Grandview Psychological Services Talks about AHDH

How Does ADHD Affect School Performance?

ADHD is a complex disability that affects a child’s abilities and performance across cognitive, academic, social and emotional domains. In the next few weeks, we will post several articles addressing how ADHD can affect all these functions and strategies to help the child with ADHD and their families. The following is the first installment about ADHD and performance.

The school experience can be challenging for students with ADHD. Students usually are identified only after consistently demonstrating a failure to understand or follow rules or to complete required tasks. Other common reasons for referral include frequent classroom disruptions and poor academic performance. There are several assessments that help clinicians and parents determine whether a child’s performance is due to the multiple effects of ADHD.

Studies found that students with ADHD, compared to students without ADHD, had persistent academic difficulties that resulted in the following: lower average marks, more failed grades, more expulsions, increased dropout rates, and a lower rate of college undergraduate completion (Weiss & Hechtman as cited in Johnston, 2002; Ingersoll, 1988). The disruptive behavior sometimes associated with the disorder may make students with ADHD more susceptible to suspensions and expulsions. A study by Barkley and colleagues (1990b) found that 46 percent of their student study group with ADHD had been suspended and 11 percent had been expelled. Under these conditions, it is no wonder why parents find themselves becoming increasingly frustrate with their child’s or teen’s  declining academic performance and disinterest

ADHD’s core symptoms—inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity—make meeting the daily rigors of school challenging (Zentall, 1993). Difficulty sustaining attention to a task may contribute to missing important details in assignments, daydreaming during lectures and other activities, and difficulty organizing assignments. Hyperactivity may be expressed in either verbal or physical disruptions in class. Impulsivity may lead to careless errors, responding to questions without fully formulating the best answers, and only attending to activities that are entertaining or novel. Overall, students with ADHD may experience more problems with school performance than their nondisabled peers.

Next week, we will offer some helpful hints to help children overcome the challenges of ADHD. Stay tuned.

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Founder: Dr. Roger Davies, Sc. D.

Roger Davies is the founder and principal clinician at Grandview Psychological Associates. Dr. Davies brings over 30 years experience in the fields of psychological assessment, clinical and rehabilitation services, consulting, and staff development training. Read More »

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