Why Teachers Should Understand ADHD Essays

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Why Teachers Should Understand Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder What is Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder [ADD/ADHD]? Some feel it is a neurobiological disorder while others say it is a learning disorder. Ever since 1980 when the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders officially recognized ADD/ADHD as a behavior disorder, the definition has kept evolving and changing. But ADD/ADHD has been around a lot longer than twenty-three years. Some in the medical professions believe “ADHD is a common mental disorder and has been recognized in one form or another for over a century” (Conners and Jett, 1999, p. 3). Teacher oriented literature leans toward…show more content…
The final three can be described as the behaviors that are the result of the first five symptoms. Statistics show that “80% of ADD children will not show their ADD symptoms in a doctors office” (Phelan, 1996, p. 51). Who does that leave to make the initial suggestion that a child might have ADD/ADHD? The child’s parents and the child’s teachers. The focus of this paper will be on the child’s teachers. According to the latest data from the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 1.6 million children or seven percent of six through eleven year olds nationwide are currently diagnosed ADHD (Special Education Report, 2003, p. 6). Furthermore, all statistics show that ADD/ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed disorder of this age group. That usually means that there will be at least one ADD/ADHD child for every twenty students in a general education classroom. (Phelan, 1996, p. 139) This makes it imperative that teachers are knowledgeable about not only the symptoms, but also the different methods of treatment. Given that ADD/ADHD has no clear-cut definition or diagnostic tests, this then places an enormous responsibility on teachers. They need to make sure that they are interpreting their students’ behavior correctly with only some checklists and constantly changing guidelines. This is no small task considering that “even a well – trained, experienced psychologist occasionally has trouble deciding whether a particular
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