Don Peek – Do You Know Someone with AD/HD?

This post is authored by Don Peek, a former educator and past president of the training division of Renaissance Learning. He now runs The School Funding Center, a company that provides grant information and grant-writing services to schools. To learn more, or to subscribe to the School Funding Center Grant Database, go to




Do You Know Someone with AD/HD?

About 5% of children in school have Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD).  Boys are 3 times as likely to have AD/HD as girls.

Researchers have determined that the probable cause of most AD/HD is the lack of certain chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters.  Since neurotransmitters help the brain control behavior, a shortage of these chemicals can cause a person very specific problems.  These include:  problems paying attention, being very active (hyperactivity), and acting before thinking (impulsivity).

These have been categorized into 3 types of AD/HD:

1)      inattentive type, where a person can’t stay focused on a task or activity,

2)      hyperactive-impulsive type, where the person is very active and acts without thinking,

3)      combined type, where the person is inattentive, impulsive, and too active.

While Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is not specifically listed in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as an individual category of disability, it is listed as a possible disability under Other Health Impairment.  Students only become eligible for special education services, however, when their behavior “adversely affects a child’s educational performance.”

If you’ve ever had a child with AD/HD, as a parent or a teacher, you know that behavior can be a challenge at home and at school.  Many AD/HD children have trouble staying in their seats, paying attention to the teacher, and refraining from behavior that puts them at risk of physical injury (climbing up on things, running across streets, etc.)

Inattentive type children typically do not pay close attention to details, can’t stay focused while playing or working, don’t follow through or finish school work or chores, can’t organize tasks, get distracted easily, and lose things such as toys, school work, and books.

Hyperactive-impulsive type children typically fidget and squirm a lot, get out of their chairs, run around or climb constantly, have trouble playing quietly, talk too much and blurt out answers, have trouble taking their turn, interrupt others, and butt in on other children’s games.

These behaviors do not tend to make these children popular.  This leads to problems at home, at school, and with friends.  As a result, many AD/HD children feel anxious, have low self-esteem, and are depressed.  These are not symptoms of AD/HD, but simply show up in many students because of the problems at home and school caused by AD/HD.

If you believe a child has AD/HD, it is important to get him/her diagnosed by a professional as soon as possible.  Medications have been very helpful for some students.  However, please remember that not every child with a behavior problem has AD/HD.  That’s why a professional diagnosis is so important.

Not everyone with AD/HD needs or responds well to medication.  It is important to note that both parents and teachers can help structure an environment which will help children with AD/HD stay more focused and get much more done.  You can start by posting rules, schedules, and assignments.  You can teach students study skills and learning strategies.  You will need to reinforce the things you teach them regularly.  It is important to be clear, consistent, and positive with these children whether at home or at school.

Fortunately, thousands of articles and books have been written on the subject of AD/HD.  Your very best bet is to do as much research as possible on the Internet or at the library.  Help those children with AD/HD to learn and grow.  Most are very capable if you can help them to bring more structure into their lives.  As they grow older, many of their symptoms will disappear or be much less noticeable as they mature and learn to deal with this disability.


Grant Name:   Ross Foundation Educational Grants

Funded By:  The Dorothea Haus Ross Foundation

Description:  Giving on a national basis to advance the moral, mental, and physical well-being of children of all races and creeds; to aid and assist in providing for the basic needs of food, shelter, and education of such children by whatever means and methods necessary or advisable; to prevent by medical research or otherwise the mental and physical handicaps of children. Funding is also available for the research of pediatric diseases.

Program Areas:  Disabilities, Early Childhood, General Education, Health/PE, Special Education

Recipients:  Private School, Faith-based, Other

Proposal Deadline:  None

Average Amount:  $1,000.00 – $15,000.00

Telephone:   585-473-6006



Availability:  All States


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