Attention Deficit Disorder has presented a unique challenge among children and youths during their early age of development. Now, more than ever, ADD (Attention Deficiency Disorder) has a widespread recognition in affecting learning and education process among children. Children diagnosed with this form of mental disorder portray problem in paying attention and following rules or instruction. They also have difficulty engaging in excessive or prolonged activities and have problems controlling their behaviors. The results of ADD are tremendous among the children and this is manifested through their educational records and performance. As a result Attention, Deficit Hyperactivity disorder has become a great challenge in modern society causing impairment in the education system. This essay will, therefore, focus explicitly on how ADD has affected children learning and performance process in the education system.
Background and History of ADD
ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), also referred to as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has been identified by phycologist and psychiatrist to affect mostly children. The condition was observed in 1980 to 1987 where it was commonly referred to as hyperkinetic reaction of children. During the first quarter of the twentieth century, ADD was the main cause of brain damage or mental disorder among children. The society was still skeptic about its effect on human behavior and brain as most ignored the fact that it caused serious problems.
According to Lambert, about 5-7 percent of children below the age of 14 have been diagnosed with ADD. World Health Organization estimate that about 30-50 percent of ADD patient diagnosed during childhood exceed with the symptoms into adulthood. Though the condition is real among adult still a small percentage of about two percent is affected at adulthood. The disorder affects their neurodevelopment system causing hyperactivity, inactiveness and restless among the victims. There are mainly two common types of ADD; There are two types of ADD; with hyperactivity ADHD or Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and ADD without hyperactivity, known as “inattentive" type. These forms of ADD exhibit different characteristics and impact among the victims. With hyperactivity ADD, for instance, causes the children to have a significant problem with relationships.
Impact of ADD on Education and Learning among Children
Education has being impacted greatly by the adverse effect of ADD among children. Learning involves a lot of activities that are identified to be a challenge for students with ADD. Studied conducted by Figert found that students or children suffering from ADHD recorded poor academic performance due to their inability to pay attention and follow instruction. The main observation is pointed on the symptoms that the victims of ADHD portrayed. ADD caused their patients to have impaired judgment and deformed character and behavior. This makes it had to cope or adapt to the learning environment.
The core symptoms of ADD include inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that cause children to react differently under various conditions. Inattention is the case where the child fails to pay attention to details or activities. In such conditions, they are involved in daydreaming, fidgeting or other activities that affect their concentration. Hyperactivity involves verbal or physical disruption among the victims of ADD. In the case of hyperactivity, the child may experience difficulty in constructing sentences of following simple command and instruction. They also have poor body coordination and this interfered with their process of learning. The symptom of impulsivity is manifested through carelessness, negligence, and lack of proper response. Overall, students with ADD are affected differently in their academic performance as they experience a lot of difficulties when it comes to learning both socially and psychologically.
The claim that ADD has a negative effect on learning is quite true especially based on the claims by Hoffman. That attention has a key role to play in the learning process. Information going into and coming out of a learner’s mind is filtered by the attention. Thus when attention has a disorder, then it simply means that the information going into the mind or coming out is likely to be distorted hence tampering with the learning process. Bhandari, further supports the claim by asserting that, new information cannot be acquired without paying attention to the given information.
ADD affects learning because poor attention affects incidental learning as well as school learning. An individual suffering from ADD is not able to get all of the input from the surrounding structured or unstructured that is considered necessary for getting knowledge. For instance, the individual with ADD will not see or even hear all the steps that the parents are given on how to clean his/her room. The same individual will also not be able to master the fact that there are road signs that direct one where to go and he/she does not comprehend the coach’s instructions on game strategies during training. Moreover, this person does not hear the teacher’s instructions, cannot pay attention to assignments written on the blackboard and doesn’t make meaning of whatever they read. The bottom-line is that such an individual’s knowledge acquisition has been adversely affected.
ADD affects learner’s ability to demonstrate what he/she has learned. The best illustration is observed in some of these characteristics. People with ADD are likely to have disorganized rooms, unwashed dishes and poor hygiene even though these individuals are having the knowledge of cleaning and performing these tasks. For learners with ADD, they may fail to complete their daily worksheet, completing all the problems, forget capitalization, punctuation, and reverse letters while writing or reading a text and make careless errors. With such kind of challenges, learners with ADD face obstacles.
Wolfe and Mash points out that school and general learning experience is likely to be challenging for learners with ADD. Students commonly are identified mainly after a consistent demonstration of failure to comprehend or follow rules or fail to complete relevant tasks. These learners also demonstrate continuous classroom disruptions and poor performance in education. Brown points out that children with ADD have progressive and persistent academic difficulties that lead to more failed grades, lower average marks, increased expulsions, high dropout rates and in many cases, they do not complete college or undergraduate studies.
Since ADD is mostly characterized by disruptive behaviors, such learners are susceptible to expulsion or suspension from institutions of learning. Fish, Raymond, and Geddes in their research discovered that almost 50 percent of learners with ADD in study groups are suspended and about 10 percent expelled. Finally, as Holmes points out that, difficulty sustaining attention regarding a task may cause a learner to miss important details in assignments, wandering off in fantasy land amid lessons and different tasks, and trouble putting in order assignments.
To sum up, Attention Deficit Disorder has long lasting signs and symptoms. Despite the fact, that majority of individuals keep skeptical point of view, ADD is observed in approximately 5% of the individuals and causes inconvenience at school, university, by the accomplishment of the individual tasks. However, behind the hyperactivity often might hide the ability to concentrate and achieve a result where other gives up. Such people are able to achieve more result if their work is properly organized and managed. Medical treatment is recommended to help a student with ADHD improve their concentration and attention in school.
Students with Attention Deficit Disorder need extreme care and monitoring. They require specific learning aids and need that consist of effective strategies that are simple and tolerance in aiding their concentration. Moreover, teaching students’ with ADHD requires instructional and practical strategies. According to a report by Rittner, Steven and Randy, children with ADD learned effectively through the help of behavior modification tools and coordination of assignments. Any activity that triggers disruption or aggressive behavior among the ADD students should not be implemented in learning. It is prudent to expose the children suffering from ADHD to activity games or learning that requires full concentration. Students below the age 5 years suffering from ADD require simple communication skills and activities that boost their memory. Active engagement is helpful promoting learning among children suffering from ADD.
Parent and teachers are required to help children with ADD in learning and other educational activities. Children with ADHD develop a co-existing condition that makes them experience difficulty in indulging in activities. Hence, teacher and parent can help by ensuring children learning disability are well managed and evaluated comprehensively. The application of positive behavior intervention is also appropriate in assisting students with Attention Deficit Disorder to improve their performance. Also, medication is important in tackling ADHD among children. They student should be placed under a proper medication program through the aid of parents and teacher to help improve their performance positively.
Apparent challenges in the hearing, seeing, memory and understanding commonly lead to the wrong conclusion that learners with ADD have visual or auditory challenges or that they are just less intelligent. The truth, however, is that they are simply not alert. They are often not focusing, reflecting, persisting, filtering and monitoring their schoolwork and their behavior. ADD has a negative influence on learning. Be that as it may, it does not just affect learning. An individual’s demeanor, scholarly, and learning capacities, and dialect abilities, in addition to other things, collaborate to impact how attention influences learning. Remember that ADD, as a biological based personal contrast, is a disorder that can happen to any person; who is talented, learning incapacitated, hindered, and one who has normal learning capacity.