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Do Schools and School Districts Recognize ADHD as a Learning Disability?

Anne Smith

University of California Riverside
Do Schools and School Districts Recognize ADHD as a Learning Disability? A twelve year old boy named Mike, who fidgeted, played with small pieces of paper, paid more attention to events happening out the window then the paper on his desk. Mike has an IQ of 145, yet had a 2.4 grade point average. He could carry on intelligent, sophisticated conversations with adults who were engineers, teachers, veterinarians, and businessmen yet couldn’t pass an essay test on the book he read. His teachers and schools classified him as lazy. Let’s roll the clock forward twenty years, to another twelve year old boy named Orion, much like Mike; he too is classified as lazy, with an IQ of 139. Both boys were tested for learning disabilities and none were found but were diagnosed by psychiatrist and treated with medication for Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity (ADHD). It would seem that over the past twenty years little progress has been made in recognizing ADHD as a legitimate learning disorder. One can still ask the question ‘Do schools and school Districts recognize ADHD as a learning disability?’ Research bears out that they do not fully recognize ADHD as a true learning disability. Parents still must jump through many hoops to get the necessary educational help. ADHD is considered a “neurological glitch in the brain’s frontal lobe which houses a person’s impulse control and their ability to pay attention.” A student with this disorder struggles to complete tasks, follow directions and stay focused. ADD students are usually bright, but experience difficulties in school. They often don’t think before they act. They often write illegibly and are poor in spelling (Briggs 14B) Studies show that...

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