Children with ADHD overcome great academic obstacles

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Alissa Casagrande, Staff Reporter

Today, many adolescents in the US struggle with ADHD( Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), and due to that fact, struggle with learning inside the classroom. 

According to the  CHADD website, as of 2018, about  6.1 million (9.4% of )  children/adolescents aged 2-17 had been diagnosed with ADHD In the US.  This includes 388,000 children aged 2-5, 2.4 million aged 6-11, and 2.9 million aged 12-17. According to the National Survey Of Children’s Health 2003-2011, 5.1 million children ( 4-17) have a CURRENT diagnosis of ADHD. That is 1 in 11 people. 

The CDC website states, “ Children with ADHD experience more obstacles in their path to success than the average student.” “ The symptoms of ADHD, such as inability to pay attention, difficulty sitting still, and difficulty controlling impulses can make it hard for children with the diagnosis to do well in school.” The CDC also talks about accommodation plans for students, such as 504’s or IEP’s.  

  People tend to stereotype children with ADHD  as just being distracted easily or not behaving well. And although that may be a small struggle for those who deal with ADHD,  it’s so much more than that for them to handle.

 People with ADHD tend to have a short temper and are easily irritated. They also fight with their impulses constantly. Many times, they may not think before they act or speak. Focusing on big tasks or tasks that take a lot of time are difficult for those with ADHD because they get bored or distracted and forget all about it. Forgetfulness is also a major issue.

 “Sometimes I would be thinking ahead, other times I would be stuck, sometimes I forget to double check my answers when I’m getting many right,” said Julianna Super, a ten year old with ADHD, told The Greyhound News.

Many schools, including NHS, have supports in place not just for kids with ADHD, but for children with mental illnesses, learning disabilities, autism and other conditions. Most common are 504 accommodation plans and IEP’s. 

What’s the difference? IEP’s provide special education services to meet the needs of the child, while 504’s provides services to change the learning environment for the child. BOTH plans include accommodations such as: extra time on test, separate setting to take tests, allowing breaks/ walks to move around, extra help, preferential seating, and more.

“Reasonable accommodations on the 504, professional communication, and additional resources such as her guidance counselor help support my daughter at school.”  said Julianna’s mother, Katherine Sanford. 

With supports at home and in school in place, students with ADHD and thrive, and succeed, just like Julianna.