ADHD at School: Remembering to Turn in Assignments

Students with ADHD don't always complete and turn in assignments on time. Learn how to help children with attention deficit disorder hand in their school work by setting up organization systems at school and home.

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Picking topics of study that interest ADHD students is the key to their success.

The problem: The ADHD student consistently neglects to hand in homework or long-term projects, even though she claims to have completed the work.

The reason: Children with attention deficit disorder (ADHD) have difficulty keeping track of bits of information and paperwork. This problem is likely related to underactive frontal lobes — the area of the brain that controls memory and processing. It's because of this difference in brain activity that attention deficit children have a hard time focusing on more than one thing at a time.

The obstacles: Children with ADHD often want to complete their work and turn it in on time, but often lack the organizational skills or the memory capacity of other youngsters their age. ADHD students may forget something that just happened as their focus shifts from one task to another or from one class to another. When completing an assignment for example, students have to work their way through many tasks including listening to and recording what needs to be done, doing the assignment, and turning it in. It's very easy for ADHD children to get interrupted along the way and forget where they are in the process.

Parents and teachers will often find this ADHD behavior puzzling because we assume that, if someone can do something one day, they should have the skill to do it the next day. But mental disorganization causes these children to be inconsistent, leading adults to believe the lapse is intentional. When teachers respond by giving zeroes or bad grades, it only discourages the child and doesn't solve the problem.

Next: Solutions in the Classroom...

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