, and behavioral inhibition are all symptoms, but aren’t limited to just those.ADHD is not a fad, has shown evidence of being around since the 18th century, just learning more about it.Its not that they don’t know how, it’s the face that their behavioral impulses make it extremely difficult for them to know socially acceptable behavior in a certain situation.There is no sufficient evidence that states Ritalin or other medications are gateway drugs.These students need a highly structured learning environment, especially in the early learning stages.
Some questions to help you follow along!• What is the current definition of Attention Deficit HyperactivityDisorder (ADHD)?• What methods of assessment do professionals use to identifyindividuals with ADHD?• What causes ADHD?• What are some of the psychological and behavioral characteristicsof learners with ADHD?• What are some medication considerations for learners with ADHD?• How do professionals assess the academic, attention, andbehavioral progress of students with ADHD?• More found on page 169!
Myths and Misconceptions About ADHD• All children with ADHD are hyperactive.• The primary symptom of ADHD is inattention.• ADHD is a fad.• The social problems of ADHD are due to their not knowing how tointeract socially.• Using medications, such as Ritalin, can easily be a gateway drug tomarijuana and other drugs.• Students with ADHD should have unstructured learningenvironments in order to cater to their learning styles.• Page 170!
The Current Definition of ADHD• The definition is taken from theAmerican Psychiatric Association’sDiagnostic and Statistical Manualof Mental Disorders.• The DSM states that there arethree subtypes of ADHD:• 1. ADHD, Predominantly InattentiveType• 2. ADHD, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type• 3. ADHD, Combined Type• Some examples of criteria used todetermine the three subtypes are:• For attention; trouble payingattention to details, difficultysustaining attention, problems withorganization, and distractible.• For hyperactivity; fidgeting, leavingtheir seat at inappropriate times,talking excessively.• For impulsivity; problems awaitingone’s turn, interrupting others.
Identification• Most professionals agree that there are four components todiagnosis of ADHD.• Medical Examination- needed to rule out the possibility of a tumor,thyroid problem, or seizure disorders.• Clinical Interview-interview of the parents and child to see theircharacteristics in the home setting.• Teacher and Parent Rating Scales- Conners-3; ADHD Rating Scale-IV.• Behavioral observations- can be done in the classroom.
Causes• Cause not known exactly, but it is known that evidence links ADHD toneurological abnormalities.• The areas of the brain affected the most include the prefrontal lobes,frontal lobes, basal ganglia, cerebellum, and corpus callosum.• Prefrontal and frontal lobes: located in the front of the brain and areresponsible for regulating one’s own behavior.• Basal Ganglia: responsible for the coordination and control of motorbehavior.• Cerebellum: is only about 10% of the brain, but holds more than half of thebrain’s neurons. Is also responsible for motor behavior.• Corpus Callosum: connects the left and right hemisphere of the brain,responsible for the communication between the hemispheres.• The two neurotransmitters involved are dopamine and norepinephrine.
Psychological and Behavioral Characteristics• Behavioral inhibition: involves the ability to delay a response,interrupt an ongoing response, and protect a response fromdistracting or completing stimuli.• Problems with behavioral inhibition can be seen in the inability towait one’s turn, to refrain from interrupting conversations, or toresist potential distractions while working.• Executive functions help a person to self-regulate their behavior.Individuals with ADHD have deficits in executive functions, such asinner speech and controlling their emotions. These individuals tendto get over stimulated and overreact, like one might scream athearing a piece of good news.
Psychological and Behavioral Characteristics(cont.)• Time awareness and management is also a hard concept forindividuals with ADHD.• Persistent goal-directed behavior is also a characteristic of ADHD, asindividuals with ADHD have poor inhibition and self-regulation.• Social behavior problems: students with ADHD are quicklyostracized and are often less liked by their peers, as their peersthink that they are too much too handle, which is a result in thedeficit of self-regulation.• ADHD coexists with learning disabilities, as well as emotional and/orbehavioral disorders.• Individuals with ADHD are more likely to experience earlier withdrugs and/or alcohol, but this has no link to the medications theyare on, as some think. This is just a part of the disorder.
Classroom Instruction• Individuals with ADHD often benefit from structured classroomswith bright visual aids, proximity to the teacher, and clear,uncomplicated routine.• Long tasks can be overwhelming for students with ADHD.• Provide a ‘road map’ for the students, telling them what is to beexpected of the day.• Demonstrate for the student, especially when working on aworksheet, as individuals with ADHD have a hard time connectingthe lesson with the review.• Provide frequent shifts in activity to keep the student’s interest.• Ensure that the student will be able to do the work,encouragement.• Summarize the end of the lesson.
Medication Considerations• Psychostimulants, such as Ritalin and Adderall are often prescribed,as they stimulate and activate neurological functioning, andincreases the flow of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain.• Nonstimulants have also shown a promising effect on individualswith ADHD, such as Strattera.
References• Hallahan, D. P., Kauffman, J. M., & Pullen, P. C. (2009). Exceptionallearners: an introduction to special education. (12th ed., pp. 168-199).Boston, MA: Pearson
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