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Understanding ADD

Pretend that you are sitting in a classroom, and you are taking a test. As you are taking the test, you see your classmates get up and turn their papers in, and after a while; you are the only one still working on your test. You can not remember anything about the test, even though you studied all night for it, an even some that morning. The next thing you know, your teacher is saying, “Everybody turn in your test, it’s time to move on!” And you force yourself to turn it in, even though you only have about half of it finished.

In many schools around America, this is a constantly occurring event. Teachers sometimes think that either the student did not study, or that they just don’t care; when really, it is usually neither of those cases. The problem could be that the student has Attention Deficit Disorder; a neurotransmitter dysfunction; or learning disorder, which is commonly referred to as ADD. A neurotransmitter dysfunction is when the neurotransmitters in the brain do not always come together. ¹In a class of twenty-five to thirty students, at least one of them generally has ADD. Many teachers often get irritated at the attention that is devoted to ADD because they don’t understand enough about the disorder and feel unprepared on how to handle it, therefore leading themselves to believe that the fault is the students. People with ADD frequently have difficulty with rules, focusing on what is important, being attentive to present responsibilities, and concentrating on schoolwork for over two minutes.

Many people think that ADD is like a disease. Something that most people do not know is that some of the most successful entrepreneurs, famous authors, famous singers, and even famous athletes from today and the past have or had shown symptoms of ADD or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Some of these people are: ²Bill Cosby, Michael Jordan, Will Smith, Bill Gates, Michael Phelps, Babe Ruth, Henry Ford, John F. Kennedy, Elvis Presley, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Walt Disney. Bill Cosby has become a legendary comedian, and was the star of The Cosby Show, which was and still is watched by families all across America. Michael Jordan is known as the greatest basketball player of all time, by acclamation. Bill Gates is the father of Microsoft, and he and his wife founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which works to improve global health, learning opportunities, etc. Michael Phelps is a three time Olympian who has won fourteen gold medals in all and two bronze, and has been declared the greatest swimmer in the world. Babe Ruth, also known as “The Bambino” became a legend in baseball, and when he retired in 1935 he left with a record 714 home runs, which lasted for thirty-nine years, until broken by Hank Aaron in 1974. Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse and started what is known as the “Happiest Place on Earth,” Walt Disney World. Not only did all of those people achieve something great, but they had to make an effort to get where they are today or where they ended up.

Studies about ADD have shown that there are more effective ways for teachers to reach ADD students. ADD students need structure, additional time on tests and quizzes, help with focus issues, organization, to know what to focus on, encouragement and praise, help with remembering when to turn in assignments, and they need self confidence. There are easy ways to supply an ADD student with those needs. Research also shows that kids with ADD have creativity and excess energy; which they can’t control. There are also different learning styles of an ADD student, and can be: visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic. The visual learner learns best when they can actually see or write down what the lesson is about. The auditory learner learns by hearing things and by talking; so when they hear the information, they often feel the need to relay out loud what have just heard, to confirm that it is correct; which is often mistook for blurting out. The tactile learner learns by having a hands-on experience, and they often become excellent note-takers. The kinesthetic learner learns best when moving around, and they are often misdiagnosed as an ADHD student because of their need to move around so much.

Although a “cure” for ADD or ADHD has not been discovered yet, there are different medications that have proven to be very effective by the people who have taken them. Some of these medications are: ³Concerta, Focalin, Wellbutrin, Vyvanse, Adderall, and Ritalin. Just by reading this paper you have learned, if you thought otherwise; that an ADD student can do just as much as a non-ADD student (at least with medication), such as writing a paper about their own learning disorder, and being able to concentrate long enough to write it.

Join the Discussion

This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

AmaranthaVoss said...
Mar. 29, 2011 at 4:29 pm
I am offended by this. I have ADHD, I've had it all my life. I have straight A's, even without my meds, and I can pretty well control my impulses off meds as well. 
AmaranthaVoss replied...
Mar. 29, 2011 at 4:31 pm
Next time please remember not to be so all-assuming.
LaurenN. replied...
Mar. 30, 2011 at 8:40 am
I never said that people with ADD/ADHD couldn't be in control of their impulses. I was actually speaking from experience. I used to make straight A's, too. In fact, I was valedictorian in eighth grade. I wouldn't write something that offends people with ADHD/ADD.
LaurenN. replied...
Mar. 30, 2011 at 8:57 am
I mean, ADD/ADHD is a legitimate learning disorder. That is what it is classified as. Some of the smartest people I know have ADD/ADHD, so I in no way meant to offend you or anyone else and I apologize for doing so.
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