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Information & Advice

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...for Staff

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AD(H)D

Information for staff on

Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder (ADHD)

 

Between 3% and 5% of children may have Attention Deficit. Numbers in adults and HE have not been accurately surveyed in the UK, but such students are beginning to apply to universities just as dyslexic people did 15 years ago.

 

At DMU, Student Services offers support for students with ADHD in the Disability Unit and Student Learning Advisory Service. However, it is important that all staff are aware of the nature of ADHD and of learning and teaching approaches which can be helpful. It is recognised as a disability, and hence our response to it is covered by the Disability Discrimination Act Part IV (also known as SENDA).

 

ADHD has three key indicators: inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Examples of behaviours under these headings are:

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Inattentiveness

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Hyperactivity

 

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Impulsivity

 

ADHD is not the result of diet, drug abuse, life-style or bad parenting. A student with ADHD will have exhibited these behaviours over many years, and they will probably have harmed his/her social relationships and educational achievement. S/he may well be depressed and anxious, and drawn to alcohol or substance abuse as a way of dulling the problems.

 

ADHD is part of what might be called ‘neurodiversity’. Its indicators can overlap with dyslexia in respect of lack of concentration and difficulties with personal organisation. On the other hand, there are said to be some potential advantages of this kind of brain:

 

Support for students with ADHD should combine educational, psychological and sometimes medical strategies. Medication such as methylphenidate (Ritalin) and dexamphetamine (Dexedrine) can help. Cognitive behavioural counselling is also useful, as is the approach known as ‘life coaching’. A key issue is persuading the student to accept that help is needed.

 

Approaches to a student with ADHD might include:

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Attention skills

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Organisational skills and memory

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Self-esteem

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Regarding re-framing, people with ADHD often have

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In one-to-one meetings

The student should be encouraged to take ownership of dealing with aspects of ADHD which bring him into conflict with others. These suggestions for a student are taken from Weinstein C (1994) ‘Cognitive remediation strategies’ J of Psychotherapy Practice and Research 3(1):44-57  :

The hardest item for a student will probably be the fourth, because ADHD people are drawn to high-stimulus activities and attempted multi-tasking. Taking ownership of the issue has to start with acknowledging that it is a problem.

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There is information for adults with ADHD at:

www.adders.org

www.add.org

There is a leaflet for students available through Student Services/SLAS entitled ‘What is ADHD?’.

 

The drop-in and group sessions at the Dyslexia Centre are for all students with specific learning differences, and this includes ADHD. Drop-ins can be booked by visiting SLAS reception on the first floor of Gateway House, or ringing 7254.

 

ADHD is recognised as a disability. The Disability Unit in Student Services can help students by arranging assessment by an Educational Psychologist and enabling them to apply for the Disabled Students’ Allowance. The Disability Discrimination Act Part IV obliges us to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for students with ADHD, as we do for dyslexic students.

 

For further information, contact David Pollak on ext 7831.

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Bibliography

 

Barkley R (1990) Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A

handbook for diagnosis and treatment. New York, The Guilford

Press

 

Cooper P and Bilton, K (2002) Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity

Disorder: A Practical Guide for Teachers. London, David Fulton

 

Derrington C (2004) Learning support for students with ADHD. Presentation at DMU conference, ‘Specific learning differences in HE and FE: dealing with neurodiversity’. Copies available from David Pollak, Student Services:SLAS.

 

Kewley GD (2001) Attention Deficit Hyperactivity

Disorder. London, David Fulton

 

Quinn P and McCormick M  (ed) (1998) Re-Thinking

AD/HD: A guide to fostering success in students with AD/HD

at the college level.  Maryland, Advantage Books

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