Doing Life Together

2 anxious childWe are back in school! And the U.S. Department of Education has informed schools as to how they should both identify and assist students with ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder).Frankly there seems to be a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to this disorder.

So let’s take the ADHD quiz and see how well you understand the facts behind this disorder: TRUE or FALSE

  1. ADHD children are diagnosed from all races and ethnicities equally?
  2. Students who perform with high grades are not ADHD?
  3. More boys are diagnosed with ADHD?
  4. ADHD is a disorder that children will eventually outgrow?
  5. Accommodations are the only needed help in school?
  6. The strategies to help a student with ADHD are the same for all ADHD students?

Let’s see how you did:

#1 is FALSE. The reality is that black children are under diagnosed. The tendency is for black students who act out to be be disciplined rather than assessed. There seems to be a racial bias in assessing black children for the disorder. There also may be less trust among black parents for assessing and diagnosing behavioral issues in the schools.

#2 FALSE Just because a child performs well on grades, doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t have ADHD. Kids from supportive homes often get help in organizing their school work and getting it done. As the academic pressures get stronger, the cracks begin to show. With structure and accountability, they might make it though academics, but still need help with social skills and other learning.

#3 TRUE but girls are under diagnosed, and often diagnosed later in their school years. And girls with inattentive type of ADHD are overlooked because they are not creating classroom disruptions.

#4 FALSE They don’t outgrow but learn to accommodate the disorder. For example, hyperactivity may give rise to fidgeting, doodling and other behaviors less disruptive as children grow.

#5 FALSE Sometimes accommodations discourage a child from persisting in a challenging activity. There are times when you want to teach a difficult skill like taking notes. Allowing children to work at something with goal-directed behavior benefits their life skills. So give them opportunities to struggle.

#6 FALSE- Like most things, what works for one child, may not work for another. Consider the individual child and intervene accordingly. This is not a one-size fits all disorder.

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