Is there a solution to the problem of ADD/ADHD? Can my child be helped? As a teacher, can I help my students with ADD/ADHD while caring for the needs of the entire class? These are commonly asked questions we are asked about the growing problem children are facing today. Professionals seem to be in agreement that 90% of all students with ADD/ADHD have above average IQ’s. You would think that the ability to learn and retain information would also be above average in such cases. Why then do most students suffering from ADD/ADHD have such great difficulty learning? It is no wonder there is such an emotional roller-coaster ride going on inside these sufferers.

All of these children face challenges the rest of us do not. For instance, the environment alone can serve as a distraction from learning and it can also trigger behavioral problems, since its victims are often more keenly aware of certain aspects of their surroundings. Ask the ADD/ADHD child and he or she may tell you that certain sounds are too intense for comfort. Every day noises that we often overlook are disabling for many sufferers of ADD/ADHD. Their senses are being overloaded. A student may complain of smells that are distracting or lights that hurt their eyes, among other things. Under these circumstances, a classroom setting can be too distracting for the ADD/ADHD sufferer, especially if he or she needs to concentrate for long periods of time. Part of the solution is to provide smaller class sizes.

But, what happens in a small class setting that is filled with added distractions associated with behavior problems? Negative behavior patterns are contagious as well as discouraging and certainly more distracting within the average larger class group. This is a real cause for concern for parent of children with ADD/ADHD. Negative peer influence can remove the opportunity for significant progress to be made.

It is vital to remember that children with ADD/ADHD often do not have mastery over their impulses, but are smart enough to learn strategies that can help them learn intelligently and make wiser choices. The brain can be strengthened using simple and consistent mental exercises that work much like appropriate physical exercise does on our muscles. A successful program for ADD/ADHD students should be used that can improve social-emotional skills within a well-structured academic program.

The ADD/ADHD student who may have once been unsuccessful, now has a chance to really learn, while self-esteem builds. The family needs to rally in awareness and support of the child. Diet and exercise are also an important part of the program for success. Sappo School has been successfully working with students with ADD/ADHD for decades.

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