Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder affects many more children than some people think. An estimated 3-7 % of all children have ADHD. The age of onset is usually at age 3 but the mean age of diagnosis is between the ages of 8 and 9 years. Diagnosis is usually not certain before age 4 because many of the indentifying behaviors are normal developmentally for that age group (DeNisco, Tiago, & Kravitz, 2005). Because ADHD affects a decent amount of children, it is safe to say that teachers should know how to recognize the signs and symptoms and how to manage ADHD in the classroom.

The most obvious signs of ADHD are inattentive, hyperactive and impulsivity. An inattentive child diagnosed with ADHD is often thought to not be able to focus, and in most cases this proves true. However if it’s a certain subject or activity the student enjoys they are usually able to pay attention just like any other child. They also exhibit other signs such as, difficulty staying organized, remembering things, and completing homework. A hyperactive child has problems remaining still, and they tend to fidget or move around a lot. Some of these may be nervous habits such as tapping of the foot, bouncing knee, biting nails, etc. A child suffering from impulsivity tends to blurt out answers, have trouble waiting their turn, and trouble controlling their emotions. They sometimes overreact and go into tantrums. The difficulty lies in being able to identify a child that has ADHD and a child who is just acting like a normal kid their age. One should observe if the child exhibits these behaviors in more than one setting, for example, not only in school but also at home, at the store, or during play (Cutter, Jaffe-Gill, Segal, Smitth, 2008).

When it comes to diagnosing ADHD, there are no definitive tests available at this time. Currently, the only way to diagnose it is through a series of visits with a professional where the child suspected of having ADHD is examined and their background is also thoroughly checked for symptoms. These background tests consist of questionnaires regarding the student’s behavior and academic status that are completed by the child’s parents and teachers. A child’s behavior can vary widely at school and at home so their behaviors in both settings need to be considered. Once a professional has found that a child has ADHD, they will then choose a course of action to take in order to treat the child, as each separate case is different they will treat according to the various symptoms observed. There are many different ways and ideas on treating ADHD. One of those ways is the all-natural method, this is used by those who don’t believe in medicating a child with potentially dangerous drugs. This is done by keeping a daily routine so that the child has structure and also helping them burn excess energy by involving them in an activity they enjoy. This method also recommends natural herbal supplements that assist in the child’s ability to focus and also aids in calming them, and finally a good balanced diet that is low in sugars and dyes is also suggested. Another method used to treat ADHD is through behavioral therapy and stimulant medications, this can either be done with the medication alone or with both methods together. No matter which method of treatment is used the most important thing is that they all need the assistance of the parents and the school system in order to benefit the child (Nazario, 2008).

For teachers, it is important to know how to manage students with ADHD in the classroom. All students, especially those suffering from ADHD can benefit from an active learning environment. Movement in activities and lessons can greatly help manage troublesome ADHD behavior in the classroom. Movement and exercise impacts the oxygen levels in the brain which is essential for brain function. There are many things a teacher can do to incorporate movement in the classroom, one example may be to not let students sit for more than 30 minutes at a time. Allow them to stand up and move around by possibly giving them a job like passing out papers or materials. Some even think that keeping students with ADHD from moving can actually cause some classroom-related problems(Mulrine, Prater, & Jenkins, 2008). So why wouldn’t teachers incorporate movement into their everyday classroom?

There are many websites and organizations available with information for parents and teachers of students with ADHD. It is important to know as much as possible about this condition so that as parents and teachers, a person can find the best way to manage the students behaviors at home and in the classroom. Teachers and parents may even consider working together to come up with even more effective management strategies.

Work Cited:

Nazario, B., MD (September 15, 2008). Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Diagnosing ADHD
Nazario, B., MD (September 17, 2008). Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Treatment Overview
CCrock, How to Treat ADHD Naturally

Cutter, D., Jaffe-Gill, E.,Segal, J., Smith, M. (August 2008).
ADD& ADHD in Children: Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms, (1-3).

Mulrine, C., Prater, M., & Jenkins, A. (2008). The Active Classroom.
Teaching Exceptional Children, 40(5), 16-22.

Page Edited By:
Richelle Davis, Tiffany, Caitlin Rebenack, Brittney Cramer