ADHD, EXECUTIVE FUNCTION AND SCHOOL SUCCESS
Chris A. Zeigler Dendy, M.S.
(updated in 2011)
The primary source for this article was my new Teaching Teens with ADD, ADHD, & Executive Function Deficits, 2nd ed (2011)
A Personal Comment: Our youngest son, Alex, struggled terribly throughout his high school and college years with ADHD and executive function issues. We’re proud that he beat the odds and graduated from college. So if your child is struggling in school, don’t give up. My family offers living proof that there is hope and help for ADHD and coexisting conditions.
Please visit our website www.chrisdendy.com to learn more about my family and how we have coped with ADHD. Several helpful articles are also available for you to download and share with friends. Best wishes for school success to you, your children and students with attention deficits!!
Five years ago, most parents and teachers of students with ADHD didn’t have a clue that a child’s academic success was contingent upon strong executive skills. However, today’s savvy parents and educators realize that deficits in critical cognitive skills known as executive functions (EF) are slower to mature in many children with ADHD. In 2007, researchers made a startling discovery: the brains of students with ADHD mature three years more slowly than their peers. This helps explain why their executive skills are delayed. Two years later, scientists found that the part of the brain that enables students to work on “boring tasks” such as school work has a reduced number of dopamine receptors and transporters. More simply stated the reduced levels of brain chemistry in this key area explains why students can play video games for hours but struggle to complete their homework in a timely manner.