Many children exhibit signs of weak attention controls which can be referred to as attentional dysfunction. Problems with attention are the most common source of learning and behavioral difficulties in school-age children. Often these weaknesses are lumped as a syndrome called Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Children with attentional dysfunction have weaknesses in some (and sometimes all) of the controls above. They vary significantly in which controls are weak and in the degree to which the weak controls actually interfere with learning, behaving, and or relating to other people. There are children whose problems with attention cause them to underachieve but not misbehave. Others have attention problems that lead to disciplinary actions, while still others find that poor attention control disrupts their ability to form friendships and maintain a good reputation with peers.
Children with attentional dysfunction are clearly different from one another. To lump them all together and say they have ADD or ADHD does not tell us much about them. Not only do students vary in their definite traits and their existence of unacceptable behavior, but they differ as well in their strengths and weaknesses in other related areas, such as motor skills, language ability, and memory capacity. If children are having trouble understanding, they are prone to become inattentive. Attention is fragile and depends on a range of factors (including success) to keep it running properly! So, in our judgment within this population of children, we feel there is reason for describing the individual characteristics of individual children rather than lumping them into one big group or syndrome.
Educational Care by Dr. Mel Levine; permission to reprint granted.
As a sister of two younger brothers with ADHD, I know how hard it is to understand the whole picture of this invisible disability. For example, Attention Deficit effects their memory: Big Time! So I am the only kid with a reliable memory. It's not that they don't want to remember they just can't. Oh, and another thing - kids with ADHD are not bad kids! It's caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain which is terribly misunderstood!
If ADHD is treated with the proper medical and behavioral modification there are definitely some benefits to being ADHD such as being sensitive, to others and not teasing someone just because you feel like it or it's fun (which would be rare), but because you know how it feels to get teased or picked on. But if left untreated (as any other condition) there could be many negative results such as: behavioral problems in school and home, poor academic achievement and under the worst circumstances criminal behavior.