Accommodation Support Plan: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a common childhood brain disorder affecting young children and teenagers. It can however spread to adulthood based on the severity of the disorder and the symptoms. Major symptoms include difficulty in paying attention or remaining focused, the patients being challenged to control their behaviors, and hyperactivity (NIMH, 2014).
I have been studying with Mark Cornell at the same university attending similar lectures and visiting similar places at the higher education institution. Mark however suffers from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. This is noticeable based on his actions as he struggles to execute and deliver various functions while at the university. For example, during our first year Mark faced several challenges paying attention and remaining focused during long lecture hours. He would be easily distracted by activities taking place outside the lecture hall like other students laughing loudly. This easily distracted him as he would either start laughing loudly in the lecture hall or sleep due to boredom if he was unable to pay attention or engage in an activity he deemed enjoyable. His disorder was therefore emotionally and behavioral based. This is because he could neither control his emotional needs hence, engaging in appropriate activities at the wrong time and place. For example, he once got so agitated while trying to complete an exam that he stormed out of the exam room crying, shouting, and cursing using rude phases. This however does not mean Mark has his strengths that either hide his weaknesses or compliment his ability to rely on medication to suppress his emotional and behavioral hyperactivities (Gentile, Atiq & Gillig, 2006).
When Mark started attending lectures during the first year, he was easily distracted. He often missed details crucial in gathering informational facts while taking notes. The rest of the students however decided to investigate how to capture his attention and ensure he remains focused. We realized that, using various objects such as paintings and pebbles especially during statistical lectures helped to sustain his attention and focus. Consequently, his grades improved and he adopted the behavior of relying on activities and objects to enhance his ability to understand, remember, and pass his exams. We realized that, his memory is quiet sharp with an ability to remember diverse facts for a long period of time. He was also highly organized ensuring his notes were up to date, neatly written, and the books arranged. He asserted that, organizing his room helped him to minimize distraction as well as depression. It also prevented him from relying on medication to remain focused as he was afraid overreliance could lead to drug abuse. This further affirmed that, he was conscious of his health and surrounding. For example, he once explained to the rest of the students that physical exercises such as aerobics assist him to calm down, pay attention, and focus for a long period of time. He therefore requested us to accompany him for jogging sessions especially in the morning in order to avoid taking his medication. This proved that Mark was keen and dedicated towards moral, ethical, and healthy decisions aimed at stimulating his physical and emotional abilities.
Mark however can be competitive. This often led to misunderstandings, conflicts, and even fights with people who did not know he was suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. During such incidences, he would be stubborn and aggressive. This would further lead to display of antisocial behaviors coupled with fidgeting and other super active activities that were distractive and hyperactive. Mark also faced a weakness in controlling his mood swings. One moment he would be happy and the next second angry, aggressive, and destructive. For example, he once tried to cut off his hand after he laughed from a joke told during the lecture. However, he thought the students were laughing at him as he had forgotten the joke and hence tried to harm himself. This affirmed he faced a low self-esteem and confidence.
The following two goals and accommodation plans can therefore ensure Mark is supported as he continues to pursue his higher education. Foremost, the university should provide Mark with psychotherapy or behavioral therapy. This can assist him in ensuring he remains organized and focused to complete his studies within the stipulated time period. More importantly, the therapies can assist in stabilizing his emotional needs by equipping him with tools and measures to apply during the difficult and challenging emotional periods. The therapies should also focus on equipping Mark with social skills. This can enhance his social esteem and worthiness coupled with the ability to integrate with other students without feeling differently inadequate or less worth (NIMH, 2014).
The second goal should involve rewarding and appreciating Mark when his school performance, social skills, and overall behavioral and emotional stability are impeccable. For example, he should be appreciated, praised, and even rewarded for every single day he is not involved in conflicts. He should also be appreciated for putting efforts towards socializing and integrating with other students. More importantly, the lecturers should be advised to pay close attention in the classroom. This can guarantee that, when Mark is distracted the lecturer draws his attention by engaging him in an activity that can prolong his focus. Ultimately, the accommodation support plan implemented to assist Mark should ensure his emotional and behavioral needs are addressed (NCCMH, 2009).
Gentile, J. P., Atiq, R., & Gillig, P. M. (2006). Adult ADHD: Diagnosis, Differential Diagnosis and Medication Management. Psychiatry Edgmont Review, 3(8), 25-30.
National Collaborating Center for Mental Health (NCCMH). (2009). Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Diagnosis and Management of ADHD in Children, Young People and Adults. British Psychological Society.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). (2014). What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder? National Institute of Mental Health Report.