Tell me about ADD/ADHD.

I’ve been meaning to start this thread for awhile but was just reminded by this thread. I think my request is different enough to warrant its own thread.

I teach in a public elementary school in rural Bulgaria. I suspect that certain of my students have ADD or ADHD. However, not knowing very much about either condition, I am not sure what to do, if anything. Certainly I am not qualified to diagnose any kind of mental problems, I just know that I see smart kids doing poorly because they can’t seem to keep their attention on one thing for more than about ten seconds at a time. I’m not even sure that there are any resources available.

Any advice/experience/anecdotes to share?

Thank you.

Just the basics (DSM IV)

The best sites for information on AD/HD: (Children and Adults with ADHD) - one of the two largest ADD advocacy organizations. (The ADD e-Book) - a great online book (free) written by a pediatric neurologist - it explains the symptoms and the associated problems. - a website by Dr. Daniel Amen, who has spent years studying ADHD and is the psychiatrist who has been using brain SPECT scans to diagnose ADHD for years. There are pictures of brain scans at his site - a very graphic way to show people (parents, for instance), how ADHD is indeed a physical condition.

Here’s another site that has some good bullets on the difficulties around diagnosing ADD

Basically, while AD/HD has a set of symptoms, other conditions can produce similar symptoms and a differential diagnosis needs to be conducted to figure out what the problem is. However, if you search on ADD Children School and similar searches, you can find ideas on helping kids who have similar problems (forgetfulness, inattention, etc.) even if they aren’t formally diagnosed.

<posted too quickly – ironic, huh?>


I have adult ADD and its pretty much ruined my life.

I have adult ADD and my son has it as well. We both tested off the charts on standardized tests but can’t keep on task when it comes to long term projects or homework. Medication (I use Ritalin, he takes Concerta) really helps to keep our thoughts in line, but it is only part of the solution.

In order to function at work I have set reminders into my Outlook calendar for various tasks. They give me a nudge so that I don’t forget to keep going with the project my boss expects for the following week. I have Post-it notes all over my desk. I use different color highlighters to remind me about special items.

In school kids with ADD need reminders as well. Many kids will do the homework but their organizational skills are so poor that they tend to lose it or forget where they put it. Let the kid and their parents know that the homework can be turned in at any time throughout the day, not just at class time. My son would sometimes leave the work in his locker but would bring it to the teacher at the end of the day since the reminder was fresh in his mind. If he waited a day he would have forgotten.

If there is a long term project, let them turn it in early, similar to the homework problem. Give the whole class reminders about deadlines (“The XYZ project is due in two weeks,” “Don’t forget the XYZ project is due next week”) Also, have extra copies of worksheets, handouts, syllabi, etc. available.

Some ADD kids know the subject matter but can’t get it out coherently on paper or in tests. Offer them alternatives such as Powerpoint presentations or oral reports.