More than 4. 5 million school-aged children in the United States have been diagnosed with ADD (attention deficit disorder) or ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). It is estimated that even more adults may be affected by attention deficiencies. As many as 8 million adults are estimated to be challenged by some form of ADD. In addition, research indicates that up to 60% of children with ADHD still experience symptoms well into adulthood. It is also believed that ADHD is a genetic disorder. Approximately 35% of parents of children with ADHD also have the disorder themselves.
Very often, the management of these attention disorders involves only prescribed medications, which are invasive and can cause serious side effects, especially in children. Before immediately resorting to these prescribed drugs, it could very well be in the best interests of every individual affected with attention issues to consider other alternatives, especially those that would be non-invasive.
For Children-First of all, developing a good working relationship with a child's teacher for ongoing, constructive communication is essential. Respectfully requesting helpful modifications for the child in the classroom can result in significant improvement for that child. The use of individual learning or reading tools can also help that child to enjoy more success in school on a daily basis.
For Adults-Requesting or creating modifications for one's working environment is key to an adult's success when challenged with ADD. There are numerous tips that when followed, can improve an individual's productivity in the workplace in spite of the struggles often associated with ADD.
Here are just a few strategies to consider in order to promote greater success for either a child or adult affected by ADD or ADHD:
Strategies For Persons Challenged With ADD/ADHD
Politely request or allow for:
1. Being seated in close proximity to a teacher or other presenter.
2. Having a second set of books for working at home.
3. Using graph paper while doing any math or bookkeeping work. This can help promote placeholder accuracy.
4. Having a course or any book content available via audiotape or CD.
5. Using a portable, hand-held spell checker or computer for work with unknown words.
6. Using interactive, computer reading programs that require only a limited number of tasks at a time.
7. Underlining or highlighting important key words in a set of directions BEFORE beginning an assignment or task.
8. Folding a worksheet or list of instructions into sections so that only a small amount of text or information is visible at one time.
9. Having the opportunity to move to optional work areas with less distraction.
10. Experiencing a variety of sensory learning techniques such as those from the use of a computer, tape recorder, overhead projector, and manipulatives.
11. Using word processors or computers to complete written work.
12. Kneeling or standing by one's desk (if needed), as long as it does not cause problems or distractions for others.
13. Having access to a copy of a peer or co-worker's notes, especially after a lecture or other oral presentation.
14. Using very low-volume music (instrumental) or environmental sounds (seashore or other nature sounds) while doing independent work -At the same time, this can benefit others as well; however, the individual or others may prefer that headphones be used.
15. Working cooperatively at times with others as part of a “buddy" system of support.
16. Using special reading and learning tools, especially tools that can be customized for the individual reader or learner.