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What is an Attention Deficit Problem?

Started by The Psycho-Educational Teacher , author of The Psycho-Educational Teacher: Helping Students with Recurrent Behavior Problem 4/9/2012 10:56:22 AM

An attention deficit problem is defined as a significant difficulty in focusing and maintaining attention in the classroom. The main symptoms are lack of concentration, difficulty paying attention, unable to focus, difficulty remaining on task, and impulsivity; all behaviors that lead to learning problems, and may lead also to behavior problems in the classroom. There are predominantly two types: the inattentive type or ADD and the hyperactive-impulsive type or ADHD.  Children vary in the range of symptoms they show, and some exhibit a combination of both inattentive types. Attention deficits are more common in boys than in girls.

 Generally, ADD children are easily distracted, and they show difficulty listening and following directions, focusing, sustaining attention, and remaining on task, among others. These children are described by teachers and parents as “spacey” and disorganized, with a strong tendency to misplace their school materials. However, in the classroom, the inattentive type rarely shows behavior problems. The ADHD type, on the other hand, shows a high activity level and impulsive behaviors. This is the child in “constant motion,” often fidgeting with his hands or feet, and struggling to remain seated (constantly roaming around the classroom). ADHD children are easily over stimulated and, on many occasions, socially immature. Because of their struggles in the classroom, children with attention deficits may show also low self-esteem and low frustration tolerance. We need to keep in mind that children have different personalities, skills, talents, and weaknesses. When a child is exhibiting a high number of these problem behaviors, compared with his age-peers, it may be appropriate to test the child for attention deficits.

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