Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder effects many children and adults. ADHD if left undiagnosed can cause some difficulty in life. Treatments vary and medicine could do more harm than good. Alternative measures maybe more effective for some like more time on tests. In order to better understand some alternative measures for ADHD we need to first understand how ADHD and memory work together.

It is often stated that individuals with ADHD cannot focus on specific tasks. Instead they tend to focus on many tasks in a short period of time. This can present a problem for some especially when taking timed tests. The reason why some people with ADHD struggle with timed tests is memory encoding.

 Our previous newsletter explains the process of memory. Briefly, the beginning stages of memory include working memory and processing speed, which lead to short term memory. However people with ADHD show impairments in working memory and processing speed.* Thus specific tasks cannot be encoded properly or remembered later. This can have negative impacts on test results. A study done by (Brown et al., 2011) found when people with ADHD were allotted more time on tests their results ranged from average to above average. It is thought that extra time helps people with ADHD process and analyze information more thoroughly.


It would be nice if everyone understood and learned how to handle people with ADHD. This is only wishful thinking though. Schools may consider and allow for extra time but most situations in life require quick information processing. Moreover most situations are timed. There may not be a clock running to evaluate your results but there is an internal clock running and if it goes to long people get uncomfortable with the situation. EDL thinks it is important to realize the significance of ADHD and the effects it has on everyday life.

Alternative measures

 do exist and prescription drugs sometimes only put a band aid on the problem. They don’t address the real issue. Big problems may arise later on in life when the band aid(s) stop working. EDL offers the following alternative measures to deal with ADHD instead. First realize the issue. Its not enough to say I have ADHD. More detail is needed like understanding and researching how ADHD works and ask what is happening inside your body (why am I thinking or behaving this way?).  Second, use and take more time on test in school to further address impairments in working memory and processing speed. Over time, if addressed, significant improvements can be made. Third,adapt to your situation. Educate yourself on what is needed for you. For instance pay attention to your behavior in different situations. Overt time you will gain the necessary information on what you need. In turn knowing yourself can lead to improvements in processing speed and working memory.

*Brown, T. E., Reichel, P. C., & Quintan, D. M. (2011). Extended time improves reading comprehension test scores for adolescents with ADHD. Open Journal of Pshyciatry, 1, 79-87.

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Our mission at Elderly or Disabled Living is to provide help to the ones who need it. EDL’s way of helping others is to assist financially or by providing  resources. Moreover, EDL was created with helping others in mind. Caring for others maybe a little harder to find nowadays, but it is still here and alive. It's just harder to find.