The Intergration Of Adhd Students Education Essay

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Do you have a child or know any child suffering with Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder? Are you looking for information on ways to help him/her have an enjoyable and successful life? Today is your lucky day. Children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder, better known as ADD/ADHD, suffer with many daily activities such as the ability to make friends and keep their friendship with peers, the ability to maintain the knowledge they gain for a long period of time, ability to stay focused, and the ability to succeed with their education.

Many children face these challenges in school. One of the challenges that prevents these children from being able to live a normal school life is the stereotypes other people place on them. Parents and teachers are one of the many people who stereotype them as children who misbehave a lot or children who cause trouble. That is why some parents and teachers disagree with placing these children in a regular classroom with other children who do not have ADD/ADHD. They may think that children with ADD/ADHD are students who need special help or are bad influences to the other students. ADD/ADHD students and students without disabilities can benefit from each other by being in the same learning environment because it improves understanding between both types of students, reduces bullying, and improves peer support.

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Improving Understanding between Both Types of Students

Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder (ADD/ADHD) is one of the most common disabilities among children. This disability prevents children from a list of daily tasks such as doing assignments, staying focus, using short-term memory, etc. "Specialists are recognizing that it is a complex syndrome of impairments in development of the brain's cognitive management system, or executive functions" (Brown 22). According to Jean Ostoits' research, "attention deficit is a breakdown in the attentional regulatory system. Such breakdown can result in low grades and erratic performance and cause students to learn inefficient reading skills. Staying alert in the classroom is difficult for these students because of the sheer amount of effort required to pay attention." According to the article "A New Approach to," the U.S. Centers for Disease control conducted a study and found that there are about 7.8 percent of children who have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. For years, these children have been labeled "children who can't sit still, won't stop talking, and often are disruptive" (Brown 22).

Teachers may not know that there is a child in their class who has ADD/ADHD. Some may assume that a child is being disruptive on purpose or is slacking off with school work because they are lazy. There have been many studies to help teachers differentiate students with ADD/ADHD from other students. The first thing they need to do is understand the core symptoms associated with ADHD. This includes hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention. This can significantly affect youth functioning (Leslie et al. 163). "Research has documented that 50% to 80% of students with ADHD may exhibit academic performance problems resulting in failure to acquire sufficient skills in reading, math, writing, and spelling (…)" (Leslie et al. 163). "If left untreated, ADHD and its associated conditions can seriously interfere with a child's social interactions with peers and teachers, academic achievement, and overall school experience. Grade retention(s) and school dropout are negative long-term difficulties associated with ADHD (…)" (Leslie et al. 163). Before any teacher can do anything to help students with ADD/ADHD, they must first evaluate them even though they are not diagnosed with it.

According to Thomas E. Brown, in order to start the evaluation, information from teachers and the school psychologist about their observations of the student's academic work, classroom performance, or social interactions must be gathered by the school staff. Once everything is collected, the information should be presented to the parents with suggestions on ways to organize a more suitable evaluation to help determine the causes of the student's behavior and possible ways to improve their behavior (27). "Early identification of students with ADD is important because appropriate interventions can prevent a student from becoming demoralized by repeated experiences of frustration and Failure. With appropriate intervention, most students with ADD/ADHD can achieve at the level of their abilities" (Brown 27).

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Once a child is diagnosed, teachers need to make sure they understand how ADD/ADHD students behave in the classroom and try to come up with ways to help them. Teachers can help these students by coming up with different teaching techniques that will encourage the students to participate and be interested in the lesson. "Students with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) with or without hyperactivity (ADHD) present a unique set of characteristics that challenge educators to find strategies to ensure their academic success. Of primary concern is the reading ability of these students" (Ostoits). Jean Ostoits also mentioned in her research that poor readers' learning styles include working in small groups instead of working alone, low motivation, low persistence, need for visual illustrations, and poor auditory memory. These are some things teachers should look at to help improvise their teaching strategies.

Teachers can try to have the class get into groups and do sing-along's with movements instead of just sitting down and reading from the book. Another way to help student's with ADD/ADHD is to allow them to get into their comfort zones in order for them to do their work, whether they are laying on the floor, standing up, etc (Deleon Guerrero). You have to make sure they are interested, motivated, and involved. Once the class is done with their assignment, teachers should try to prepare a hands on activity or some other activity to help refresh their memory on what they just did, whether it is story boards, drawing, story sharing (get into a circle and each student says how they interpreted the story) etc.

Parents on the other hand should also be encouraged to assist their child who is diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. They should seek medical attention and try to get tutoring lessons to help the child academically. Parents should also try to get their child involved with extracurricular activities that may attract or interest the child. They may not know that their child is suffering from ADD/ADHD because the symptoms do not always start during childhood.

Because normal development of executive functions is not complete until late adolescence or early adulthood, it is not always possible to identify during childhood, students with impairments in these functions. For some students, ADD impairments become obvious during preschool. These students may be wildly hyperactive or unable to sit still or follow even the most basic directions. Other students may learn and behave quite well during elementary school, showing signs of ADD impairments only when middle school challenges their self-management abilities as they leave behind a classroom in which a single teacher has helped guide their executive functions. (Brown 24)

Although it is sometimes difficult to determine whether a child has ADD/ADHD, it is always the role of the parent to guide the child every step of the way. Parents play a major role in their child's life. They are the ones who establish how their child feels about him/herself and how he/she will succeed in life. Parents are the ones who can help them manage the challenges they will face because of their disability and deal with frustrations they may overcome.

Some parents seek medical attention to help their child with ADD/ADHD. The most common prescription for this disorder is Ritalin. Before any parent decides to give this drug to their child, they should make sure their child has been fairly evaluated and diagnosed by a doctor who specializes in ADD/ADHD. Some parents make wrong assumptions about their child. Anmarie J. Weidner gave a good example on how parents may make the wrong assumptions in her article "Beyond Ritalin,"

A child jumping around or fidgeting in their chair could be described as dysfunctional if the adults around desire a quiet, still child. The quiet, still child, however may be labeled dysfunctional if his or her behavior is noticed during playtime or during a social situation, times when children are usually active and rambunctious. A teacher may say, 'This child's being too active and not paying attention', or the parent may say, 'My child is too docile and shy, he doesn't play enough with other kids'. The same child in either situation would be a good candidate for being labeled ADD or ADHD, and placed on Ritalin. (269)

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It is important for parents to make sure their child is really diagnosed with ADD/ADHD to prevent drug abuse or child abuse. But once the evaluation is completed, any parent should seek any available medical assistance they can get and are comfortable with. Because they are the main role of the child, it is important they make the decision they feel will help and benefit their child.

Students who do not have ADD/ADHD can also help by first understanding that their peers with ADD/ADHD sometimes need our help. They need to understand that their classmate is not disrupting the class intentionally. "Research within the framework of attribution theory, suggests that children's beliefs are meaningfully related to their attitudes to peers with such problems (…) so research on the topic might lead to the development of health education programmes to promote understanding of mental health issues" (Hennessy and Heary 44). By developing health education programs, children will be able to understand the differences between peers and ways they can assist them. According to the study conducted by Lisa Hennessy and Caroline Heary, "Roberts et al. (1981) found that young adolescents were more likely to explain acting-out behaviour (such as shouting, screaming and kicking) as due to external family problems whereas strange behaviour (such as claiming to have visited other planets) was explained as due to over exposure to the media or self choice" (43). We need to help students comprehend why certain students act out in class. One way they can educate students about ADD/ADHD is use words they can understand. By using words that are easy for students to understand, they can get the sense of how and why their peers are the way they are.

Reduce bullying:

Many people have experienced being bullied, bullying others, or witnessing others get bullied. This is something that happens throughout our childhood. "Children who exhibit hyperactivity, conduct disorder, or learning disabilities all have been noted to experience peer difficulties," (Pelham and Milich 362). According to Judith Wiener and Meghan Mak's research, "peer victimization occurs when one or more children perform negative actions toward another child repeatedly and over time (…)" (116). She also mentioned in her article that "these negative behaviors involve physical, verbal, or relational aggression, and involve an imbalance of power. Bullies are the perpetrators of these negative actions; victims are the targets of bullies and cannot defend themselves adequately (…)" (Weiner and Mak 116).

There are many types of bullying. The two main types of bullying that is common to children are physical bullying and verbal bullying. In the article "Peer Victimization in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder," some examples of the different types of bullying that children face are physical bullying, which includes actions that physically hurt others (punching, kicking, hitting, etc); verbal victimization, such as threats that may hurt others emotionally (name-calling, verbal harassment, teasing, etc); and relational bullying, which includes actions that may ruin other's reputation (gossip, exclusion from group activities, etc) (Weiner and Mak 117). Being victims of bullying can cause social problems, such as peer rejection, in the future. Victims of bullying are at risk "for anxiety, loneliness, depression, social withdrawal, low self-esteem, suicidal tendencies, dislike and avoidance of school, and poor academic performance (…)" (Weiner and Mak 116).

Many studies have shown that children with ADD/ADHD are more likely to be disliked by their classmates. Weiner found out during her research that children with ADHD who are taking medication were more at risk of bullying others or being a victim of bullying. "Although psychotropic medication is often effective in increasing attention and reducing disruptive behavior, it is not always associated with significant enhancement of academic and social functioning in children and adolescents with AD/HD," (DuPaul and Weyandt 344). Because of the way they are in public, many people label these children as the kids who cannot behave themselves, or children who can't sit still and are disruptive. Instead of labeling them, we should accept them for who they are because they have no control of it. "Some societies neglect them, a few patronise them, still fewer accommodate them in a properly respectful way, even though the possibility of disability looms in Everyman's future," (T. Wren and C. Wren 299). There are many people who have no respect for people with disabilities. As Wren stated in the quote above, there are people out there who are disrespectful. In order for us to help reduce bullying, we should learn to understand each other and help one another in every possible way. We should not label, physically abuse, verbally abuse, or disrespect our peers. All of these will lead to adjustment problems in the future.

We must understand that children who are diagnosed with ADD/ADHD have a lot of challenges they have to deal with throughout their life. Two the most challenging factors they face are hyperactivity and aggressiveness. "Aggressiveness is a very stable trait and tends not to diminish with age (…), so that the hyperactive children who also showed aggressive symptoms might be expected to exhibit greater peer rejection as they get older" (Pelham and Milich 562). Many studies have shown that children who have ADD/ADHD are more likely to experience peer rejection and friendlessness. "Observations conducted in both structured and unstructured play settings have shown that hyperactive children display more intrusive and aggressive behavior, and less neutral and appropriate social behavior than do comparison peers (…)" (Pelham and Milich 561). According to the study conducted by William Pelham and Richard Milich, "Hyperactive children are nominated more often than peers as disliked (…), chosen more frequently for negative roles in the Class play (…), and given considerably greater scores on the PEI Aggression and Withdrawal factors (…)" (560). As these children get older, their chances of getting rejected by peers are less because their symptom of hyperactivity does not intensify, instead, it soothes away. But if these children deal with aggressiveness, there are chances that it will be harder for them to maintain peers as they get older (Pelham and Milich 561-2).

One way we can help stop bullying is know the different ways to treat and approach a child with ADD/ADHD. Deanna S. Pledge, author of "ADD and ADHD: An Overview for School Counselors," wrote in her article that

Presentation of symptoms can be affected by family interactions, school expectations, and other demands placed on the individual child. Part of the reason that attention deficit is usually diagnosed in school age children (e.g., first to third grade) is attributable to the demands placed on the child when beginning school (…). The structure at school differs from that in the home or preschool environment. (2)

As parents, teachers, and peers, we are responsibility for guiding them on ways to succeed in life. We should not treat them with disrespect or ignore them when they are in need of our help.

As parents, we are their role model. "Providing structure for these individuals, and helping children learn to provide structure for themselves, are at the core of successful interventions (…)" (Pledge 3). We are the most responsible for how our children with ADD/ADHD grow up and how they will succeed. "Hyperactive children have serious disturbances in relations with peers that are noted by teachers, mothers, peers, and impartial observers. The problems are exhibited both in structured classroom settings and in unstructured free-play settings without adults present" (Pelham and Milich 561). We have to try to teach them how to be open and accept kindness when given by others. Parents need to help their children by teaching them how to help and respect others especially when no adult is present. Parents can try to make their children understand that they will always support them but they need to know how to act around their peers.

As teachers, we are their mentors. We are responsible for guiding these children so that they can learn to the best of their abilities. Although a few of the symptoms that challenges these children are organizational problems, difficulty sustaining attention, and different learning styles (Pledge 4), we should try our best to get around those challenges in order to assist them. We should come up with teaching techniques that will catch their interest and allow them to be comfortable enough to want to learn. Teachers need to be aware of what is going on in their classrooms and should not favor their students.

Lastly, as peers, we are their motivators. Setting a positive example to peers who are diagnosed with ADD/ADHD can help them feel like they are a part of the class. According to Deanna Pledge, some of the challenges ADD/ADHD children face that deals with peers is "adopting a negative attitude out of frustration in academic tasks, social interactions, or as a defense against low self esteem" (4) and "experiencing isolation or exclusion from peers" (4). "The accepted importance of healthy peer relationships in the socialization process (…) and as predictors of adult adjustment (…) has raised the possibility that disturbed social relations may be an important component of hyperactive symptomatology and one of the mediators of long term adjustment for these children" (Pelham and Milich 560).

Children diagnosed with ADD/ADHD have a hard time keeping friends. Some children dislike them because they are disruptive; some dislike them because they are different. All in all, children with ADD/ADHD have a hard life. It does not matter how old the child is or if it is a boy or a girl who is diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. If they are different from their peers, their chances are high of being rejected. "Boys and girls are equally likely to be victims of bullying, and that gender differences are entangled with developmental effects and type of aggression. Boys are more likely to engage in and be subject to physical aggression by peers, whereas girls typically perpetrate or are victims of relational aggression" (Weiner and Mak 117). According to Weiner and Mak, children with ADHD deal with aggression, anxiety, and depression. They are frequently rejected by their peers, are intrusive, inappropriate, disorganized, aggressive, impulsive, emotional, uncooperative, and bossy with their friendships. Although they have all these challenges, they have a behavioral profile similar to children who are both bullies and victims. They have problems concentrating in the classroom, are both hyperactive, and are both impulsive (117).

It is important for us to understand the difficulties other's face before we judge them. Knowing the challenges they face in life can be helpful to us and to those who are dealing with it because we can both learn to respect each other.

Little is known about how best to support students with AD/HD as they make the transition from high school to college or to the workforce. This is a critical issue given that adolescents with this disorder are at higher than average risk for school drop-out and are less likely to go on to college than their peers. Further, adults with AD/HD tend to complete less schooling and attain lower occupational rankings than control subjects (…). For those high school students with AD/HD that do pursue a college degree, preliminary studies suggest they are at greater risk for psychological and adjustment problems, neuropsychological impairments, and problems with internal restlessness (…). (DuPaul and Weyandt 352)

In order for our peers who are diagnosed with ADD/ADHD have a successful future, we need to start helping them from the early stages of their lives. As the years go by and adulthood comes, they would be used to being open and respectful to their friends, avoiding distractions, keeping up with their assignments, and some other challenges that would have made their future unsuccessful.

Improve Peer Support:

Having someone to help us get through troubled times or motivate us is an important thing. It is always good to know that there is someone who will always be there to offer their shoulder to cry on, to help guide us through hard times us encounter in our life's, or to just enjoy good times with us. "A child's ability to make friends and to function successfully in a peer group are viewed as important indicators of social competence and are robust predictors of adjustment later in life" (Diamantopoulou, Henricsson, and Rydell 388). Children who grow up without any friends and are bullied can lead to a malfunctioned social life. That is why it is important for us to help our children and teach them respect and compassion for oneself and for others. "Rejection by one's peers in childhood has been shown to be one of the strongest predictors of both concurrent and future maladjustment (…)" (Hodgens, Cole, and Boldizar 444).

One of the first things to do when teaching our children how to respect others and be compassionate is to teach them the effects of name calling or labeling. As the saying goes, "Never judge a book by its cover." Labeling others can be very affective because to some people, it can last a lifetime. "Some critics of labeling have suggested that once a label has been applied to a child, all subsequent interactions with the child will be altered by the presence of that label" (Cornett-Ruiz and Hendricks 349). Some people actually stick to labels placed on others. Others let it die out like old memories they do not want to repeat. Out of the many studies done many results say that children without ADD/ADHD dislike those who are diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. "A normal child was always rated more favorably on attractiveness, social distance, and perceived similarity" (Cornett-Ruiz and Hendricks 350). Results say that the reason why they dislike children with ADD/ADHD is because they are controlling of the friendship, aggressive, etc. "The ADHD behavior, but not the label, had a significant negative impact on teachers and peers on the first impressions and prediction scales" (Cornett-Ruiz and Hendricks 349).

Many students are concerned about their reputation in school. Some students try to avoid being bullied by the popular crowd while others try their hardest to be part of the popular crowd. Trying hard to make others like you is not the best way to gain peer support. As I quoted earlier,

Because normal development of executive functions is not complete until late adolescence or early adulthood, it is not always possible to identify during childhood, students with impairments in these functions. For some students, ADD impairments become obvious during preschool. These students may be wildly hyperactive or unable to sit still or follow even the most basic directions. Other students may learn and behave quite well during elementary school, showing signs of ADD impairments only when middle school challenges their self-management abilities as they leave behind a classroom in which a single teacher has helped guide their executive functions. (Brown 24)

Going to school in a regular classroom with peers who do not have ADD/ADHD and then learning you have to transfer into special education can be challenging. Not only will it be hard to accept the fact that you are not like your peers, your reputation will be at stake. Some children do not want to transfer into special education because their peers will make fun of them and tease them. Some peers won't want to be friends with them anymore because they are afraid to be picked on for being friends with someone who is in special education. "Labels or special education placements tend to foster stereotypes and have a negative impact on the individual being impacted" (Cornett-Ruiz and Hendricks 349). "When handicapped children are kept isolated in special education classrooms or a remote part of the school or are kept out of activities, the institution may be perceived as suggesting that these children are different and do not belong" (Cornett-Ruiz and Hendricks 349).

As parents, it is our duty to teach children the differences between students in a regular classroom and students who are in special education. We have to show them and try to make them understand that students who are in special education are not bad people. We need to make them understand that although they have their differences, they are still people with feelings. They may want the same things other students want (i.e. friends, material things, ability to go out and have fun, etc). We need to make them understand that children who are in need of special education because they are diagnosed with ADD/ADHD are not aggressive because they choose to be; they are not slow in learning or have the ability to get distracted easily on purpose. We need to make our children realize that all though we are all equal, there are some things others lack. Parents need to help their children understand the pros and cons of choosing their own friends. Children need to be able to understand the importance of getting to know a person and not just judge them based on what other people say. "The child views the members of his or her peer group relative to how the members of the peer group view the child" (Hoza et al., "Aspects of Peer Relationships" 412).

It is a good thing to teach children how to pick their own friends and not judge others based on the things people say about them, but it is also important to teach children the differences between personalities. Parents should make sure they teach their children the differences between a good friends and bad friends. Although ADD/ADHD children have characteristics of aggressiveness, interruptions, impulsiveness, etc. not all of them are considered to be delinquents when they get older. It all depends on the way the child was raised and his/her surrounding environment. "A major contributing factor to the peer problems of children with ADHD is their largely unrestrained, overbearing interaction style, characterized by hyperactivity, aggression, bossiness, and other forms of controlling behavior that make them highly aversive to peers (…)" (Hoza et al., "Multimodal Treatment Study" 74). "The type of peers with whom highrisk youths associate can predict ecologically valid outcomes such as substance use (…) and increases in delinquent and violent behavior (…)" (Hoza et al., "Aspects of Peer Relationships" 413).

Another important factor to help improve peer support is the way teachers view and treat their students who are diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. "A person's self-perceptions are based on how others view them, and this has a direct impact on one's global regard for the self (…)" (Diamantopoulou, Henricsson, and Rydell 389). "An additional influence on students is the attitude of their teachers" (Cornett-Ruiz and Hendricks 350). Children are easily influenced by elders or those who are in charge, especially young children. They tend to look at the elders as the person who is always right and follow the way they act. "Educators have often been warned not to be unduly swayed by first impressions and to carefully consider all information" (Cornett-Ruiz and Hendricks 354).

In order for teachers to help their students improve peer support with students who have ADD/ADHD, they must first be able to understand the students for their selves. It will be hypocritical for them to teach their students how to support their peers with ADD/ADHD if they do not understand how to help their students with special needs. "The impact of labels on teachers is especially important because of the pivotal role these educators play in dealing with children with special needs. Not only might they be directly influenced by institutional procedures and diagnostic label, but their attitudes and actions might influence others" (Cornett-Ruiz and Hendricks 349). By understanding ways to help their students, they can improve their perspective of their students with ADD/ADHD and prevent stereotyping and labeling."When the teachers were educated about disabilities and were in close contact with handicapped students, their attitudes improved regarding mainstreaming and the manageability of special needs children" (Cornett-Ruiz and Hendricks 350).

According to the study conducted by Cornett-Ruiz and Hendricks, peers know how to differentiate between children who are not from the same group of people they hang out with. "Peers could discriminate between emotionally disturbed and normal peers, and they were also able to distinguish varying degrees of disturbance" (350). They tend to choose friends who are within the same personality and traits. In the article "Effects of labeling and ADHD Behaviors on Peer and Teacher Judgments," the authors mentioned as one of their findings "Students responded more positively toward the child who was in the learning resources room and more negatively toward the child in the special education room, demonstrating the potential impact of classroom assignments" (Cornett-Ruiz and Hendricks 350). "These children were rated significantly less attractive and were rejected more than matched control subjects" (Cornett-Ruiz and Hendricks 350).

Parents, teachers, and peers can help each other improve peer support with ADD/ADHD students by seeking more information from professionals and interacting with their ADD/ADHD peers.

There is currently more information and expertise available in the schools, which might enhance the understanding of ADHD. Parents and students sometimes have access to support groups, and counselors and teachers frequently participate in seminars and inservice workshops on the topic. Parents, teacher, and even ADHD children are speaking more openly about the disorder. (Cornett-Ruiz and Hendricks 354)

Getting professional assistance doctors and counselors on ways to help their peers with ADD/ADHD is the first step. It would be pointless to consume all the information needed and not put it to use. It would be helpful for everyone who is trying to improve their support with one another if that knowledge gained is used when interacting with ADD/ADHD peers and seeking ways to further assist them.

More positive ratings were given by teachers who were more educated about disabilities and who had more contact with handicapped children than a control group that was not given comparable exposure. Under these circumstances the teachers and students are more likely to react to the person as an individual, rather than to the stereotypic behavior assumed to be characteristic of the labeled group. (Cornett-Ruiz and Hendricks 354)

When interacting with our peers who are diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, we will be able to really understand why they are the way they are. We will learn not to judge others before getting to know them; we will know how to assist those in our need; we will be able to make new friends and help our peers go in the right path to success.

If we do not help them, they might end up with a very hard life in the future. "Peer relation difficulties such as peer rejection have been found to be fairly stable and to predict future social maladjustment, conduct problems, and delinquency (…)" (Diamantopoulou, Henricsson, and Rydell 388). "Peer problems in general are widely known to be predictive of a range of serious adjustment problems over time, including delinquency, substance abuse, school dropout, academic difficulties, and development of other psychopathology (…)" (Hoza et al., "Multimodal Treatment Study" 75). This is why it is important for us to support our peers with ADD/ADHD so that we do not see them end up with a hard and unsuccessful life.

Conclusion

Clearly, students can benefit from being in an environment with students who have ADD/ADHD. Understanding the differences between both types of students can benefit everyone. It allows students who do not have ADD/ADHD to understand the concept on why their peers with ADD/ADHD act the way they do in the classroom and towards the relationships they have with others. Understanding the differences also prevents stereotyping and reduces bullying. By reducing bullying, it would be easier for both types of students to live a normal life without feeling uncomfortable whenever they are around each other. It also helps build a healthy social life for ADD/ADHD students and those without it. The reduction of bullying also leads to the improvement of peer support. Peer support is important because it is unhealthy to keep things bottled up inside. Without peer support, these children can end up becoming suicidal or delinquent.