Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder – ADHD

Nothing gains the attention of an educator faster than a child demonstrating Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). When I grew up in a small farming community in the Midwest—these kids were defined as the “country kids”. Country kids were active. They ran from one end of town to other—all day long, without ever tiring. In 1965 there was no child with a diagnosis of ADHD—they were just really active kids or country kids. The parents kicked them out the door with instructions to be home by the time the street lights came on. Our neighbor down the street moved to the country because that little farming community was not large enough for his five “country kids”. They needed to swing from the rafters of a barn, bale hay, run wild in the corn fields and stay active—and they did. No one ever dreamed those five children would be labeled with ADHD 30 years later.

According to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth edition (DSM-V) there is no single test to diagnose for ADHD, and like many other problems such as certain learning disabilities, anxiety, and depression there are several steps to evaluate for the disorder. The Center for Disease Control or CDC offers a checklist to parents to fill out and take to their health care provider. The check list is divided into two sections, inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity. In the DSM-IV, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) was a separate diagnosis that consisted of the Inattention items listed below. The new criterion in DSM-V has dropped the ADD label and is now classified as ADHD only. If six or more of the items listed below are noted consistently within the last six months that are inappropriate for the developmental level of your child, you should seek help. It is also noted that these behaviors must occur in two or more locations –such as school and home and the child must be at least 7 years of age. I have listed the criteria below with the possible cause of the inattention. The Power Tools for Learning assessment is designed to evaluate the areas in the right column or possible cause of the inattention in the left column. With the appropriate sequential protocol, these processing weaknesses can be corrected.

DSM – V – Inattention Possible cause
Often forgetful in daily activities
  • Low short term auditory or visual memory
  • Low auditory or visual units memory
  • Low verbal sequencing abilities
  • Corpus Callosum weakness
  • Emotionally pre-occupied
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Food allergies
  • Environmental allergies
  • Environmental toxin exposure
  • Vestibular processing weakness
  • Auditory processing disorder
  • Vestibular hyperacusis (auditory sensitivity)
  • Sensory Integration Disorder
  • Visual Spatial Learning Style
  • Misalignment of Atlas or Occipital

 

Easily distracted
  • Developmental vision weakness
  • Corpus Callosum (mental midline processing) weakness
  • Sensory integration Disorder
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Visual spatial learning style
  • Low auditory or visual memory
  • Food Allergies
  • Environmental allergies
  • Environmental toxin exposure
  • Vestibular processing weakness
  • Vestibular hyperacusis (auditory sensitivity)

 

Often loses things needed for tasks and activities (school assignments, books, tools)
  • Low visual memory
  • Corpus Callosum(mental midline processing) weakness
  • Visual spatial learning style
  • Low verbal sequencing

 

Avoids, dislikes, or doesn’t want to do things that take a lot of mental effort for a long period of time (school work or homework)
  • Low auditory or visual memory
  • Low verbal sequencing abilities needed for reading comprehension
  • Behavioral or developmental visual processing disorder
  • Auditory processing Disorder
  • Vestibular processing weakness
  • Underdeveloped visual closure
  • Food allergies
  • Environmental allergies
  • Environmental toxin exposure
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

 

Has trouble organizing activities
  • Low short term auditory or visual memory
  • Low verbal sequencing abilities
  • Corpus Callosum (mental midline) weakness
  • Atlas or Occipital misalignment
  • Vestibular processing weakness
  • Food allergies
  • Environmental allergies
  • Environmental toxin exposure
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

 

Does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish school work, chores, or duties in the workplace
  • Low short term auditory or visual memory
  • Low verbal sequencing
  • Sensory integration disorder
  • Vestibular processing disorder
  • Low auditory memory
  • Corpus Callosum (mental midline) weakness
  • Auditory processing disorder
  • Visual processing disorder

 

Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
  • Auditory processing disorder
  • Possible hearing loss
  • Low verbal sequencing abilities
  • Low auditory memory
  • Visual Spatial Learning Style

 

Has trouble keeping attention on tasks. Does not give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities or play activities
  • Low visual closure
  • Developmental vision weakness to include tracking and binocular vision weakness
  • Visual spatial learning style
  • Sensory Integration Disorder
  • Fine motor weakness
  • Corpus Callosum (mental midline) processing weakness
 

 

According to the DSM – 5 six or more of the following symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity must be present for at least six months that is disruptive and inappropriate for the individual’s developmental level in two or more different settings. That would include:

 

Hyperactivity/Impulsivity Possible cause
Interrupting or intruding on others conversations or games
  • Low auditory memory
  • Low verbal sequencing
  • Sensory Integration Disorder
  • Auditory Processing Disorder
  • Visual Processing Disorder
  • Hearing Loss
  • Untrained listening skills
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
Has trouble waiting ones turn

 

  • Low auditory memory
  • Sensory Integration Disorder
  • Auditory processing Disorder
  • Visual Processing Disorder
  • Low verbal sequencing
  • Visual Spatial Learning Style

 

Blurts out answers before the question has been finished.
  • Low auditory memory
  • Visual Spatial Learning Style
  • Sensory Integration Disorder

 

Runs excessively or climbs when it is not appropriate (adults are restless)
  • Food Allergies – Gluten Intolerance
  • Environmental allergies
  • Vestibular processing disorder
  • Sensory Integration Disorder

 

 

Often talks excessively
  • Low auditory memory
  • Vestibular Processing disorder
  • Auditory processing disorder

 

Acts as though they are driven by a motor and are always on the go
  • Vestibular processing disorder
  • Food allergies – gluten intolerance
Has trouble playing or doing leisure activities quietly
  • Sensory Integration Disorder
  • Auditory Processing Disorder

 

Gets up and out of seat often
  • Vestibular processing disorder
  • Auditory processing disorder
  • Developmental or behavioral vision weakness
Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat when the individual is expected to sit still

 

  • Auditory Processing disorder
  • Vestibular processing disorder
  • Tactile defensiveness
  • Visual processing disorder

 

For additional information on how the Power Tools for Learning program can assist the processing issues listed contact Vickie at –Vickie@toolsforlearning.com or call her at – 510-337-9838.