The Rising Tide of ADD/ADHD

growth of ADDHas it ever seemed odd to you that ADD and ADHD counts have risen dramatically over the past two decades? Can anyone explain why? We have known about ADD and ADHD for a long time, yet it has now become an epidemic. I personally see an issue in two areas.

1) ADD/ADHD is intrinsically becoming more prevalent due to the increased use of television and video games. Children are used to a constant stream of high interest information flying at them, and then when a lone teacher begins a discourse about homeschool science on the topic of  tree frogs… their mind can’t focus on the lesson let alone the vocabulary word. There aren’t any flashing lights or unbelievable sound effects when the teacher begins her lesson. Learning is competing against an unbeatable foe.

2) In 1991, the wording was changed in a bill allowing ADD/ADHD disabilities to be included in the funding for “special education” services. It was after this change that the rise in ADD/ADHD cases became overwhelming. Could it really be? Is it possible that we are labeling children incorrectly in order to receive more funding for our schools? Sadly, I would say it’s definitely possible, for some reason money speaks louder than anything. In fact, here is the article brief about those changes.

While I understand that there are truly children with these debilitating disabilities, I also believe that there are frequent  misdiagnoses. It is my heart’s desire to see our schools focus more on the needs of the individual instead of the overall budget. Don’t throw more money at these kids, give them more time/help!

Homeschool ADD and ADHD

homeschool ADD/ADHDAs a classroom teacher for many years, I saw how difficult it was for the ADD/ADHD child to thrive in a typical class setting. Often disheartened by constant poor grades, these children seem to simply become the class “distraction” and their education begins to take a back seat in just trying to make them behave.

Homeschooling is actually the optimum place for a child with ADD or ADHD. In the homeschool setting they have more freedom to achieve within their own “learning style.” I’ve seen frustrated children blossom within the framework of  a homeschool designed to meet their needs. It’s best to spend some time with the child to determine his/her strengths. Then develop your homeschool to play to those strengths.

1) Many homeschool ADD/ADHD students are tactile learners. This means that they like to use all their senses when learning. They typically will learn well when a new concept involves many types of sensory learning. You can accomplish this by doing science experiments, using letter tiles to learn the alphabet, incorporating unifix cubes into your math learning, and even acting out scenes from history.

2)Some ADD/ADHD learners are auditory learners, but this is rather rare. If this is the case listening skills are what they thrive on. Homeschoolers can use audio books, recorded lessons, allowing students to record study facts and then replay, read alouds are great, as well as recitation of different facts.

3)Finally, some ADD/ADHD learners can be visual learners. This means that they love to SEE what they are learning. Infographics are a great way to spell out information that you want to get across to the visual learner. Other methods to help the visual learner include using flashcards, drawings, written instructions, demonstrations, pictures, graphs, charts, videos, puzzles, and games.