Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder (ADHD)
ADHD is a condition that can make it hard for a person to sit still, control behaviour and pay attention. To put yourselves in the shoes of someone with ADHD, try the following:
Sit still. Be quiet. And listen very carefully to every sound around you. Do you hear that car pass? The tapping sound from the shoeshine boy? The bird that chirps? Somebody sweeping? Now imagine that all these sounds are ten times as loud, and you can't ignore them...
Look at your computer screen. What do you see? Do you see that blot, that piece of dust? Did you notice that icon in the corner before? How about the area beyond your screen? Are there any items on your table? Now imagine that all these details and items demand your attention. You can't ignore them...
Try and remember an event that you enjoyed very much, maybe a party or a football match. Do you remember how you felt excited, the energy you had? How you could go on for hours without getting tired? Now imagine that you always feel like that, morning, afternoon and evening: you can't ignore the energy flowing through your body, you have to be active... And how would you feel if you found yourself answering questions before you actually knew the exact question? Or pushing a button before you had checked what would happen if you did so...?
This gives an idea of the difficulties of persons who cannot concentrate well, sit still, and think before acting. Stimuli from their environment are so strong that it constantly distracts them from what they should focus at. Their teacher for example, or the exercise in their workbook. If there is hyperactivity, it means that the person has so much energy that he or she physically or verbally reacts to everything they see or hear. Impulsivity means that they 'act before they think'. These are the children we call 'troublesome'....!
The three primary characteristics of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Some typical characteristics of a child with ADHD are:
- Short attention span
- Talking too much
- Restlessness or overactive
- Difficulty remaining on a task
- Easily distracted
- Acting before thinking
On the other hand, children with ADHD are often highly imaginative, spontaneous, flexible and energetic. They are seldom boring!