ADHD AND STRATEGIES FOR CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT

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An Overview of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children and Effective Strategies for Classroom Management

While the condition of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was described by clinicians many years ago, its incidence has only recently has been recognized. Although the labels and theories may have changed over time, ADHD has long been recognized as a dysfunctional condition occurring in some children. In fact, as long ago as 1890, William James suggested that the characteristics now associated with ADHD in children had a neurological basis. At the beginning of the 20th century, an increasing amount of research was focused on this complex disorder that has continued and increased enormously in recent years (Barkley, 1990). According to Paul H. Wender (2000), although exact figures are not available, it seems reasonable to assume that between 3 to 10 percent of school-age children and 4 to 5 percent of adults experience some degree of ADHD. Wender notes that ADHD is often accompanied by learning disorders in reading, spelling, or arithmetic, and it may be accompanied by other behavior disorders as well. "ADHD is more common in boys than in girls," the author adds, and "Child psychiatrists used to believe that the symptoms of ADHD diminished and disappeared as children grew older, but recent studies have found that ADHD frequently persists into adolescence and adult life" (p. 4). Today, the term ADHD is just the most recent label assigned to this childhood disorder that has carried with it a variety of names in the past. For example, ADHD was first termed "hyperactivity," then "Attention-Deficit Disorder" (ADD), and then, to differentiate between children who had ADD but did not exhibit hyperactivity, either (plain) ADD or ADD-H. According to Wender, "The new 'official' term, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), has been chosen by psychiatric experts, and its symptoms have been published by the American Psychiatric Association in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). The definitions in this manual are widely acknowledged and are used among doctors, in research, and administratively for purposes of insurance; the earlier term, ADD, is still used in the name of a…[continue]

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