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Each year LDA joins the movement to help fight stigma, provide support, educate the public, and advocate for individuals with learning disabilities who also struggle with mental health issues. This month we are focusing on ADHD.

Characteristics of ADHD: 

  • Students with ADHD can exhibit hyperactivity, trouble sitting still, and a high degree of fidgeting.
  • They can exhibit a higher frequency of sleep disturbances than peers without ADHD.
  • They can experience difficulty with emotional regulation and may overreact to an occurrence.

Facts About ADHD: 

  • ADHD is the most common psychiatric condition of childhood, with prevalence estimated at 1 in 11 American youth.
  • It has been estimated that ADHD affects at least 5 million children aged 4-17 years in the U.S.
  • Children with ADHD often have substantial psychiatric comorbidity, including separation or other anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and major depression.
  • Over 2.5 times as many boys have a diagnosis of ADHD as girls.

Strategies: 

  • Medication in combination with behavior modification is more effective than medication alone.
  • Labeled praise, reward desired behaviors
  • Use visual timers (Pomodoro Technique)
  • Provide clear rules, structure, and predictability (visual schedules are great!)
  • Encourage exercise and physical breaks.
  • In academic settings, give extended time, cues to regain attention, functional fidgets (move n sit, bands on a chair, thinking putty, fidget cube), and movement breaks.
  • Pay attention to the good things: A great way to keep our minds off the “worry track” is to focus our thoughts on things that are good and positive.

Resources: