Executive Function Deficits Among ADHD Students in Classroom Learning: Issues and Strategies

Executive Function Deficits Among ADHD Students in Classroom Learning: Issues and Strategies

Ashwini Deshpande Nagarhalli
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-5495-1.ch013
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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the widely prevalent externalizing disorders from the category of neurodevelopmental disorders. With the constant rise in the diagnosis of a number of cases presenting ADHD or ADHD-like symptoms, the need to understand issues as experienced by the student requires the right interventions for effective management. The core challenges in the area of academics and overall presentation lie with the executive function deficits that the child has. Hence, addressing those and working on skills like attention, working memory, response inhibition, goal setting, planning, problem solving, and organization has to be considered as part of the management plan. The current chapter explores evidence-based issues and strategies to be targeted in the classroom set up for students with ADHD. It also highlights some classroom-specific strategies, which can be focused by the teachers and remedial therapists.
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Executive Functions And Adhd

The role of executive functions assumes maximum significance and importance for children diagnosed with Learning Disabilities and ADHD. The cause of academic difficulties with ADHD is unknown, however, the problems in executive functions come across as one of the contributory causes (Johnson et al, 2011). Executive Functions involve the metacognitive knowledge regarding strategies and tasks, attention and memory systems that support these processes like the working memory, and the self-regulatory processes like planning and self-monitoring (Meltzer,2007). According to Biedermann et al, (2004) students with ADHD have executive function deficits.

Executive functions involve planning, organizing, maintaining effort and monitoring activities that are necessary for academic success (Johnson et al,2011), clearly which a child with ADHD is often found struggling vis-a-vis the symptoms and their clinical presentation at school and home. Thus, executive function deficits can negatively affect academic performance (Clark, Prior& Kinsella, 2002).

A number of theoretical models have added executive function deficits as their primary characteristics (e.g. Barkley,2006), so it goes without any argument that the executive deficits play a significant role in academics for students with ADHD (Johnson et al,2011) and hence the approaches to intervention planning and management need to weigh heavily in targeting these deficits. The students who were identified with comorbid LD and ADHD had more executive dysfunction (Watson et al, 2016).

The researches also found a significant correlation among IQ, executive functions and achievement. Additionally, students with impaired executive functions were found to be at a risk for engaging in impulsive or hostile responses to stressful situations (Ricco et al 2011) (Santor et al, 2003) and repeated academic failure can trigger either student withdrawal, acting-out behaviors. To sum it up poor executive functioning skills can place students with ADHD on a slippery slope that all too often leads to significant social and/ or academic problems (Watson et al, 2016).

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