ADHD Series



Inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity are the core symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). A child s academic success is often dependent on his or her ability to attend to tasks and teacher and classroom expectations with minimal distraction. Such skill enables a student to acquire necessary information, complete assignments, and participate in classroom activities and discussions . When a child exhibits behaviors associated with ADHD, consequences may include difficulties with academics and with forming relationships with his or her peers if appropriate instructional methodologies and interventions are not implemented.

There are an estimated 1.46 to 2.46 million children with ADHD in the United States; together these children constitute 3 5 percent of the student population. More boys than girls are diagnosed with ADHD; most research suggests that the condition is diagnosed four to nine times more often in boys than in girls. Although for years it was assumed to be a childhood disorder that became visible as early as age 3 and then disappeared with the advent of adolescence, the condition is not limited to children. It is now known that while the symptoms of the disorders may change as a child ages, many children with ADHD do not grow out of it.

When selecting and implementing successful instructional strategies and practices, it is imperative to understand the characteristics of the child, including those pertaining to disabilities or diagnoses. This knowledge will be useful in the evaluation and implementation of successful practices, which are often the same practices that benefit students without ADHD.

Research in the field of ADHD suggests that teachers who are successful in educating children with ADHD use a three-pronged strategy. They begin by identifying the unique needs of the child. For example, the teacher determines how, when, and why the child is inattentive, impulsive, and hyperactive. The teacher then selects different educational practices associated with academic instruction, behavioral interventions, and classroom accommodations that are appropriate to meet that child s needs. Finally, the teacher combines these practices into an individualized educational program (IEP) or other individualized plan and integrates this program with educational activities provided to other children in the class.

NASET’s ADHD Series is intended to provide educators with a step-by-step approach to the most effective methods of teaching students with ADHD. The ADHD Series was written to explain ADHD from the eyes of the teacher, so that, if a student in your class or school is diagnosed with this disorder, you can work effectively with the administrators, parents, other professionals, and the outside community.

We hope that NASET’s ADHD Series will be helpful to you in understanding the key concepts of this disorder and how to be an effective educator when working with students diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.


Latest Issue:

Examining the Effectiveness of Fidgets on Attention of Elementary Students with ADHD

Leslie A. Mathews, MA.Ed.

University of Oklahoma


Kimberly J. Osmani, M. Ed.

University of Oklahoma


James E. Martin, Ph.D.

University of Oklahoma

This issue of NASET’s ADHD series is taken from the Fall 2020 edition of the Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals (JAASEP). Research demonstrates students with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other attention difficulties benefit from using tools to expend energy in positive, socially acceptable means while not distracting others. Tactile fidgets may assist with self-regulated behaviors. This study examined the effectiveness of using hand and foot fidgets to increase the focused instructional attention of four elementary students with ADHD. All four participants selected and used their preferred fidget appropriately as directed. ABAB withdrawal design results indicated immediate level and trend change with a 45-55% overall attention gain. Results and implications for future research are discussed. Read More

Available Issues:

Part #1 - Overview of ADHD

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