School Counseling Consultation Paper

School Counseling Consultation Paper


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a very common mental health condition among children. Although it usually affects children, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can continue in pubescence and adulthood (Langwith, 2009). The common signs and symptoms of ADHD are impulsivity, hyperactivity and difficulty controlling behavior, difficulty paying attention and difficulty staying focused (Langwith, 2009). Watkins (2011) also asserts that although most children are known to be impulsive, inattentive and hyperactive, these behaviors are usually severe among those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. There is no known cause of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; however, many research studies suggest that genes play a major role in the emergence and development of ADHD. It is also claimed that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder possibly results from a combination of many factors such as environmental and genetic ones. For instance, Strock and the National Institute of Mental Health (2010) affirm that environmental factors such as injuries to the brain, malnutrition and social factors have been identified as major contributors to ADHD.

Children with ADHD and the School

Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are an important part of a school culture, forming the larger school fraternity. This is because they promote exchange of ideas and experiences through interaction with other children, teachers and other school officials. Through increased interaction, the schools develop a culture with a deeper understanding of the disorder.

How Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Affects the Ability of Students to Learn

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has numerous effects on the behaviors and ability of children to learn. This is because it affects their attentiveness, involvement in learning activities as well as impulsivity. According to Hallowell and Ratey (2011), children with ADHD are easily irritated, do not pay attention to details and also forget things easily. This greatly impairs their ability to learn. Moreover, children with ADHD frequently switch from one activity to another. They often have difficulties in focusing on one thing. Buttross (2007) also affirms that children with ADHD become bored with tasks very easily unless they are doing something enjoyable. They also have difficulties focusing attention on learning new concepts or completing tasks. This usually affects their concentration and attentiveness hence they are unable to learn with ease. Children with ADHD also have poor communication and listening skills. They do not seem to have great interest in listening when spoken to and also become confused easily (Hallowell & Ratey, 2011). Most children with ADHD have difficulty processing information quickly and accurately as compared to other children who do not suffer from the disorder. They also struggle with following instructions. As a consequence, their ability to learn is highly impaired. According to Weiner and Ravanelli (2009), children with ADHD often lose things such as pencils, toys, pens, homework, assignments and other learning materials that would assist them during learning processes. This has a negative effect on their learning ability.

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Roles of the School, Other Students and Family in Helping Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder to Learn and Develop Relationships

Schools play a major role in ensuring that children with ADHD learn with ease. First and foremost, schools must create inclusive learning environments that do not segregate children with ADHD from unaffected students. For example, children with ADHD should be allowed to socialize and play together with other students so that they learn from them. Secondly, schools must provide the necessary assistance that would enable children with ADHD learn without difficulties. For instance, schools must employ teachers specializing in special education or dealing with children with mental and behavioral disorders. This would help in ensuring that these children are handled with great care. Schools that create supportive learning environments also enable these students to achieve success at school. Moreover, schools must provide children with ADHD with appropriate learning materials.

Fellow students may also have both positive and negative impact on the learning ability of children with ADHD. For example, other students may cooperate with children suffering from ADHD and encourage them to acquire certain skills such as good communication and listening skills. This would positively impact the learning ability of children with ADHD. However, if other students discriminate against children with ADHD, the latter are likely to develop feelings of loneliness and aggression. This would further aggravate their condition hence hinder them from learning easily.

On the other hand, families of children with ADHD, especially the parents or guardians, have the greatest role in helping such children to learn and develop close relationships with other people. The parents or guardians should frequently monitor and promote acceptable behaviors among children with ADHD. Parents of children with ADHD should discourage unfavorable behaviors such as extreme hyperactivity among them. This would enable them develop and grow like other normal children. In addition, the parents or guardians should seek help from health care professionals as well as medications that would help their children develop in a normal way. For example, parents or guardians are responsible for taking their children to health care facilities such as hospitals and rehabilitation centers on the onset of signs and symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It enables the children to get appropriate treatment of the condition before its becomes complicated. As Watkins (2011) asserts, early detection and treatment are very important in the management of mental health conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Parents or guardians are also responsible for identifying and communicating the unique needs of their children who suffer from ADHD to teachers and school officials. They should also listen carefully to what teachers and school officials say about their children. This would help both the parents and teachers in developing a deeper understanding about the children and how to help them learn with ease. Parents should also help their offspring gain control over their conducts. They should assist their children to manage the signs and symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder effectively.

Changing the Educational System to Adapt to and Improve the Individual Needs of Children with ADHD

Working with the educational system to adapt to the individual needs of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is one of the most challenging and exigent tasks faced by teachers and school officials. Teachers and education personnel should ensure that the educational system provides a supportive environment that encourages learning among children with ADHD. Teachers should also work collaboratively with parents or guardians of children with ADHD on developing and implementing practical strategies that would enable children with ADHD learn with ease both in and outside the classrooms. Consistent teachers assistance and support of children with ADHD can greatly help these children overcome the challenges and difficulties they face during the learning process. A teacher should also work with the system by eliminating frustrating activities that children with ADHD experience difficulties with (e.g. such as poor listening) (Kewley, 2011). A teacher should also develop a behavior plan for children with ADHD and communicate it to the affected students in order to enable them to understand what is expected from them. For instance, the plan would incorporate punishments for unwanted behaviors and rewards for favorable behaviors. Moreover, teachers and school officials should minimize factors such as noises and passersby which would distract children with ADHD during the learning process (Farrell, 2011). This would involve appropriate physical placement of the children in the classroom, their increased involvement in class activities as well as breaking long tasks into shorter and simpler ones that can be accomplished easily and quickly. Furthermore, impulsivity in the classroom would be managed by using creative methods that would allow students with ADHD to move in appropriate ways at the right times (Weaver, 2009).

For my part, it is important for teachers and other school personnel to transform the schools and make them a better place for students with ADHD. The schools should be changed so that they can assist children with ADHD hence enabling them to succeed physically, emotionally, socially and academically.


In my opinion, an interactive educational system is very important and has a great impact on the ability of a child with ADHD to learn and develop good interpersonal relations. For example, a school that provides supportive and inclusive learning environment would enable children with ADHD to learn quickly and easily. This would also enable these children to develop strong interpersonal relationships with other students. Moreover, non-discriminative students would encourage children with ADHD to learn easily and in a more natural way. Supportive parents or guardians would also encourage children with ADHD to learn by providing them with the necessary emotional and psychological support. As Buttross (2007) asserts, the family plays an integral role in learning of all children. For instance, friendlier parents would instill good interpersonal skills into children with ADHD hence encouraging them to develop strong relations with other people outside their own families. Parents and guardians should also help their children cope with deficits and challenges that they encounter at school during learning processes. For my part, adequate support from both home and school is critical for success of children with ADHD.

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