The Coronavirus has interrupted, delayed, and seriously interfered with the educational progress of our kids long enough. Children with ADHD and other learning impairments have been disproportionately and unfairly hurt by this more than the general population of students.
A parent has only to take a look at the disadvantages (symptoms) caused by these disorders to see the more hindering disadvantage caused to these students by the disruption of our education system. This disruption in the style, method and routine of the normal “in class” education style hurts the learning of children as a whole. It does this much more so for children with ADHD and learning disorders or learning impairments!
Regardless of whether a child is in a classroom setting or still “schooling” at home, now is the point in time to correct these learning problems which are setting them further and further behind. This is important not only for their learning, but also critical for their self-image and self-esteem. I’ve seen many children suffer from this, and it’s hard to watch.
The terms “ADHD” and “learning impairments” or “learning disorders” can often be meant to describe the same set of problems. These disorders can manifest themselves very differently in different people.
There are three distinct sub-types of ADHD, each with distinct sets of symptoms. To further complicate matters, some symptoms are expressed differently in males than in females.
The three sub-types of ADHD are:
1. Primarily Inattentive
2. Primarily Hyperactive
Typical symptoms for the Primarily Inattentive sub-type are:
1. Often fails to finish things they start
2. Often doesn’t seem to listen
3. Easily distracted
4. Has difficulty concentrating on schoolwork or other tasks requiring sustained attention
5. Often has difficulty organizing goal-directed activities
Symptoms characteristic of the Primarily Hyperactive sub-type fall into two categories – Impulsivity and Hyperactivity:
1. Often acts before thinking and/or makes inappropriate statements
2. Shifts excessively from one activity to another
3. Often blurts out answers to questions before the questions have been completed
4. Needs a lot of supervision
5. Frequently calls out in class
6. Has difficulty awaiting their turn in games or group situations
1. Runs about excessively or climbs on things
2. Has difficulty sitting still or fidgets excessively
3. Has difficulty staying seated
4. Moves about excessively during sleep
5. Is always “on the go” or acts as if “driven by a motor”
6. Often talks excessively
7. Often has difficulty playing quietly
8. Often leaves their seat in a classroom or other situations in which remaining seated is expected
The Combined sub-type includes symptoms from both the Inattentive and Hyperactive sub-types. It’s important to note that not all symptoms of a sub-type need be present for that classification.
Additionally, while there are exceptions, females tend to express hyperactivity verbally, as opposed to physically, which is the case with males. Females will also tend to be more social, whereas males may be more isolated.
One method of treatment is Neurofeedback, a non-drug, painless, side effect-free procedure in which the person learns to re-train the attention mechanisms of the brain, alleviating the condition. Once the treatment is complete, no further training is necessary.
Dr. Stephen A. Ferrari is the Director of Alta Neuro-Imaging Neurofeedback