Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Page

Definition:

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)  is a neurological disorder characterized by a pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that disrupts functioning in both children and adults

The DSM-V defines ADHD as a persistent pattern of attention and or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning of development. Inattention symptoms include the following:

  1. often fails to give close attention to details
  2. often has difficulty sustaining attention in task or play activities
  3. often does not listen when spoken to directly
  4. Often does not follow through on instructions
  5. Often has difficulty organizing task and activities often avoids, dislikes or is reluctant to engage in task that requires sustained mental effort.

Hyperactive symptoms include:

  1. trouble paying attention
  2. restlessness
  3. excessive talking
  4. loud interaction with others
  5. frequent interventions
  6. may have a quick temper

Awareness Day: None

Awareness Month: October

Ribbon: Orange

Prevalence:

  • ADHD is a condition characterized by inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsivity
  • It is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood
  • It is usually diagnosed in childhood and last into adulthood
  • People diagnosed with ADHD may have difficulty paying attention and or controlling impulsive behavior
  • 70% of people with ADHD in childhood will continue to have it in adolescence
  • 50% will continue into adulthood
  • ADHD is not caused by watching too much, parenting or having too much sugar
  • ADHD may be caused by genetics, brain injury or low birth weights
  • Is a highly genetic, brain-based syndrome that has to do with the brain regulation in executive functioning skills
Prevalence

UNITED STATES

Children & Adolescents

The 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) interviewed parents and reports the following ADHD prevalence data among children ages 2–17 (Danielson et al. 2018):

  • 6.1 million children (9.4 percent) have ever been diagnosed with ADHD. This includes:
    • About 388,000 young children ages 2-5 (or 2.4 percent in this age group)
    • 2.4 million school-age children ages 6-11 (or 9.6 percent in this age group)
    • 3.3 million adolescents ages 12-17 (or 13.6 percent in this age group)
  • 5.4 million children (8.4 percent) have a current diagnosis of ADHD. This includes:
    • About 335,000 young children ages 2-5 (or 2.1 percent in this age group)
    • 2.2 million school-age children ages 6-11 (or 8.9 percent in this age group)
    • 2.9 million adolescents ages 12-17 (or 11.9 percent in this age group)
  • Treatment used by children ages 2-7 with a current diagnosis of ADHD:
    • Two out three were taking medication (62 percent).
    • Less than half received behavioral treatment in the past year (46.7 percent).
    • Nearly one out of three received a combination of medication and behavioral treatment in the past year (31.7 percent).
    • Nearly one out of four had not received any treatment (23 percent).
  • Severity of ADHD among children ages 2-17:
    • 14.5 percent had severe ADHD
    • 43.7 percent had moderate ADHD
    • 41.8 percent had mild ADHD
  • Co-occuring conditions (children ages 2-17):
    • Two out of three children (63.8 percent) had at least one co-occuring condition.
    • Half of all children (51.5 percent) had behavioral or conduct problems.
    • One out of three children (32.7 percent) had anxiety problems.
    • One out of six children (16.8 percent) had depression.
    • About one out of seven children (13.7 percent) had autism spectrum disorder.
    • About one out of 80 children (1.2 percent) had Tourette syndrome.
    • One in a hundred adolescents (1 percent) had a substance abuse disorder.
  • By race or ethnicity (children ages 2-17):
    • 8.4 percent White
    • 10.7 percent Black
    • 6.6 percent Other
    • 6.0 percent Hispanic/Latino
    • 9.1 percent Non-Hispanic/Latino

Adults with ADHD

  • 4.4 percent of the adult US population has ADHD, but less than 20 percent of these individuals seek help for it.
  • 41.3% of adult ADHD cases are considered severe.
  • During their lifetimes, 12.9 percent of men will be diagnosed with ADHD, compared to 4.9 percent of women.
  • About 30 to 60 percent of patients diagnosed with ADHD in childhood continue to be affected into adulthood.
  • Adults with ADHD are 5 times more likely to speed
  • Adults with ADHD are nearly 50 percent more likely to be in a serious car crash.
  • Having ADHD makes you 3 times more likely to be dead by the age of 45
  • Anxiety disorders occur in 50 percent of adults with ADHD.

Teaching Resources

The following links provide tools, resources and information for parents and special education educators on providing support to children diagnosed with ADHD.

Accommodations

Information on classroom accommodations including teaching techniques, learning style, schedule, environment, material, assistance and behavior management.

8 easy classroom accommodations for students with ADHD( Blue Mango)

10 ways to support students with hyperactivity and attention needs  (The Starr Spangled Planner)

Accommodations for ADHD students (ADDCoach4U)

Classroom accommodations for ADHD(Understood)

Every 504 plan should include these ADHD accommodations (ADDitude)

Top 20 ADHD accommodations and modifications that work (Promoting Success Blog)

Classroom Tips and Strategies

The following links are tips and strategies that are specific to teaching techniques and helpful information on behavior approaches, rewards, eliminating distractions and seating arrangements

15 strategies to help students with ADHD (Student Savvy)

30 ideas for teaching children with ADHD (Kelly Bear)

50 practical strategies for teaching ADHD without drugs (ASCD Edge)

ADHD and piano lesson teaching strategies (Teach Piano Today)

ADD/ADHD in the classroom: Tips for teachers and parents (hsana.org)

ADHD Teaching Strategies for the Classroom( Promoting Success Blog)

Classroom interventions for ADHD (pdf)

Classroom rules that keep student’s attention on learning (Additude)

Helping the student with ADHD in the classroom (LDonline)

How can teachers help students with ADHD (Education World)

Ideas and strategies for kids with ADD and learning disabilities (Child Development Institute)

Setting up the classroom (ADD in Schools)

Supporting students with ADHD (Free Spirit Publishing)

Teaching students with ADHD: Instructional strategies and practice (U.S. Department of Education)

Tips for teaching students with ADHD(ADHD Kids Rock)

Concentration

Tips and information from websites on helping students concentrate in the classroom.

5 simple concentration building techniques for kids with ADHD (Empowering Parents)

5 ways to improve your child’s focus (Understood)

17 ways to help students with ADHD concentrate (Edutopia)

Ways to improve concentration in kids with ADHD (Brain Balance)

Executive Functioning

Executive functioning helps students analyze a task, planning, organization, time management and finishing a task. The following links provide articles on understand executive functioning and its relationship to ADHD.

Classroom strategies for executive functioning (Understood)

Executive functioning explained and 20 strategies for success (Minds in Bloom)

Executive function skills (CHADD)

Executive Functioning Issues (Understood)

Handwriting for kids with ADHD (Look! We’re Learning)

Articles:

47 hacks people with ADHD use to stay on track

10 things ADHD is- and 3 it isn’t.

Setting students with ADHD and Autism up for success

Children with ADHD and Autism are more likely to develop anxiety

Decoding the overlap between Autism and ADHD

ADHD coping strategies you haven’t tried

ADHD and math teaching resources

Great websites for women and girls with ADHD

Strategies in training employees with ADHD

Study Shows Gender Disparities in ADHD Symptoms of Hyperactivity and Poor Response Inhibition

Published by: ADDitude
Written by: Lilly Constance

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) manifests differently in girls and boys, with two key gender differences: Girls with ADHD are less physically hyperactive than are boys with the condition, and they have fewer motor response inhibition problems. This is the finding of a new meta-analysis published in the Journal of Attention Disorders1, which notably found no significant differences between the genders in terms of working memory or attention. This latter finding is significant because the study also revealed that teachers rate boys as more inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive than girls. Click here to read the rest of the story

“What I Learned About My ADHD Brain on Quarantine”

Published by: ADDitude
Written by: Laura Creedle

My daughter is a first-year medical student. A few weeks ago, she flew to a medical conference in New York. As I write this, traveling on an airplane seems like a delightfully whimsical concept from an earlier time — like eating ice cream in a public place, or sending your kids to school.

After her trip to New York, my daughter came home for a brief visit. And then we got word that people who had been at the conference were testing positive for COVID-19. We were told by her medical school that we should quarantine for two weeks, just to be safe.

Many people under quarantine suffer from a sense of isolation, and while I do have great sympathy for them, that’s not been my experience. My nephew, his wife, and their baby live with us. My son was home for spring break. In total, there were seven of us in the house. That’s a lot of people in one house, especially when one is a demanding toddler. Click here to read the rest story.

Having ADHD vs. Living With It

Published by: PsychCentral
Written by: Neil Petersen

When we talk about ADHD in general, we often talk about it from the perspective of something that is looked at from the outside. We talk about symptoms that can be observed, and we talk about people with ADHD or people who have ADHD.

But if you actually are one of those people, you experience ADHD from the inside, which is a little different. That’s why when I’m talking about the experience of having ADHD, I often find myself referring to people who live with ADHD rather than people who have ADHD.

ADHD is something that, when it affects you personally, is a constant and inseparable part of your life.

My shoes are something that I have. My keys are something that I have (on a good day). My ADHD, however, is something that I live with.

One of the biggest challenges to coping with ADHD, and often one of the biggest obstacles to diagnosis, is being able to match up your lived experience of ADHD from the inside with clinical descriptions of what ADHD looks like from the outside. Click here to read the rest of the story.

 

Parents of children living with Autism face unique challenges during COVID-19 restrictions

Published by: WBTV
Written by: Amanda Foster

Families everywhere are facing new challenges involved with suddenly teaching kids from home.It is a total shift in routine and a big adjustment for many families, and a unique challenge for parents of children who live with Autism.Lori Price’s dining room looks like many others right now – papers strewn across the table, kids learning from home because of COVID-19.But the reality for this Gastonia mom is that setting up learning experiences for her kids can be a little different than it is for others.“We’re in a time right now where everything’s different, and it’s not working for these kids,” Price says.Her 8-year-old son Damien lives with autism, and her 11-year-old daughter Alex with ADHD. With children who experience challenges with changes in routine, it makes a big shift like this difficult. “Right now, we are far from routine,” she says. “Every day, it’s something’s changing.” Click here to read the ret of the story

2020 Special Needs Conferences and Seminars for Professionals and Families

The following are upcoming special needs and developmental disability conferences and seminars for the year. The conferences include annual meetings, specialty conferences and professional development courses. Click on the highlighted title to get further information.

January

27th Annual Florida Statewide Card Autism Conference
Date: January 17-19, 2020
Location: Orlando, Fl.

Annual Autism conference for families, educators, professionals and autistic adults.

ICADD International Conference on Autism and Developmental Disorders
Date: January 30-31, 2020
Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

CASP The Council of Autism Service Providers Annual Conference
Date: January 13-14, 2020
Location: Scottsdale, AZ

7th Annual Conference on Depression, Anxiety and Stress Management
Date: January 20-21, 2020
Location: Barcelona, Spain

Autism Spectrum Disorder Across the Life Span
Date: January 11, 2020
Location: Boston, MA

DADD 21st International Conference on Autism, Intellectual Disability and Developmental Disabilities
Date: January 22, 2020
Location: Sarasota, FL

Future Horizon
An Evening with Temple Grandin
Date: January 28, 2020
Location: Atlanta, GA

Features Renown Dr. Temple Grandin who will give insight backed by research evidence and own experience.

February

Council for Exceptional Children
February 5-8, 2020
Portland, Oregon

DFW Autism Conference
Date: February 6-7, 2020
Location: Hurst, TX

Autism Conference and Training
Date: February 7-8, 2020
Location: Vancouver, BC

Special Needs Planning Symposium
Date: February 7-9, 2020
Location: Napa, CA

Future Horizon
An Evening with Temple Grandin
Date: February 11, 2020
Location: Oklahoma City, OK

Features Renown Dr. Temple Grandin who will give insights backed by research evidence and own experience.

Future Horizon
An Evening with Temple GrandinDate: Lubbock, TX
Location: February 17, 2020

Features Renown Dr. Temple Grandin who will give insight backed by research evidence and own experience.

Learning Disabilities Association 57th Annual International Conference
Date: February 17-20, 2020
Location: Orlando, FL

National Autistic Society- Autism Professional Conference
Date: February 27-28, 2020
Location: Birmingham, London

19th Annual Alabama Autism Conference
Date: February 28, 2020
Location: Tuscaloosa, AL

2nd European Autism Congress
Date: February 28-29
Location: Budapest, Hungary

March

Professional Development and Parent Seminars
Date: March 5, 2020
Location: Albany, New York

Autism Conference and Training
Date: March 5-6, 2020
Location: Edmonton, AB

Southern Maine Autism Conference
Date: March 7, 2020 8am- 4pm
Location: South Portland, ME

2020 Autism Matters Conference
Date: March 20, 2020
Location: Orange Beach, AL

Autism Through the Life Span
Date: March 21, 2020 8:45-4:30
Location: Li Ka Shing Conference Center
291 Campus Drive, Stanford University

Autism Society National Conference
2020 Disability Policy Seminar
Date: March 23-25, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

11th Annual Honestly Autism Day
Date: March 28, 2020
Location: Hunt Valley, MD

April

Autism Conference and Training
Date: April 2-3, 2020
Location: Ottawa, ON

Nebraska ASD Network State Conference
Date: April 2-3, 2020
Location: Lincoln, NE

Autism Conference and Training
Date: April 16-17, 2020
Location: Halifax, NS

International Conference on Physical Disability Treatments and Therapies
Date: April 23-23, 2020
Location, New York, NY

Autism Converge Autism Summit 2020
Date: April 23-25, 2020
Location: Greenville, SC

Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin 31st Annual Conference
Date: April 30- May 2, 2020
Location: Wisconsin Dells, WI

May

International Society for Autism Research
Date: May 6-9, 2020
Location: Seattle, Washington

Autism Conference and Expo Georgia
Date: May 13-14, 2019
Location: Georgia State University
Atlanta, GA

June

American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Date: 1-4, 2020
Location: Pittsburg, PA

Autism Research Conference
Date: June 4
Location: New York, NY

National Autism Conference
Milestones Autism Resources
Date: June 11-12, 2020
Location: Cleveland, OH

European Academy of Childhood Disabilities
Date: June 17-20, 2020
Location: Poznan, Poland

48th Annual National Down Syndrome Congress Convention
Date: June 25-28, 2020
Location: June 25-28, 2020

August

National Association of QDIP’s Annual Conference
Date: August 4-7
Location: New Orleans, Lousiana

September

American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine Annual Meeting
Date: September 22-26, 2020
New Orleans, Louisiana

October

Autism New Jersey Annual Conference
Date: October 15-16, 2020
Location: Atlantic City, N.J.

Council for Learning Disabilities
Date: October 15-16
Location: Richmond, VA

November

Annual 32nd International Conference on ADHD
Date: November 5-7
Location: Dallas, Texas

December

2020 CPISRA Conference on Physical Activity and Health for People with Cerebral Palsy or Acquired Brain Injury
Date: December 4-6, 2020
Location: Sydney, Australia

Executive Dysfunctions of ADHD Persist Into Adulthood: 25-Year Study

Published by: ADDitude
Written by: Nathaly Pesantez

Executive functioning deficits persist well into adulthood for individuals with ADHD, according to a new study1 in the Journal of Attention Disorders that affirms the clinical theory that executive dysfunction is a core symptom of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The small Norwegian study looked at attentional processing capacities — namely pre-attentive and executive functioning — in a group of people with and without ADHD over a 23- to 25-year period. Pre-attentive processing — the basic, preliminary stage in the brain whereby auditive and visual stimuli is analyzed — is not as well understood in relation to ADHD as is executive functioning — the controlled brain processes (like working memory) that allow us to integrate information and select optimal actions — the researchers said.

These two processes, according to the researchers, exist on “contrasting ends of [the] ‘attentional processing continuum.’”  Because pre-attentive processing deficits may be precursors for brain function deficits of a higher order (like executive functioning), the study aimed to “gain insight into the long-term changes in attentional capacity” for “a clearer conception of attention dysfunction in ADHD.” Click here to read the rest of the story.

Dysgraphia and Workplace Accommodations

Some might be surprised to learn that there are several types of learning disabilities. Dysgraphia is describes as a learning disability that affects writing, spelling and fine motor skills. Dysgraphia is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can occur as a stand alone disorder or part of a co-occurring disorder with other disabilities such as ADHD, Autism, and Dyslexia. Typically it is diagnosed or discovered in the early years when children are beginning to learn how to write. Most adults often remain undiagnosed.

Early Signs of Dysgraphia

Signs and symptoms of dysgraphia generally begin to show up when children began to lean how to write. Early signs of Dysgraphia include:

  • Inconsistent spacing between letters
  • Poor spatial planning
  • Poor spelling
  • Unable to read own handwriting
  • Poor fine motor skills
  • Omitted words
  • Writes slow
  • Pain in hand from writing
  • Messy unorganized papers
  • Difficulty organizing thoughts on paper
  • Illegible printing and cursive letter formation
  • Slopping handwriting
  • Tight, cramped pencil grip
  • Tires quickly when writing
  • mixes upper and lower case or irregular sizes and shapes of letters.

Download a free dysgraphia checklist

Signs and Symptoms in the Workplace

A early signs that rarely disappears is having a “sloppy” handwriting. The person when writing leaves out letters at the end of a sentence, difficulty reading own handwriting after meetings, trouble with filling out routine forms, displays unorganized papers on the desk, difficulty thinking and writing at the same time and tends to mixes upper and lower case letters when writing. The person will also avoid writing when possible and show a preference to using a computer or texting neatness, line spacing, staying inside margins and capitalization rules.

Strategies to Use in the Workplace
  1. If you have a smart phone, you can use the device to record meetings, interviews or instructions that are given to you.
  2. Assitive technology such as tablets, computers and Apps are also useful in transcribing information
  3. Take the time to organize your desk before you leave work in the evening. Prioritize your workflow and create a plan for the next day.
  4. Pre-write. Before you take on the task of writing, create an outline on paper.

5 Perfectly Awful Ways to Motivate an ADHD Brain

Source: Additude
Written by: Tamara Rosier

Many of us with attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD) have less reliable access to our prefrontal cortex (PFC) than do neurotypical people. Life’s details are managed in the PFC. It is a calm, rational butler, directing behavior in a Siri-toned voice: “Sir, your keys are on the table.” Or, “Madam, you must leave now if you want to arrive on time.”

Those of us with ADHD can’t rely on our PFC butler for planning, short-term memory, working memory, decision-making, and impulse management. So we go to our emotional centers, in the limbic system, to remember things, make decisions, and to motivate ourselves. We use our emotions to help us to think, remember, plan, and act. Click here to read the rest of the story.