student diagnosed as ADD has a neurological disability. It affects
about 5% of the general population. Males outnumber females 4
to 1. There is a genetic component to ADD as it tends to run in
families. However, many prenatal and postnatal factors have also
been linked to ADD. All humans have an area in their brain that
serves as a sensory 'filter'. This area helps filter out the important
information from the unimportant so that we can focus our attention.
you pause for a moment and concentrate on all the sensory stimuli
you are receiving, you will be overwhelmed. Listen with your ears,
what all can you hear? Feel with all your skin, what all can you
feel? Look with your eyes, what all can you see? Imagine if all
this information came into your brain with the same intensity
of importance. In other words, you could not filter out the important
is the ADD/HD person. The area of their brain that filters material
has a chemical imbalance which limits blood flow and functioning.
Many students with ADD go unrecognized in high schools because
the hyperactivity component which frequently accompanies ADD in
childhood, often disappears as they leave elementary school age.
A hyperactive person is much easier to spot than a student with
an attention deficit.
tips to include students with ADD:
clear on assignments. Provide written instructions to back-up
clear expectations and as much routine to the class as possible.
*Use the student's name BEFORE asking a question or giving directions.
*Student-centered, or active learning is preferable to teacher-centered
extra time to process information.
*Color code assignment sheets and material.
a place in the classroom for the student to leave their work and
materials between classes
Dr Kathie Nunley is an educational psychologist, researcher and
author of several books on parenting and teaching, including A
Student's Brain (Brains.org) and the best selling, "Differentiating
the High School Classroom" (Corwin Press). She is the developer
of the Layered Curriculum® method of instruction and has worked
with parents and educators around the world to better structure
schools to make brain-friendly environments. In addition, her
work has been used by the Boeing Corporation, Family Circle Magazine,
the Washington Post, and ABC television.
her: Kathie (at) brains.org