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Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD)
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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:

bullet concentrating
bullet listening
bullet starting, organizing and completing tasks
bullet following directions
bullet making transitions
bullet interacting with others
bullet producing work at a consistent level
bullet organizing problems in multiple steps

Accommodations may be similar to those for students with learning disabilities.


A student with AD/HD may:

bullet perform better in morning classes
bullet need to sit at the front of the class
bullet need assignment organizers
bullet need assignments in writing
bullet experience difficulty following through with several directions at once
bullet have problems organizing multistep tasks
bullet benefit from structure using lists, schedules

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