Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a learning disability that can make it difficult for children and adults with the disorder to concentrate, study, and thus effectively learn new material. There are a variety of characteristics associated with ADHD. Along with having problems concentrating, people with ADHD may have problems paying attention to details, which may cause them to make small mistakes often. They may genuinely forget to do things, including homework and other assignments. People with the disorder may call out or interrupt others, especially in a classroom or lecture setting. They may also need help taking notes, and they may need instructions given to them slowly or in small quantities so that they do not forget what it is they are being asked to do. Students diagnosed with ADHD need to have a strong support system in place including a medical doctor, counselor, teachers, and other support staff. Along with this support system, there are strategies these students can implement to help them succeed.
In the classroom, it is important for the student to communicate with the teacher. The student should ask the teacher to either write down instructions or simplify instructions so that they are easy to follow. Because it is common for students with ADHD to call out in class, students should try to suppress this by writing down any questions or comments instead of calling them out. The student can also practice raising his or her hand so it becomes routine to do so. Students with ADHD also have difficulty taking notes. Therefore, some ideas to help take good notes are to bring a tape recorder to class, to pair up with a study buddy, and to ask the teacher for printed handouts.
When studying and working on homework or projects, it is essential that the student finds a quiet, calm place to work. Because the student with ADHD can be easily distracted, a quiet environment will help the student concentrate. The student should have study and organization routines. Examples include organizing papers, books, and other resources before and after school, as well as having a block of time set aside for studying every day.
Finally, detail oriented work can be challenging for people with ADHD. Reviewing and summarizing work with a friend, parent, or spouse can help the student learn, as well as help the student avoid making mistakes or overlooking important details.