ADHD and Learning: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder’s Impact on Learning
Many children with a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder exhibit significant concerns with regard to their academic
achievement. Research has demonstrated that a lot of children with the diagnosis also have a co-existing diagnosis of a learning disability. However, even children without a separate learning disability diagnosis are also at risk for struggling with their academic achievement.
The hallmark feature of ADHD is inattention. If a child has significant inattention and distractibility, he or she is unable to listen to the teacher and follow directions. These children often present with impulsivity or hyperactivity, which can result in concerns with behavioral functioning in the classroom environment.
Another area of concern for children with ADHD is poor executive functioning which could have an impact on a child’s academic performance. Executive functioning is the child’s ability to organize work, transition between tasks, develop effective problem solving strategies, and monitor one’s work. These children have difficulty taking notes and writing down daily homework. They often forget to bring home work and materials. They sometimes forget to turn in completed work. In addition, these children have difficulties with long term projects. They will often have difficulty initiating action on the task and wait until the last minute to start the work.
In summary, children with ADHD often present with the following concerns with their academic performance:
- A co-existing learning disability
- Difficulties paying attention to the teacher
- Impulsivity and hyperactivity which results in careless mistakes and getting in trouble
- Difficulties with executive functioning
Intervention strategies that focus on executive functioning skills can help with the learning side of ADHD. For help, schedule a consultation with one of our neuropsychologists or academic specialists.
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