Posted by Dr. Kari Miller, PhD on April 1, 2011 · 1 Comment
It can be tough having ADD/ ADHD, especially if you are a child. ADD and ADHD are actually two names for the same condition.
This article discusses the types of mental abilities affected by ADHD, give examples of academic tasks that use these mental abilities, and provide examples of strategies to improve each of the skills. If you know how your child’s mental abilities are affected by ADHD, you can predict what kind of tasks he will have difficulty with and provide support in those areas.
The key to understanding ADHD is realizing that the symptoms go far beyond “difficulty paying attention” and often affect many aspects of a person’s life. Each person’s symptoms are different and each person is affected to a greater or lesser degree. One thing is certain, however, ADHD affects learning, relationships, self-esteem and, ultimately, your child’s career.
What do kids with ADHD experience in school?
Students with ADHD can have a very hard time with academics. They may have difficulty managing their thoughts, emotions, memory, motivation, and attention. For example, they may find it very hard to listen and remember what the teacher says. They may have trouble getting the ideas organized in their mind and understanding how all of the pieces fit together. They may have trouble with sequences; young children may have trouble learning the alphabet, or the order of the months.
Executive Skills Are Affected by ADHD
Psychologists refer to the mental abilities affected by ADHD as executive skills because we use these abilities to manage and direct our lives. Executive skills allow us to plan and organize our behavior, make well-thought-out decisions, overrule immediate desires in favor of longer-term goals, take conscious control of emotions, and monitor our thoughts in order to work more efficiently and effectively. The following listing and brief description of executive skills illustrates the range of abilities needed to effectively manage our lives. Following each skill description are suggestions for improving that skill.
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