ADD/ADHD: DESCRIPTION, CHARACTERISTICS AND
STRATEGIES FOR DEALING WITH THE CONDITION
The purpose of this essay is to discuss attention deficit disorder and attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity (ADD/ADHD). To this end, the essay first provides a general description of the disorder. This is followed by an examination of some of the basic characteristics exhibited by students with the condition. The final section of the essay reviews several specific behavioral and instructional strategies that can be used to deal with the disability.
In general, ADD/ADHD is classified as a behavioral disorder with characteristic clinical manifestations resulting in non-goal directed activity in that occurs in inappropriate amounts (Hallahan & Kauffman, 1992). The American Psychiatric Association (1994) uses the following criteria in the diagnosis of ADD and ADHD.
A. The child manifests either (1) or (2) of the following:
(1) Inattention: At least six of the following symptoms of inattention have persisted for at least six months to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with developmental level:
(a) often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities
(b) often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
(c) often does not seem to listen to what is being said to him or her
(d) often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions)
(e) often has difficulties organizing tasks and activities
(f) often avoids, expresses reluctance about, or has difficulties engaging in tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework)
(g) often loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g. school assignments, pencils, books, tools, or toys)