How ADHD Affects Students

ADHD can affect a student’s performance in the classroom and their social life.


Allison Berryhill

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder affects more than 6.1 million people worldwide.

Camryn Church, Editor

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects 13.5 percent of students ages 12-17. Of that 13 percent, a majority of students diagnosed are males. This isn’t because females aren’t less susceptible to the disorder, it’s rather likely the symptoms of ADHD are different in girls, and can usually go unnoticed. ADHD is one of the most common mental disorders affecting children according to the American Psychiatric Association

Although students with ADHD may be highly intellectual, many lag behind their peers developmentally, as much as 30 percent. This could mean those with ADHD may act immature, or they may forget their chores or assignments, and the quality and amount of those assignments completed daily fluctuate. ADHD can also cause other serious problems such as learning disabilities, sleep disturbances, and even anxiety and depression, which can further complicate treatment and schoolwork. The cause of ADHD is unclear. However, research efforts continue.

Medications cannot cure ADHD, but some are able to help with the symptoms and focus. The medications used to treat ADHD are stimulants, but if a student has ADHD, it has the opposite effect. Another example of this would be caffeine. Senior Clayton Jipsen was diagnosed with ADHD last year, but struggled to pay attention even before he was diagnosed. Jipsen said, “When I’m on my medication I feel calmer and it’s easier to focus.”

However, it is extremely obvious to Jipsen when he is off his medication, especially in regards to school work. “When I don’t take my meds, my mind is running at a million miles per hour. It’s hard to grasp a single thought, as so many are running through my head. When I’m off of my medication, schoolwork is practically impossible,” Jipsen said.

“ADHD can make it very hard to focus sometimes and I often end up forgetting things,” Jipsen said. He also said ADHD makes it hard to accomplish tasks. “I can get distracted by the smallest things, such as a slight breeze or animals.” Jipsen’s friends are aware of his ADHD and “are very professional about helping me when I’m struggling to focus.”

It is particularly hard for Jipsen to focus in classes he has no interest in, while classes he wants to do, like band and choir, are very easy to pay attention in.

ADHD affects each person differently. Medication plays a role in individuals’ social and school performance.