Characteristics of the Condition
- Excessive motor activity (e.g., leg bouncing, finger or pencil tapping).
- Restlessness; difficulty remaining seated, inclination to pace
- Difficulty sitting down and getting started on independent work
- Interrupting others when talking
- Talking a lot, but seeming to talk in circles
- Inclination to move quickly from task to task
- Apparent "carelessness" in work habits
- Impatience with solutions that are not "quick fixes"
- Difficulty sustaining concentration on a task (though sometimes hyper-focusing).
- Appearing not to be listening when spoken to, as mind wanders.
- Overt inattention (e.g., staring out the window during class or study session)
- Failure to maintain eye contact during conversation, or offering replies tangential to subject
- Organization/Time Management:
- Difficulty meeting deadlines, keeping appointments
- Losing materials, equipment, other possessions
- Misunderstanding assignments, requirements, expectations despite instructions
- Trouble making decisions, sticking with plans
Impact on Classroom Performance
- Arriving late to class; missing appointments
- Misunderstanding assignments, instructions, test questions
- Assignments are turned in late or not at all
- Difficulty taking useful notes in class
Impact on Writing
- Illegible or highly variable handwriting
- Sentence fragments, poor sentence structure, run-on sentences, spelling errors
- Simple sentence structure, OR long, rambling, convoluted, ungrammatical multi-clausal structures
- Ambiguous or obscure pronoun references
- Words missing from a sentence
- Chronic inconsistency of tense; more rarely, errors in number, case agreement
- Lacking a clear thesis statement
- Content disorganization; unexpected shifts and digressions
- Absence of coherent argument or expository structure (e.g., no stated conclusion)
- Anomalous quantities of writing in either direction
- Large amounts of linear, disorganized and repetitive writing ("tunnel writing")
- Meager production, especially given the knowledge the student can articulate
Interaction with Student
- Suggest organization and planning strategies for study, reading and writing projects
- Suggest reading strategies that aim at active, purposeful information gathering
- Provide coaching on pre-writing activities that help structure information
- Suggest assisted proof-reading of work: e.g., computer or another person reads passages exactly as written. This allows the student to hear and potentially identify errors that may be not be detected in silent proof-reading.
- Provide suggestions for organization and time management, then follow up to see if they are being used.