Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Effects of ADHD on Literacy in School Age Children



     Just imagine never being able to turn your thoughts off and then you are asked to sit still and concentrate on something that is foreign to you!  That is a hard task to accept!  ADHD makes children who are diagnosed less emotionally available for learning due to their needed activity level, inattention, and impulsivity. Most children with ADHD experience the greatest difficulty in school. The reason that children with ADHD experience so much difficulty in school is because school requires great skill in the areas that ADHD children are weakest in. these areas are:  attention, executive functioning, and memory.  This underachievement is not the result of an inability to learn. It is caused by the cumulative effects of missing important chunks 0f information and skill development that build from lesson to lesson from one year to the next. Children with ADHD are at high risk for academic failure, grade repetition, placement in special education, and high school drop out.
     Children with ADHD are often described as poor communicators, even though on the surface they present to have normal verbal expression and basic language skills.Their communication difficulties are primarily due to weakness in the pragmatics of language.  Many children with ADHD will have deficits in basic language skills.  These basic language skills involve the development of age appropriate development of:  vocabulary, grammar, and syntax which will effect their classroom work especially in oral language and reading skills.According to the TEACHADHD website, studies have shown that behavior in kindergarten, particularly those involving inattention, are predicative of later academic underachievement in reading. Children who exhibit behavioral difficulties from ADHD in kindergarten who also have initial reading difficulties are less likely to make improvements in the early grades in reading achievement when compared to children who only exhibit initial reading problems. Some children with ADHD specifically those with attention problems, exhibit poor orthographic processing. Orthographic processing is the ability to represent the visual properties of words.Children with ADHD may also exhibit mild to severe impairments in recall and comprehension, which may depend on their decoding skills, oral reading fluency, and knowledge of reading strategies. Adolescents with ADHD without a co-existing reading disorder have been found to exhibit subtle weaknesses in text reading rate and text accuracy.Thus, they have performed more poorly than their peers who do not have ADHD, on silent reading comprehension.
     Children with ADHD may exhibit significant weakness in written expression,. Problems with written expression are one of the most common impairing problems for children with ADHD. Below is a model is a model from the TEACHADHD website, which puts the writing process for children into perspective:
        In conclusion, the academic challenges demonstrated by children with ADHD are not only due to behavioral difficulties, but are also due to difficulty in academic skills such as reading, writing, and their personal support systems such as study skills, organization, and their level of engagement during a lesson.
     In my classroom, I include a lot of movement in my lessons to help students with ADHD remain focused while still engaging in activity which they need. Some kids need to move. I have found that there is not a one size fits all label on children when it comes to education. Every child is different. Being in tune to each child's needs and differences and differentiating instruction based on those needs will help more children gain success in school.

 The information from this blog came from Nichcy.org, teachadha.com, www.ldonline.org/experts/silver, and my own views. Again when seeking advice on ADHD if you suspect with your own child seek your medical practitioner.