Could Your Child’s Classroom Troubles Be the Result of ADD?
We need to talk. I received yet another note from your teacher today. She says you’re having trouble focusing in class and it’s affecting your grades.
If you find yourself having similar conversations with your child on a regular basis, Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) could be the culprit behind these daily disruptions.
Without proper diagnosis and treatment, either condition will have lasting effects on a student’s academic career.
ADD Vs. ADHD
If your child seems inattentive and lacks the ability to focus on people or tasks at hand, they are most likely battling ADD. Unlike its counterpart, ADHD, children with ADD can sit still and be attentive in the classroom. It appears they are listening and absorbing information; however, their minds tend to wander after only minutes due to external noises, such as someone walking in the hallway.
However, if your child is not only inattentive, but also highly energetic, ADHD might be at play. According to Kids Health, ADHD affects 10% of school-aged children and is more prevalent in boys.
The Effects of ADD and ADHD in School
For children living with ADD and ADHD, even the most ordinary school days can be a challenge. It is extremely frustrating for them because they truly want to succeed and please their superiors, yet something out of their control creates distractions, killing their focus and hurting their academic self-esteem.
Here are some of the signs and symptoms of ADD and ADHD in the classroom:
- Inability to focus during verbal instruction
- Unable to sit still for more than a few minutes at a time
- Continuous fidgeting with pencils, paper, tapping of the foot, etc.
- Not completing class work or homework assignments fully
- Trouble building and maintaining relationships with peers
Even though your child may have had ADD or ADHD since they were very young, school days make the symptoms more evident than ever before. You want your student to succeed in the classroom and out, so how do you ensure they have the best chance at a bright future?
Your Child’s Biggest Advocate
When it comes to your child’s success, you are their biggest cheerleader and their strongest advocate. See about scheduling a conference with their teacher, where the two of you can strategize a plan that will put you on the same page and ensure you’re working toward the same goals both at school and at home.
Every child experiences the effects of ADD and ADHD differently, so there’s no one size fits all solution. However, HelpGuide.org notes that kids with attention deficit disorder respond best to specific goals and daily positive reinforcement, as well as worthwhile rewards.
Consider these tips for helping your child succeed in the classroom:
- Ask about having your child’s desk placed in a spot with minimal distraction (i.e. front row, farthest from the classroom door where comings and goings take place, etc.)
- See if it’s possible to have your child’s bigger assignments broken into smaller pieces so they can complete them over a few days’ time.
- Use a planner so your student can visualize the tasks they have to accomplish each day and can cross them off as completed. This gives a sense of control and accomplishment.
- Create a behavioral plan/reward chart that your child can keep at their desk to remind them to do their best work.
Think Your Child Could Have ADD/ADHD?
If you believe ADD or ADHD could be the reason your child struggles in school, don’t hesitate to request an appointment with one of our experienced caregivers. We can give a proper diagnosis and discuss available options.