- Learning Objectives
- Historical Perspective
- Description and Characteristics of AD/HD
- Diagnostic Features and Subtypes of AD/HD
- Trends and Prevalence
- Treatment for AD/HD
- Learning Challenges at the Postsecondary Level
- Accommodations for Students with AD/HD at the Postsecondary Level
- Perception and Myths
It is common for most individuals to experience occasions of distractibility and procrastination; however, for those with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD), the inability to stay on task is persistent and pervasive. AD/HD is a syndrome that affects the executive function capacities of the brain as evidenced by people with ADHD lower performance on tasks that required sustained attention (Tucha et al., 2009). Executive functions are a set of cognitive controls that regulate basic abilities, such as attention, memory, and motor skills (National Center for Learning Disabilities, 2008). For most individuals, executive function operations occur automatically (Brown, 2005). However, “if the person’s neural networks for executive functions are impaired, as they are in [individuals with AD/HD], then that individual is likely to be proportionally impaired in the management of a wide range of cognitive functions regardless of how much he or she may wish otherwise” (Brown, 2005, p. 16). These impairments can manifest as problems of insufficient attention, excessive distractibility, procrastination, difficulties in organizing work, losing track of belongings, failure to finish tasks and assignments, and excessive forgetfulness in daily activities (Brown). Thus, AD/HD can best be conceptualized as a disorder in the management and organization of cognitive activities.
Brown, T. E. (2005). Attention deficit disorder: The unfocused mind in children and adults. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
National Center for Learning Disabilities. (2008). Executive function fact sheet. Retrieved from http://www.ldonline.org/article/24880
Tucha, L., Tucha, O., Walitza, S., Sontag, T., Laufkötter, R., Linder, M., & Lange, K. (2009). Vigilance and Sustained Attention in Children and Adults With ADHD. Journal of Attention Disorders, 12, 410-421.