Nov. 17 workshop will address ADHD

Published 6:22 pm Thursday, November 3, 2011

By DR. CHERYL GUY

Decatur County Schools Parent Involvement Coordinator

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most common behavior disorder in childhood. It affects between 8 percent and 10 percent of school age children and adolescents. Typically diagnosed in childhood, ADHD still affects many children and teens. The symptoms — inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity — are intrusive, which means they interrupt and seriously interfere with a child or teen’s life.

The Decatur County Parent Resource Center (the old West Bainbridge Elementary School) will host a workshop on ADHD on Thursday, Nov. 17, at 9 a.m. at the center, located at 507 Martin St. in Bainbridge. For more information, contact Dr. Cheryl Guy, Parent Involvement Coordinator, at (229) 243-6847 or cguy@dcboe.com; or Janie Kelley, Special Education Parent Mentor, at (229) 243-6844 or jkelley@dcboe.com.

Because of problems with distractibility and poor concentration, many children and teens with ADHD have difficulty in school. Grades can be become affected, as it is not uncommon for teens with ADHD to forget assignments, misplace textbooks, and become easily bored with their daily class work. Children and teens may become inattentive, or excessively attentive — not waiting for their turn before blurting out answers. They may interrupt the teacher and classmates, and rush through assignments. Children and teens with ADHD may also be fidgety and have a difficult time sitting still in class.

Often, those with ADHD are so busy focusing on other things they forget about the task at hand. They may lack follow-through with tasks or assignments, which can be seen especially with homework and athletic skills and in relationships with peers. This lack of attention to what they’re doing often leads to poor performance on tests and being rejected from sports teams, extracurricular activities, and peer groups.

Driving poses special risks for teens with ADHD. In fact, teens with ADHD are two to four times more likely to have a car accident than teens without ADHD. Teens with ADHD may be impulsive, risk-taking, immature in judgment, and thrill seeking. All of these traits increase the chance of an automobile accident and serious injury.

Teens with ADHD are more likely to be heavy drinkers than teens without ADHD. They are also more likely to have problems from drinking. In clinical studies, researchers confirmed that teens with ADHD were twice as likely to have abused alcohol within the past six months. They also found that teens with ADHD were likely to abuse drugs and three times more likely to abuse drugs other than marijuana.

Parents and caretakers who would like to learn more information about what ADHD is and what it is not, ADHD treatment options, and ways to decrease its symptoms are invited to attend the Nov. 17 workshop. Come join other parents as we share common concerns and experiences while working towards the most optimal success for our children and teens, both in and out of school.