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Explaining My Son's Disability!

My son has been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD & ODD.
Below is a definition of what each means:

What Is ADD

ADD is a neurobiological disability that interferes with a person's ability to sustain attention or focus on a task and to delay impulsive behavior.

ADD characteristics often arise in early childhood. It is marked by behaviors that are chronic, lasting at least six months with onset before age seven.

Characteristics of children with ADD can include:

fidgeting with hands on feet
difficulty remaining seated
difficulty following through on instructions
shifting from one uncompleted task to another
difficulty playing quietly
interrupting conversations and intruding into other children's games
appearing to be not listening to what is being said
doing things that are dangerous without thinking about the consequences

Students with ADD have a greater likelihood of grade retention, school drop out, academic under-achievement, and social and emotional adjustment difficulties. This is probably because ADD makes children vulnerable to failure in the two most important arenas for developmental mastery---school and peer relations.

A significant percentage---perhaps as many as 50%---of children with ADD are never properly diagnosed.

ADD is often inaccurately portrayed as a type of specific learning disability (SLD). It is not. Children with ADD are not unable to learn, but they do have difficulty performing in school due to poor organization, impulsively, and inattention. However, some children with ADD also have a learning disability, further complicating identification and treatment.

Children with ADD do not routinely show signs of serious emotional disturbance (SED). However, if not properly diagnosed and treated, children with ADD can develop significant emotional difficulties, such as behavioral disorders, depression, and even substance abuse.

What is ADHD?

  1. Six (or more) of the following symptoms of inattention have persisted for at least 6 months to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with developmental level:
  1. Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities.
  2. Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities.
  3. Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
  4. Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions).
  5. Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities.
  6. Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework).
  7. Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g.,toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools)
  8. Is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli.
  9. Is often forgetful in daily activities.
  1. Six (or more) of the following symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsively have persisted for at least 6 months to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with developmental level:
  1. Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat.
  2. Often leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected.
  3. Often runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate (in adolescents or adults, may be limited to subjective feelings of restlessness)
  4. Often has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly.
    is often "on the go" or often acts as if "driven by a motor"
  5. Often talks excessively impulsively.
  6. Often blurts out answers before questions have been completed.
  7. Often has difficulty awaiting turn.
  8. Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g.,butts into conversations or games).

What is ODD?

Oppositional Defiant Disorder is a pattern of negativistic, defiant, disobedient, and hostile behavior toward authority figures that persists, for at least six months. There will be frequent occurrences of at least four of the following behaviors:

  1. Losing temper
  2. Arguing with adults
  3. Actively defying or refusing to comply with request or rules of adults.
  4. Deliberately doing things that will annoy other people.
  5. Blaming others for his or her own mistakes or misbehavior.
  6. Being touchy or easily annoyed by others
  7. Being angry and resentful
  8. Being spiteful and vindictive

Mother's Comment: With all this information that was shared with the school, my child was labeled non-exceptional EVERY time that I asked for help.
He was constantly punished for manifestations of his disability.

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Last modified: April 22, 1999 01:11:15 PM

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