Implications of the Growth of ADHD Students in Education

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a problem of not being able to focus, being overactive, not being able control behavior, or a combination of these. For these problems to be diagnosed as ADHD, they must be out of the normal range for a person’s age and development.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, the number of children diagnosed with ADHD has almost doubled in the last 20 years.  Now almost one in five American boys are diagnosed with the condition by age 17.

What are the implications for American education?  Assuming that 1/2 of school classrooms are made up of males:

  • In an elementary school classroom of 25 students, half of whom are male, at least 2 students have ADHD.
  • in a high school class of 34 students, half of whom are male, at least 3 students have ADHD.

These students because of the effects of the disease may disrupt the teaching and learning process. Teachers need to be prepared to teach these students because many of them are assigned to Special Education classes, “pushed out of school” or assigned to alternative education schools, or encouraged to dropout.