Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) can learn -- often as well as many of their classmates -- but when they struggle to manage their symptoms, they flounder in classroom. One of my students, Joseph, was an active, creative 10-year-old, but before he received the appropriate ADD/ADHD treatments and ADD/ADHD school and classroom accommodations, he frequently called out in class and changed gears arbitrarily. He would gather his scattered materials and chat with his classmates when he should have been working on an assignment. It was hard for him to settle down and focus on homework or classwork. He lagged behind his peers in everything that required executive function skills.
How can parents and teachers help kids like Joseph? Although medication is widely used as a first-line treatment for ADD/ADHD, a Consumer Reports survey of 934 parents, conducted last year, indicates that the second most effective approach is having a child move to a school better suited to children with ADD/ADHD. Many kids benefited from a fresh start and another chance to succeed academically.
This article appeared in the Summer 2011 issue of ADDitude. SUBSCRIBE TODAY to ensure you don't miss a single issue.