What Really Is ADD and ADHD?

Attention deficit disorder (ADD), also called attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
(ADHD), is a national health crisis that continues to grow. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 20% of boys and 11% of girls are being diagnosed with it.

Even though it is now being diagnosed more frequently than ever, it remains one of the most misunderstood and incorrectly treated illnesses of our day.

ADD often has a powerful negative impact on a person’s ability to do well in school. In fact, studies show that as many as 33% of kids with ADD never finish high school (3 times the national average). If you look at the following list of hallmark symptoms of this neurobiological disorder, it is easy to see why:

  • Restlessness
  • Short Attention Span
  • Distractibility
  • Impulsiveness
  • Procrastination
  • Forgetfulness
  • Hyperactivity
  • Disorganization

Students with ADD are often not identified by their schools as needing assistance and end up falling through the cracks.

However, after years of receiving complaints from parents, the U.S. Department of Education just released new guidelines intended to prevent schools from discriminating against the ever-increasing population of students with ADD.

Furthermore, the guidelines direct school districts to identify students with ADD and provide appropriate accommodations to assist them in being successful in school. Additionally, the guidelines entitle parents to ask that their child be evaluated by their school district.

As reported in the Los Angeles Times, the U.S. Department of Education’s assistant secretary for civil rights, Catherine Lhamon, was quoted as saying, “The failure to provide needed services to students with disabilities can result in serious social, emotional and educational harm.”

Identification of the disorder is just the first step.

ADD, like many other conditions, is not just a single and simple disorder; therefore, treatment is not a one-size-fits-all solution.