Foundations and Assessment of Education/Edition 1/In Today's Schools Table of Contents/ADHD

Observations and Reflections from Today's Classrooms

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I have had experience wit ADHD. It was not a peasant one. I ran a daycare and one of the children was ADHD. Two others were later diagnosed but I was no longer running a daycare then. This little girl could be the sweetest thing sometimes but was very destructive, sneaky, and manipulative most of the time. She was on medication and when it was working she would just stare ad it was difficult to get her attention. When it didn't work or had worn off she would break things on purpose. She once carved her name into my dining room table with a barrett. She was very time consuming and my other children missed activities because of her. I would like to believe that she was a rare case and she did have other personal things going on but she did help be build patience. Lots and lots of patience. As much as I don't agree with the amount of children on medication, I don't think much teaching would get done otherwise.Jnemo001 (talk) 02:16, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

My brother and I were in the same grade from middle school - high school and he was most certainly ADHD, but back then they just called the kids "hyperactive" and there wasn't much they did to help them as far as medication or being sensitive to their needs. He always got in trouble in school and struggled. I wonder how he would be different now if he was able to get help with his problem then. He definitely needs that positive encouragement (even still). He has had some problems as an adult, but I think once he focuses and trys to concentrate on one thing at a time he does ok.Ldomm002 (talk) 02:00, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

I have not been able to conduct my observation yet, but I have had a little experience with ADHD in my family. One of my nephews, who is 16, was diagnosed with this disorder fairly young. We noticed the hyperactivity, impulsivity, and the inattention very soon. His entire grade school career he struggled. We felt he was not treated "right" or not helped the way he should have been. We felt that he was singled out and given a hard time.

I can imagine, now that I am becoming a teacher, how hard this could be in a normal classroom setting for a teacher to manage. I think all teachers should have more training or be taught more effective strategies on how to handle students with ADHD. I believe good parental involvement and the schools willingness to help the student can go hand in hand for the students success. Teachers really need to understand this disorder and the best ways to handle students that have it. Aferg006 (talk) 04:23, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

ADHD affects about 5% of boys and 2% of girls in the US. Children with ADHD have low attention spans and are hyperactive and impulsive. I have not yet conducted an observation in schools, however, I knew of a few students with ADHD growing up in schools who I did not believe were treated fairly. I do not think many teachers were correctly trained on ADHD and did not know the proper approach to take with these students. Many teachers became frustrated and singled out the students with ADHD and as punishment, did not allow them to participate in certain classroom activities. Time was not given to the unique needs of the individual, and emphasis was placed on the fact that he was unlike most other "normal" students. This contributed to the student's low self esteem levels.

From the readings and lectures, I have seen how teachers can make a huge difference in how a child feels about themselves. Teachers can help children with ADHD become very successful in school by helping the child believe they are able to succeed. Teachers should be caring and should often point out the child's successes and not emphasize their failures. ADHD students make small academic milestones, and teachers need to show students they are extremely proud of these milestones. Some general strategies that teachers can use that I did NOT witness during my school career is seating ADHD students in the front of the class, walking by their desks often, and having an aid keep them on task. I feel that these "best practices" just described are much more effective than the strategies I witnessed during my school years. Afett001 (talk) 22:34, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

During my observations, I encountered many issues that concerned ADHD. The teacher that I observed had one class that was all "special needs" students. They were all 6th graders and, with the exception of one or two students who had behavior problems, all were ADHD. The instruction given to the teacher was that these students were incapable of handling anything comparable to the curriculum of her other classes. Basically, the only thing that she was able to assign these students were elementary level activities such as coloring. One thing that I found interesting is, some of the students' parents had signed medical forms that told the school that, since the student in question had ADHD, he or she could not be failed in any class they took, no matter how badly they performed. I found this terribly unfair. Especially since hardly any of these 6th graders had any real issues; the were all just a little hyper (nothing that a long P.E. class can't take care of). The teacher that I observed was very frustrated with this class and the guidelines set for her teaching, especially since she knew these students and knew that they were capable of much more than they were given. I think special treatment for students with ADHD is often unfairly given. For example, I knew a girl in high school who received a sizable scholarship from the Univ of Alabama, because she got a doctor to write a letter saying that she was ADHD, when actually, she wasn't. Unless a student really struggles, special treatment should not be given; especially treatment that allows them to pass every class, or allows 6th graders to color everyday. Sbutl016 (talk) 00:39, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Having no observation period to drawn on I can only provide a somewhat coherent anecdote. My best friend in Elementary school had ADHD. Or at least, he was diagnosed as such and given medication to fight the condition, which in the end, means that he might as well have had it. We met on the school bus and became fast friends over hurried and often impossibly loud conversations about the latest “X-files” episodes. Scott was impatient, impulsive, spastic, and full of energy. In other words he was much like every boy at that age is. Later we became even closer in “speech” which mostly consisted of writing pages and pages of journals for a helpful, yet vaguely patronizing woman, whose name escapes me. I am dyslexic, Scott was “ADHD”, as such I watched him change over the years with each new prescription and whether or not he felt like taking it. (At one point it was suggested that I too was “ADHD”, and when a social worker came to our home to broach the subject my mother used some very inappropriate language to respond) Over the nine years we were friends Scott would be changed in turns with every new med. He was by turns absent from himself, manic, and would always forget to eat unless reminded to do so. Scott was my best friend, and I can’t say for sure how much of the kid I met on the bus who wanted to talk for hours about the leech man episode on X-files still existed after the pills and years. I often think about the shot gun style diagnosing of ADHD that seems prevalent even today and wonder how things might’ve been different. What if Scott’s mother refused to put him on medication too? What if I had to take pills to change my personality day after day? How would I be different? BitterAsianMan (talk) 14:54, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

The last few years I have had a student with a severe case of ADHD. The literature and educational training that I have been in contact with encourages teachers in these situations to work creating a teamwork approach with special education and/or inclusion teachers, if the child is a special education student. This is exactly what I strove to do. I also worked closely with the parents of the child and tried to get their active involvement. I gained as much information as I could from the parents about their child's condition. I found out about his medication and how he usually uses the medication. It seemed as though a lot of factors went into helping the child with ADHD reach his potential. The strategy for helping this student ended up being a strategy with multiple components: frequent special education collaboration with teacher, frequent collaboration and communications with parents, conversations with student, sitting student in front of the class, and giving extra time and help during classwork. Mbrowder (talk) 03:16, 17 August 2009 (UTC)