Medical/Disability Information | Attention Decit / Hyperactivity Disorder
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Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD)
Medical/Disability Information for Classroom Teachers
Attention decit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) is a neurobiological condition thatcan cause inattention, hyperactivity and/or impulsivity, and other learning difculties.Research suggests that AD/HD is most likely caused by abnormalities in certainneurotransmitters or messengers in the brain, making the brain inefcient or sluggish inthe areas that control impulses, screen sensory input and focus attention.There are three types of AD/HD: predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type, predominantlyinattentive type, and combined type. Signs of hyperactivity may include restlessness,squirming and dgeting, and excessive talking. Signs of impulsivity may include actingwithout planning or thinking rst, difculty following rules and steps, interrupting others,and difculty managing frustration, emotions and transitions. Signs of inattentionmay include losing or forgetting things, frequently “tuning out,” difculty followinginstructions, missing important details, difculty staying on-task and completingassignments, poor organizational skills, difculty with short-term memory and recall,distractibility and problems with focusing and maintaining attention. Students withpredominantly inattentive type AD/HD may not be diagnosed until upper elementaryand junior high school when the demands for organization and independence increase.Combined type AD/HD is diagnosed when six or more signs of hyper-impulsive type andinattentive type are present.No one direct cause of AD/HD has been identied. Attention decit/hyperactivity disorder tends to run in families, and does occur in both boys and girls but boys are much morelikely to be diagnosed.
Your awarenessneeds to begin withconversations withthe student’s parents.
Implications for Planning and Awareness
Meet with the student and parents early in the school year to discuss how theschool can support this student’s needs related to AD/HD. Tis could includending out about:– the student’s strengths, interests and areas o need– the student’s specic symptoms– successul strategies used at home or in the community that could be usedat school.I the student is taking medications during the school day, discuss with theparents possible side eects. Follow school and/or jurisdictional policies andprotocols in storing and administering medication.Be aware that some students may be uncomortable discussing or taking medications in ront o peers. Collaborate with the student and amily todetermine how best to support the student.