A recent study from the National Institutes of Health has reached an initial conclusion about ADHD. Although ADHD is most obvious at the beginning of school, when lack of impulse control and short attention spans prevent a child in kindergarten or first grade from sitting still long enough to hear what the homework, it’s more annoying in high school. This is because the developmental delay experienced by children with “significant,” “profound,” or “severe” ADHD has been established at up to thirty percent delay.
This means that for a five-year-old child, the delay is approximately 1.5 effective years; Without outside help, a 5-year-old with ADHD will learn like a 3.5-year-old. But for a 15-year-old, that same 30% translates into a delay of four and a half years. So a 15 year old with ADHD learns just as well as a 10.5 year old. That’s the difference between “just starting high school” and “just finishing elementary school.”
ADHD in high school students
9 out of 10 children with ADD (the ‘inattention’ variation), hyperactivity disorder or ADHD (the ‘combined’ form) will experience difficulties in school. Every child is unique, but almost all children diagnosed with some form of ADHD will show one or more of these problems by high school:
• Gathering up: The most common problem for teens with ADHD is their tendency to simply daydream about wasted time, missing out on crucial events such as homework assignments, the content of a lesson, or instructions for the next activity.
• Lack of attention to detail: Very similar: the tendency to leave out important details of a task. Teachers who refuse to grade an assignment that doesn’t have a name or date, for example, can be extremely difficult for students with ADHD. Similarly, any subject where every detail counts—algebra, for example, or grammar—can be nearly impossible for a brain that has trouble noticing that details exist, let alone keeping track of what’s there. are.
• Impulse control: Teens tend to display this problem in the form of short cuts, not showing their work (especially in math) and hating writing (it takes too long when you can type!).
• Poor organizational/time management skills: Teens with ADHD are notorious for their inability to delay gratification; they want to do the cool stuff first, and then get to the work part later… which often means never. They often don’t know where to start on tasks that aren’t detailed, and essentially don’t plan ahead at all.
• Poor memorization: Rote memorization, such as multiplication tables and especially names and dates (history class!) is very difficult for a teen with ADHD. This same effect often means that a teen with ADHD will simply forget what class they are supposed to be in, or simply forget to turn in her homework.
address the issues
The best way to address these problems, unfortunately, is often through pharmaceutical medicine. As much as we would all like to be able to solve our children’s problems with less artificial forms of intervention, none of the standard interventions have anywhere near the success rate of pharmaceuticals.