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    ADHD kids
    By sj

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    I was the mom. I became--because I'd studied it--the teacher of many ADD and ADHD kids. The last poster's advice is very important. Medication adjustments are ongoing, and your input to parents is some of the most important in helping adjust dosages. These children need STRUCTURE. They do best when they know the routine and are not overly stimulated by changes and transitions, as the other poster stated. Don't just accept misbehaviors. Try to anticipate them and redirect before they happen. If you know the activity will be stimulating, take Johnny aside and tell him what to expect, step by step. The less surprised he is, the more able to handle it he will be.

    Many ADD, ADHD children are above average in intelligence and are very aware that you are letting them push the boundaries. They want to be able to control themselves, so your job is to help them do so. Give them small chunks of time to be successful and praise the small successes. These are the most likely of all your students to become discouraged, later angry, misfits, dropouts, and the research I've encountered usually reports about 85-90% of all prison inmates are either ADD or ADHD. I am so glad you are at the beginning (Kinder) end and caring. As this child becomes older--I speak now from the Mom experience--teachers become less interested inhelping and more irritated with the child. High school was a nightmare because teachers expected behaviors to be in place that the ADD/ADHD student often continues to need help managing (such as assignment sheets, keeping up with papers, finishing reports, talking out in class, etc) Our high school experience ended with dropping out, drugs, and eventually jail. Teachers along the way had tried to help, but sadly, more simply helped to chip away at my son's self esteem until he actually believed he couldn't fit in to society, and decided to be successful at someting--NOT fitting in. He wasn't one of the children with home/family to blame, and he and our family had early intervention and counseling, medication, the works. I fully understand the frustration of the teachers, as I assure you I felt more than any of them ever did!, but I am convinced now at the end of the public education road that the greatest contributors to my son's negative self image were his teachers. More important than anything you do--help that child feel good about himself and help him to be able to be successful. Stand by him during transitions, put your hand on his shoulder, talk to him. Prepare him for changes. Keep your routine as constant as possible. Understand that his mind has 5 channels and they may all be open at once, or may sometimes open and shut arbitrarily. That means that he may seem fully capable one day and then totally incapable the next. That is where the teacher frustration builds, because you KNEW he knew it. He still does, but he can't always open the proper channel of his mind to retrieve it upon command. Two analogies that seem very appropriate: He is like a child without eyeglasses; he sees it, but can't always focus on it. He is getting information over a radio with static; the static is unpredictable, so his intake as well as his output are likely to be filled with static as well. Just think of how irritated you would be if you listened to important information all day long on a radio that had intermittant static! No wonder they act sometimes like they're crawling with fleas! Kudos to you for wanting to help this kid. I wish more teachers had cared about mine.


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