1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Understanding Attention Deficit Disorders

Learning and Behavior Problems Usually Accompany Attention Deficits


Updated June 27, 2014

A Girl Trying to Study

Attention Deficit in Classrooms

An attention deficit disorder (ADD) is a weakness in the brain's ability to focus on important sensory information. ADD school can impact a student's ability to processes information from a teacher's words, music, video, and written text. An attention deficit may also affect the brain's ability to filter out information that is not important. People with ADD cannot tune out distractions that others may barely notice.

Even the sensation of clothing on skin or the temperature in a room can be a distraction in ADD. An attention deficit exists when the brain cannot maintain focus on important information. People with ADD cannot filter out unimportant information or prioritize important information. Problems controlling impulsive behaviors and thoughts are common.

ADD Symptoms

  • Inability to attend to a teachers' instructions.
  • Auditory and visual confusion.
  • Memory problems are common.
  • Hypersensitivity to visual and tactile sensations may exist as well in ADD. Those with the disorder may feel overwhelmed by pulsing fluorescent light or electrical sounds.
  • People with ADD may feel overwhelmed by large assignments. Processing directions is difficult as well. Complex problem solving is likely to be difficult.
  • Hyper-sensitive olfactory systems can also be a problem for people with ADD. An attention deficit may cause everyday smells to seem overwhelming.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.