Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD)
Concentration and attentional difficulties with or without hyperactivity is called Attention
Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) and is a neurologically-based medical condition.
It is a developmental disability characterized by inattention (difficulty sustaining attention
to tasks), impulsivity (difficulty in refraining from saying or doing whatever comes to
mind), and/or hyperactivity (excessive talking, fidgeting, or movement).
In an academic setting, students with AD/HD may have difficulty grasping the main idea
of a lecture or reading assignment. They may experience slow reading and/or writing, and
they may be hampered by their inability to screen out distractions while studying or taking
exams. Those students with AD/HD for whom pharmaceuticals are prescribed may also be subject
to side effects of the medication. As with any other type of disability, there is considerable
variability among students diagnosed as having AD/HD.
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder has only recently been recognized as an adult
disability. Previously, it was believed that there is a resolution of AD/HD symptoms in
adolescence due to brain development or hormonal or other developmental change. It is now
known that many symptoms continue into adulthood for 30-70 percent of individuals with AD/HD.
Many adults were never diagnosed as children. Thus, they are not aware of, nor do they understand,
the consequences of their disability. Many of these adults may have been misdiagnosed and
treated for depression, antisocial personality or other character disorders.
Students with AD/HD may have difficulty with one or more of the following:
and completing tasks
interacting with others
producing work at a
in multiple steps
Accommodations may be similar to those for students with learning disabilities.
A student with AD/HD may:
perform better in
need to sit at the
front of the class
need assignment organizers
need assignments in
following through with several directions at once
have problems organizing
benefit from structure
using lists, schedules