What is ADHD? Information & academic advice!

Student with ADHD

What is ADHD? Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurological disorder that affects attention, gestures, behavior, as well as emotions. This is why many of the students with ADHD/ADD find it difficult to discipline themselves and why they can have learning disabilities.

Now let’s talk about the famous prejudice: Her child must surely have ADHD because he can’t stand still! Yes, it is true that some people with ADHD have a lot of energy and move a lot. However, moving, having fun and running are not necessarily signs of ADHD.

At 6-12 years old, it’s normal for children to speak with the friend sitting next to them and to move on their chair! So keep in mind that some children have ADHD even if they are very calm. Usually, they tend to be a little distracted or have their head in the cloud. The only difference is that, since they don’t disturb in class, we notice them less.

Symptoms of ADHD

ADHD has 3 main symptoms (children and adults with attention-deficit):

  • Attention deficit: He has difficulty paying attention for a long time, he has difficulty performing tasks, he has difficulty listening, he is disorganized in his tasks and activities, he often loses or forgets his material or his homework, he makes careless mistakes, he is easily distracted, he does not finish what he begins, he frequently changes the subject of conversation, etc.
  • Hyperactivity: He finds it hard to stay still when necessary, he speaks excessively, he constantly makes noises, he finds it difficult to relax, he is not consistent, he has difficulty maintaining mental effort, etc.
  • Impulsivity: he is impatient, he has a hard time waiting for his turn, he does not think before acting, he constantly interrupts others, he often has conflicts with adults, etc.

These symptoms can manifest themselves with varying intensity and can occur independently. While these are the most common signs, be sure to see a specialist if you think your child may have ADHD.

What are the types of ADHD? 

There are 3 types of ADHD:

  • Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation: The person talks a lot and has a hard time staying still for a long period of time. Children with this presentation tend to have a lot of energy and move a lot. They jump and run constantly. They are impulsive and interrupt people a lot. They find it hard to wait for their turn or listen and follow directions. 
  • Predominantly Inattentive Presentation: The person has a hard time organizing and finishing tasks. They find it difficult to focus their attention so it is challenging for them to follow conversations or instructions. They can be easily distracted and forget elements of their daily routines.
  • Combined Presentation: The symptoms described in both categories above are equally present in the person.

Symptoms can change with time so symptoms it is possible for the presentation to change as well. 

The impacts of ADHD

It’s important to understand that, for a child, the consequences of ADHD can cause certain problems (social relationships, low self-esteem, academic difficulties, etc.). It is therefore essential to offer the student additional support adapted to his needs.

From an academic point of view, the parents, the teacher and the student’s tutor must adopt a structure that will allow the student to benefit from organizational strategies and study techniques. It may also be necessary to offer additional educational assistance, which is why Tutorax offers an orthopedagogy service.

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Academic advice for children with ADHD

Have your children been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD? Here are some tips to help you tailor your help to your children’s specific needs during the homework period.

First of all, it is important that you know that ADD/ADHD is divided into 4 categories:

  • Attention
  • Gestures
  • Behavior
  • Emotion

Depending on your children’s difficulties, you will have to focus your interventions on one or more of these categories.

Attention Tips

Signs: Your child is having trouble keeping his attention, has memory loss, is disorganized, and can easily get distracted.

  • Repeat the instructions often and make sure he understands them 
  • Find a sign/code with your child that you will use when they start to become distracted or moody. For example, nudge him when you see that he becomes whimsical while reading.
  • Write a list of the tasks your child will need to do during the week. This will help him know where to start.
  • Frequently ask your child if he has any questions.
  • Help your child organize his calendar well and write down the homework that needs to be done and the work that is finished. You can also write with him the textbooks he should take home each evening.
  • Make sure the environment where you work is clean and well organized.
  • Use a color code for his notebooks.

Tips for gestures

Signs: Your child keeps moving and often talks too much.

  • Make sure your child does not eat sugar at least 2 hours before studying.
  • Encourage your child to get involved in an extracurricular activity in order to release energy and have a source of motivation to go to school.

Behavior Tips

Signs: Your child is impulsive, has trouble waiting for his turn, and interrupts others.

  • Use positive reinforcements and encourage him. You can also set up a rewards system. For example, give him a sticker when he gives a good answer.
  • Determine concrete and achievable goals. For example, complete French homework in 1 hour.

Tips for emotion

Signs: Your child have emotional hyperactivity.

  • Before starting the homework period, take 5 minutes to have a positive discussion with your child about school.
  • Before exams, make sure to work a little more with him. This will allow him to be more confident in his exams and to reduce his stress and anxiety.
  • If your child becomes discouraged or stressed, take a short break and offer him or her to take deep breaths.
  • Track deadlines. This will keep your child from being late and avoid frustration or guilt.

Obtain more information about the orthopedagogy service

If you have any questions related to ADHD or need help to find a tutor, don’t hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to assist you.