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The Effects of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder on Mathematics Achievement


ADHD is a complex, neurobiochemical disorder involving differences in brain ... Diagnostic Criteria for ADHD ... 3%-7% of children suffer from ADHD. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Effects of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder on Mathematics Achievement

The Effects of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
Disorder on Mathematics Achievement
  • National Council of
  • Teachers of Mathematics
  • 2005 Annual Meeting and Exposition
  • Anaheim, CA
  • April 7, 2005

The Effects of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
Disorder on Mathematics Achievement
  • Presenter Information
  • Kay Haralson
  • Associate Professor of
  • Developmental Mathematics
  • Austin Peay State University
  • Clarksville, TN 37044

What is ADHD? (
  • ADHD is a complex, neurobiochemical disorder
    involving differences in brain activity and
    structure in the prefrontal cortex, the basal
    ganglia, and the cerebellum. These areas are know
    to help to inhibit behavior, sustain attention,
    and control mood.
  • ADHD is considered a behavioral and mental health

Possible Causes of ADHD (,
  • PET (positron emission tomography) or brain
    scans, indicate less activity and blood flow in
    the part of the brain that inhibits impulsivity.
  • Studies have shown there to be an insufficient
    availability of the neurotransmitters dopamine
    and norepinephrine in the central nervous systems
    of children with ADHD. These brain chemicals are
    needed for paying attention and controlling
  • Current investigations being done to identify
    abnormalities in the dopamine-transporter gene
    support the theory that ADHD can be genetically

Diagnostic Criteria for ADHD (Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth
Edition, Text Revision, 2000, DMV-IV-TR, American
Psychiatric Association,
  • I. Either A or B
  • A. Six or more of the following symptoms of
    inattention have been present for at least 6
    months to a point that is disruptive and
    inappropriate for developmental level
  • Inattention
  • Often does not give close attention to details or
    makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or
    other activities.
  • Often has trouble keeping attention on tasks or
    play activities.
  • Often does not seem to listen when spoken to

Diagnostic Criteria for ADHD (DSM-IV-TR)
  • Often does not follow instructions and fails to
    finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the
    workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or
    failure to understand directions).
  • Often has trouble organizing activities.
  • Often avoids, dislikes, or doesnt want to do
    things that take a lot of mental effort for a
    long period of time (such as schoolwork or
  • Often loses things needed for tasks and
  • Is often easily distracted.
  • Is often forgetful of daily activities.

Diagnostic Criteria for ADHD (DSM-IV-TR)
  • B. Six or more of the following symptoms of
    hyperactivity-impulsivity have been present for
    at least 6 months to an extent that is disruptive
    and inappropriate for developmental level
  • Hyperactivity
  • Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in
  • Often gets up from seat when remaining in seat is
  • Often runs about or climbs when and where it is
    not appropriate (adolescents or adults may feel
    very restless).

Diagnostic Criteria for ADHD (DSM-IV-TR)
  • Is often on the go or often act as if driven
    by a motor.
  • Often has trouble playing or enjoying leisure
    activities quietly.
  • Often talks excessively.
  • Impulsivity
  • Often blurts out answers before questions have
    been finished.
  • Often has trouble waiting ones turn.
  • Often interrupts or intrudes on others.

Diagnostic Criteria for ADHD (DSM-IV-TR)
  • Some symptoms that cause impairment were present
    before age 7 years.
  • Some impairment from the symptoms is present in
    two or more settings (e.g. at school/work and at
  • There must be clear evidence of significant
    impairment in social, school, or work
  • The symptoms do not happen only during the course
    of a Pervasive Developmental Disorder,
    Schizophrenia, or other Psychotic Disorder. The
    symptoms are not better accounted for by another
    mental disorder (e.g. Mood Disorder, Anxiety
    Disorder, Dissociative Disorder, or a Personality

Subtypes of ADHD (DSM-IV-TR)
  • Based on these criteria, three types of ADHD are
  • ADHD, Combined Type if both criteria 1A and 1B
    are met for the past 6 months
  • ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Type If
    criterion 1A is met but criterion 1B is not met
    for the past six months
  • ADHD, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type
    if Criterion 1B is met but Criterion 1A is not
    met for the past six months

Prevalence (DSM-IV-TR, www.adhdsupportcompany
.com )
  • 3-7 of children suffer from ADHD.
  • ADHD is diagnosed approximately three times more
    often in boys than in girls.
  • As many as half of those with ADHD also have
    other mental disorders.
  • Over half of the children diagnosed with ADHD
    carry the disorder into adulthood.
  • A large number of adults who were never diagnosed
    as a child show clear symptoms of ADHD.
  • AMAs Special Council Report showed little
    evidence of widespread over-diagnosis of ADHD or
    over-prescription of medication for ADHD.

Identifying ADHD and Subtypes
  • The diagnosis of ADHD and the subtypes of ADHD
    should be made by a professional with training in
    the evaluation of ADHD or in the diagnosis of
    mental disorders. Such as
  • Child psychiatrists and psychologists
  • Developmental/behavioral pediatricians
  • Behavioral neurologists
  • Neuropsychologists
  • Clinical teams with educational, medical, and
    counseling professionals with training in the
    evaluation of ADHD

ADHD in Adults (,
  • Symptoms of ADHD in adults are similar to the
    diagnostic criteria for children, but may be
    displayed in different ways.
  • Inattention
  • Poor listening skills
  • Easily distracted, forgetful, daydreaming
  • Difficulty with making decisions
  • Trouble maintaining an organized work/living area
  • Easily overwhelmed by tasks of daily living
  • Spends excessive time at work because of
  • Frequently losing or misplacing things
  • Need for others to organize you

ADHD in Adults (,
  • Hyperactivity
  • Frequently late or rushed
  • Easily bored intense need for excitement
  • Difficulty with falling asleep or waking up alert
  • Difficulty estimating how much time something
    will take
  • Poor handwriting
  • Performs worse under pressure
  • Thoughts jump from one topic to the next
  • Strong need to control or have things your way
  • An internal sense of anxiety and restlessness

ADHD in Adults (,
  • Impulsivity
  • Impulsive spending and money management problems
  • Frequent, impulsive job changes
  • Very impatient, low frustration tolerance
  • Tactless, tendency to embarrass others
  • Frequent traffic violations
  • Trouble with authority
  • Mood swings
  • Prone to hysterical outbursts
  • Tendency to seek conflict, be argumentative

ADHD in Adults (,
  • Symptoms that can develop after years of living
    with ADHD
  • A sense of failure, not living up to ones
  • A sense of being different, unconventional
  • Very sensitive to being told to do something or
    to being criticized
  • A tendency to worry needlessly and endlessly
  • Difficulty with personal or work relationships
  • A tendency toward addictions
  • Personal or family history of substance abuse,
    depression, or anxiety

Effects of ADHD on Math Achievement
  • In mathematics attention to details is critical.
    Overlooking or misreading mathematical symbols,
    key words, or instructions leads to careless
  • Poor organization skills hinder students from
    getting paper, pencil, book, and assignment
    together in one place.
  • If students are distracted while completing math
    problems, they lose their focus, skipping
    problems or steps in problems.
  • Constant movement of hands, feet, pencils, etc.
    gets the student off track.

Effects of ADHD on Math Achievement
  • Math homework takes a lot of mental effort for a
    long period of time. Students with ADHD learn to
    avoid these types of activities.
  • The excessive amount of time it takes for them to
    complete assignments increases their frustration
  • Underestimating the time needed to complete
    assignments means that some go unfinished.
  • Students procrastinate and put off completing
    assignments until it is too late.

Effects of ADHD on Math Achievement
  • Students show inconsistent performance.
    Information learned one day, seemingly mastered,
    may be missing the next day.
  • Performance is worse under pressure.
  • Students have difficulty retrieving information
    on demand, even when thoroughly studied.
  • Students become angry with themselves and their
    teachers when they are criticized or when they do
    not do well.

Treatment Options (
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for
    treatment of ADHD requires understanding of four
  • ADHD is a chronic condition. Parental, medical,
    and educational support should be provided into
  • Target symptoms need to be addressed. Set
    realistic goals for improvement in specific
  • Medication and behavior strategies are important.
    A combined approach has been shown to be more
    effective than either strategy alone.
  • Close follow-up of target symptoms and medication
    use. Reevaluations and monitoring should be done
    periodically and consistently.

Treatment Options (
  • A joint study by the NIMH (National Institute of
    Mental Health) and the (OSEP) U.S. Department of
    Educations Office of Special Education Programs
    indicated that a multi-modal treatment approach
    had the greatest positive effect on reducing ADHD
  • The recommended multi-modal treatment approach
    consists of four core interventions
  • patient, parent, and teacher education about the
  • medication (usually from the class of drugs
    called stimulants)
  • behavioral therapy and
  • other environmental supports, including an
    appropriate school program.

Multi-modal Treatment (
  • Patient, parent, and teacher education about the
  • Learn about ADHD and the nature of the challenges
    it presents.
  • Understand that the child has troubles and is not
    the cause of the troubles.
  • Children with ADHD should learn to be
    self-advocates but parents and teachers can also
    be strong advocates for the child

Multi-modal Treatment (
  • Medication (usually stimulants)
  • Since ADHD is neuro-biochemically-based it stands
    to reason that medication that gets to the core
    of the problem would be effective.
  • These medications work to make the brains
    systems work more efficiently, improving
    attention, memory, executive functions, and
  • The result is better concentration, increased
    working memory capacity, greater recall, less
    hyperactivity, and more impulse control.

Multi-modal Treatment (
  • Behavioral Therapy
  • Parents and teachers need to be the executives in
    the childs life, providing structure, routines,
    assistive devices, external supports and guides.
  • Develop behavior management strategies. Use
    positive attention, rules, consequences, and
    formal systems such as contracts and charts. The
    main goal is to increase the childs appropriate
    behavior and decrease inappropriate behavior.
  • Teach problem solving. Develop skills in the art
    of negotiation, give and take, and conflict
    resolution through peaceful means.
  • Use good communication skills. Say what you mean
    in a firm, loving way.

Multi-modal Treatment ( Quinn,
1994 Nadeau, 1994 Murphy, 1995 Amen, 1997)
  • Education Intervention
  • Provide a structured environment
  • preferential classroom seating
  • pair student with good role models
  • create a classroom with limited distractions
  • give a detailed plan of the course activities and
    requirements, avoid changes in routine
  • design tasks of low to moderate frustration
    level, challenge but dont overwhelm
  • provide frequent reminders of due dates of
    assignments and tests dates

Multi-modal Treatment ( Quinn,
1994 Nadeau, 1994 Murphy, 1995 Amen, 1997))
  • Education Intervention
  • Enhance organization skills
  • encourage the use of a daily/weekly planners
  • use a tape recorder for class lectures
  • make directions clear and concise, provide direct
    one-on-one instruction
  • give out only one task at a time
  • monitor work frequently, provide feedback
  • use handouts to minimize the need for note taking
  • provide an outline of material on the overhead
  • maintain frequent communication between home and
    school with daily/weekly progress reports

Multi-modal Treatment ( Quinn,
1994 Nadeau, 1994 Murphy, 1995 Amen, 1997)
  • Education Intervention
  • Allow accommodations in assessment
  • extend time to complete tests
  • provide a distraction free environment for taking
  • alter the response format of tests
  • allow tests to be taken over a period of time in
    short intervals
  • expect no less from students with ADHD, but give
    them alternative ways to demonstrate their

Multi-modal Treatment ( Quinn,
1994 Nadeau, 1994 Murphy, 1995 Amen, 1997)
  • Education Intervention
  • Be sensitive to the students emotional needs
  • be aware of their low frustration tolerance and
    stress tolerance
  • be aware that if they have outbursts of anger, it
    is generally toward themselves and not toward you
  • recognize secondary problems such as depression,
    anxiety, and other emotional problems

Mathematics Individualized Instructional
Practices (Teaching Children with Attention
Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Instructional
Strategies and Practices, 2004)
  • teach students to recognize patterns when
    performing operations on whole numbers
  • use mnemonics for basic computation
  • color code arithmetic symbols to provide visual
  • use calculators to check basic computation
  • provide real-life examples of money skills
  • teach mastery of math symbols, e.g. or minus
    means to take away
  • use computer tutorial games for basic computation

Mathematics Individualized Instructional
Practices (Teaching Children with Attention
Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Instructional
Strategies and Practices, 2004)
  • use number lines for computing whole number
  • use manipulatives in basic computation skills
  • use graph paper to help organize columns when
    performing basic computations
  • teach students to look for clue words that
    indicate specific operations
  • use guiding questions to talk students through
    the steps of problems

  • References
  • ADHD Support Company, (2005) Adult ADHD.
    Available Internet
  • Akron General Medical Center. (2004). Attention
    deficit disorder in adults (ADD). Available
  • Allen, T. (2005). Attention deficit hyperactive
    disorder . . . A teachers perspective. Available
    Internet http//
  • Amen, D. G. (2001). Attention, Doctors. Newsweek.
    February 26, 2001.
  • Amen D. G. (1997). Windows in the A.D.D. mind
    Understanding and treating attention deficit
    disorders in the everyday lives of children,
    adolescents, and adults. Fairfield CA MindWorks
  • American Psychiatric Association (2000).
    Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental
    disorders (4th ed., text revision). Washington
    DC American Psychiatric Association.

  • References
  • Attention Deficit Disorder Resources. (2005).
    Available Internet
  • Baker, K. B. (2001). Attention deficit
    hyperactivity disorder and reading achievement.
    Queensland Journal of Educational Research. 17.
    Available Internet
  • Barabasz, A,, Barabasz, M. (1995). Attention
    deficit hyperactivity disorder Neurological
    basis and treatment alternatives. Journal of
    Neurotherapy. 1(1). Available Internet
  • Fowler, M. (2004). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity
    disorder, Washington, DC National Dissemination
    Center for Children with Disabilities. Available
  • Kid Source Online. (2000). Teaching children with
    attention deficit disorder. Available Internet

  • References
  • Murphy, K. R., LeVert, S. (1995). Out of the fog
    Treatment options and coping strategies for adult
    attention deficit disorder. New York, NY
    Skylight Press.
  • Nadeau, K. G. (1994). Survival guide for college
    students with ADD or LD, New York, NY Magination
  • National Center on Birth Defects and
    Developmental Disabilities. (2005).
    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
    Available Internet
  • National Institute of Mental Health. (2003).
    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
    Available Internet
  • Okamoto, J. K. (2002). Chapter I.10.Attention
    deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Department of
    Pediatrics, University of Hawaii. Available

  • Quinn, P. O. (Ed.). (1994). ADD and the college
    student A guide for high school and college
    students with attention deficit disorder. New
    York, NY Magination Press.
  • The Office of Disability Policy Educational
    Testing Service. (1999). Policy statement for
    documentation of attention-deficit/hyperactivity
    disorder in adolescents and adults. Available
  • U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special
    Education and Rehabilitative Services, Office of
    Special Education Programs. (2004). Teaching
    children with attention deficit hyperactivity
    disorder Instructional strategies and practices.
    Washington, D.C

The Effects of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
Disorder on Mathematics Achievement
  • To obtain a copy of this power point presentation
    go to
  • and click on ADHD
  • or e-mail
  • Kay at
  • Thank you for your attention!
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