ADHD-What is Attention Deficit Disorder?

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a persistent pattern of inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity or both. ADHD typically includes an aspect of hyperactivity, which may be in the form of fidgeting, excessive talking, and a general excess in physical movement or impulsive actions.

ADD and ADHD both result in a reduced ability to concentrate and focus on a specific task, an increased chance of distraction, and reduction in memory capability. Some people with diagnosed ADD/ADHD may have learning disabilities as well.

The prevalence of ADD is typically given as 3-5 percent of the general population, but the actual prevalence is unknown and estimates vary between 1 and 20 percent. This is largely because the diagnostic criteria are very subjective. At the Academic Resource Center, we have several criteria that must be met before we offer support to a student diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. There should be a history of accommodation and/or treatment. The psychological documentation submitted must clearly demonstrate the student's impairment. We also conduct clinical interviews with each student to further explore ways in which the disability limits the student in the academic context. Each case is examined by the ARC's professional staff for appropriate academic interventions.

ADHD-Symptoms of ADD/ADHD

ADD with Inattention
  • Often fails to give close attention to details or makes mistakes in schoolwork
  • Difficulty sustaining attention in tasks
  • Seems not to listen or "spacey"
  • Fails to follow instructions or finish work
  • Unorganized
  • Difficulties with schoolwork or homework
  • Loses things like school assignments, books, tools, etc.
  • Easily distracted
  • Forgetful about daily activities
ADD with Hyperactivity
  • Fidgety in a restless sense
  • Doesn't stay seated or seems to need frequent breaks
  • Often "on the go" or acts if "driven by a motor"
  • Overscheduled
  • Often talks excessively
  • Blurts out answers to questions
  • Impatient
  • Often interrupts or intrudes on others