From Sharp­Brains: With a bet­ter under­stand­ing of the neu­ro­bi­ol­ogy of stress, the LDADHD — stress con­nec­tion becomes clear. Stu­dents with learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties or ADHD, con­fronted with the stress cre­ated by expo­sure to tasks that are in real­ity or in their per­cep­tion too dif­fi­cult (and thus threat­en­ing), exhibit the pro­tec­tive behav­ior of any organ­ism under extreme stress: They fight, they flee, or they freeze. When these kids don’t under­stand why they can’t do what other kids can do (mas­ter the stres­sor), and they can’t see any way to get out of a sit­u­a­tion that won’t go away, they begin to shut down. Trapped in this sit­u­a­tion, from which there is no appar­ent exit, they may lash out with words or fists. They may tear up papers, throw books, or over­turn desks. As much as they love their teacher, they may bite the hand that feeds them. If they over­ride their impulse to act up or act out to escape the stress caused by a feel­ing of cog­ni­tive incom­pe­tence, these kids may freeze like the prover­bial deer in the head­lights. · Go to Stress and the brain: To fight, flee or freeze →