View Full Version : Question about teaching student with ADHD


Peaceful Mama
10-30-13, 08:34 PM
Hi,

This is probably not the best place for me to post this, but I just wanted to get a variety of ideas from different people.

I have NO experience working with anyone who has ADD or ADHD, but I'm a volunteer and this year I have a young boy with ADHD and I just want him to have a good year while he's in my group.

I read a whole bunch of "tips" online about providing "fidgets" and having a routine and getting exercise, but that stuff (with the exception of something to fidget with) seemed really generalized.

I can't give you a lot of information except that he gets really, REALLY focused on certain things (like loading the stapler until it's exactly full).

I just wondered if anyone would share ideas with me, helpful tips so that we can make good use of the time.

Sorry if this is too general!

Daydreamin22
10-30-13, 09:17 PM
THANKYOU for carring and helping. 1 in 10 kids have a ld in elementary school. We make connections others don't make. Encourage, validate their behavior/comments resulting from outside of the box thinking. It's just a diff way of doing things. ADHD is not an input disorder. The kids are just as smart as they would be without the disorder. Sometimes they miss the point bc of a random connection, so might be a little "off", but if you think about it it's so right and he/she has added something deep and valuable and intelligent/legitimate to the group experience. If disregarded, in his mind he knows he's right. What he said makes perfect sense if just given the chance to explain. When rejecting his behavior, he's being true to himself and it just hurts his ego over and over again until he builds defenses and either positively or maladapts. Their are strategies to control his anger/teach things his way/prevent him from disrupting others. Don't give him too much attention or single him out. Just to be safe, look up characteristics of a bully teacher to prevent bully behaviors from effecting him. Don't take away his power by rejecting and limiting his ways. Papers on bullying are dead on and you just need to read one page ab it and you're good. Also, stick around here. I didn't give much practical advice, but just know that CHADD is a good resource, and UPENN has the #1 ADHD program in the country. You get a wealth of knowledge from reading just a journal/research article.

Again, thank you so much, really. Definitely spread awareness and have open honest accepting and living communication with everyone. Don't ignore the probs, but figure out how to Mae it positive or get something out of it. The way you treat the child is the way the kids will. Ill try to find at least one article just to show you how much you'll learn. Be weary of bad sources. You want updated information. Be innovative and apply knowledge to make his/her situations work. Give the kid extra time and teach him how to succeed In life with what you know will work and set him up for success longterm, even if difficult today. Know that he/she is capable of so much and he hasn't reached his potential because the world doesn't work our way. All ADHD is to me is a different way of learning. Are "problems" are only problems because we do things differently than others. The symptoms of ADHD are caused by living while the normal ways don't work for us. We're not wrong, lazy, crazy, or stupid. The way we are is right, not wrong or faulty. It's just that we have to adapt to a way of being that is unnatural to us. We deserve to be appreciated and recognized for the strength we ALL have by performing in what for us are at times truly unreasonable conditions. We strive to live up to expectations. When one part of our brain isn't functioning like its "supposed to" another one is. We are developing another area and developing in a diff way. ADHD value has to be untapped. It's like a hidden gem. The person with adhd knows it. If not rejected, he/she will most likeley be like most of us, getting knocked down, getting up again, miraculously dealing with tough situations that would prob crush the next child. We are always persevering, always have hope, and that's because we know we're NOT defective. We are misunderstood and/or unresponsive to certain aspects of something because we are distracted by another connection. We might miss the point of a normal tempo person, because we have picked up on another thing that was already said/done and now are relating it to any random thing we think of, in an intelligent/legitimate talented way. Not to be laughed at or disrespected for missing the speakers point. (Resulting in anger or outbursts sometimes.)
Ill see if I can find a good source. FYI, additive magazine is no good. Sometimes giving a adhd kid something like clay, will be used by him/her to stimulate his mind so he can focus on what he's supposed to when he is supposed to, in order to succeed. That's also why he taps his foot and/or fools with desk materials. That's not a sign of boredom or inn attention, neither is whispered comments or looking away/having a "blank looking" on his face, in some cases. Allow him to relate and learn and make the connections his own way, naturally. That is the best and only way to engage him healthily and positively. It's the right way to let him be. I could obviously go on and on. This is so important. I'm speaking my life experiences/observances for basically the first time. I was a teacher's aide so I observed the inattentive a, knowing what I know now.

Daydreamin22
10-30-13, 09:25 PM
Sorry that's so much reading for you! Was trying to describe my perspective the best I could so you could really understand the child and who he/she is instead of someone with a negatively defined with a disorder with symptoms usually causing undeserved disrespect even from family.

DEFinately read the symptoms (pg 289) and Assessment children and adolescents section on page 270. Filled with VERY IMP INFO teachers need to know!
http://psychiatryonline.org/data/Journals/FOCUS/24947/266.pdf

Here's a class from no 1 adhd center in us. Ivy League free anonymous and valuable course materials available instantly upon 3min registration process. http://www.upenn.edu/pennnews/news/penn-offer-free-online-class-adhd

Teacher to teacher training on NOv 1, but pricey.
http://www.chadd.org/Training-Events/Event-Details.aspx?MeetingId=%257BCA770D42-4CEE-E211-810D-0050569C00A7%257D


http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/browse?type=lcsubc&key=Attention-deficit%2520hyperactivity%2520disorder

Rights of a child- based on nursery rhyme logic
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/10335/10335.txt

Daydreamin22
10-30-13, 09:56 PM
One more post!

Wealth of info for teachers from CHADD.
http://www.chadd.org/Understanding-ADHD/Parents-Caregivers-of-Children-with-ADHD/School-and-ADHD/Working-with-Your-Childs-Teacher-and-the-School.aspx


I know this is 100% unexpected but it's thorough. Thanks so much. Spread the word and help these kids. It makes a healthy positive change. Let the kids know that it does get better for them. FYI October is ADHD month.

That's ab it. Hope I didn't scare you away. Def stick around. You'll learn a ton on here.

dvdnvwls
10-31-13, 01:36 AM
Hi,

This is probably not the best place for me to post this, but I just wanted to get a variety of ideas from different people.

I have NO experience working with anyone who has ADD or ADHD, but I'm a volunteer and this year I have a young boy with ADHD and I just want him to have a good year while he's in my group.

I read a whole bunch of "tips" online about providing "fidgets" and having a routine and getting exercise, but that stuff (with the exception of something to fidget with) seemed really generalized.

I can't give you a lot of information except that he gets really, REALLY focused on certain things (like loading the stapler until it's exactly full).

I just wondered if anyone would share ideas with me, helpful tips so that we can make good use of the time.

Sorry if this is too general!Well, you don't know this boy all that well yet, so you didn't have much choice but to be general. That's fine. After you work with him a bit, you'll probably find specific things you need to ask about.

So... here's some general information:

1. Most important, ADHD is very different in different people. Do not take the boy you're getting ready to work with as your example of "what ADHD is" or "how ADHD works", because the next ADHDer you meet will likely be very different.

2. Delayed rewards and delayed punishments are essentially worthless for ADHD kids. If he hears that something good is coming on Friday if he does a good job of things today, maybe he will say he cares, but believe me, he doesn't care and can't care. All consequences, whether good or bad, must be absolutely immediate, or else don't bother - cause if you're half an hour late with his prize, he can't remember what he did to earn it. :)

3. This should be part of #1, but it's so important it gets its own item: We're not all hyperactive. Especially the girls - girls with ADHD can look so different from the boys that many people can't even believe it's ADHD - but non-hyperactive boys as well.

4. Lying, out of fear of rejection: We ADHDers screw up a lot. No use sugar-coating it - that's just the truth. But because we screw up often, we get blamed and shamed and criticized very very often. It hurts, and we look for solutions to stop the blame from coming so thick and fast, and the obvious way to escape blame is to lie. So I suggest you do your best to keep straight in your mind the difference between "socially-motivated pain-avoidance lying" done by a little boy who is trying to not get hurt and for which you need to be compassionate and try to help him cure it, and "sick evil lying", which he won't likely be capable of - but if he does that, it should be treated the same as if any other kid did it.

5. One of the hardest parts of having ADHD is being unable to focus on stuff we aren't interested in. I guess our love for a topic is like the sun, and our brains are solar-powered. :) This is extremely irritating and confusing for teachers and parents, because they think "He can do it when he wants to" - it looks like a willpower problem - but really it's got nothing to do with willpower; it's a chemical problem where focus without interest is actually impossible. You don't have personal choice of what you'd like to be interested in - you just either are or you aren't. This must be one of the things that makes ADHDers in the classroom very tricky/difficult/frustrating/maddening to teach, and makes them very difficult for parents to understand as well.

Peaceful Mama
11-01-13, 11:46 AM
Thank you Daydreamin22 for being so passionate and honest. You went to a lot of trouble to provide information!!! I especially like the CHADD link. It has a lot of information that is related to "behaviour" which I can really understand considering I have five children of my own :p

dvdnvwls: Those are really great "head's up" pointers. Actually, what I'm really, really, really brainstorming about is how I'm going to teach some extremely boring stuff!! It's a pity we have all these "rules" and "expectations" in life that make everybody squeeze into the same box or else they have to feel different or slow or not the same as other people. I really wish that parents could choose the learning approach that is best for their kid and have more options about what gets taught and when and how it's best to teach it. Alas...

Have a great weekend!

dvdnvwls
11-01-13, 02:28 PM
Actually, what I'm really, really, really brainstorming about is how I'm going to teach some extremely boring stuff!!
Watch out for that too - sometimes what you think will be boring will be "just his thing" and he might excel at it! Many many ADHDers have "geeky" weird topics that we go bonkers for. :)

(Like some of those kids with the stereotypical "obsessions" with dinosaur knowledge, baseball stats, model trains, mathematics...)

But yes, it's clear that we have to learn along with everyone else. Our teachers implementing some ADHD-friendly strategies (for example using tiny immediate on-the-spot incentives and skipping the long-term incentives) can help a lot.

Hawutwut
11-02-13, 11:54 AM
Actually, what I'm really, really, really brainstorming about is how I'm going to teach some extremely boring stuff!!

Like what? Maybe we can figure out ways to make it interesting?

Just a thought -- what if you tie it in with something he's already interested in?? This seems to work with me.

Let's say I don't care about finding the circumference of a circle... maybe I'll care about finding the circumference of a *race car tire* so I can get the right one to win the race! ... since I've always loved cars. :)

Relating this to that, providing context, backstory... seems to help me. E.g., speaking numbers to me and me repeating them back is insanely hard. Yet I can do word problems in my head like a boss.

Allegra113
11-21-13, 02:50 PM
Im a middle school teacher. A book that I've given to a few colleagues is "ADD/ADHD Alternatives in the classroom" by Thomas Armstrong. Teaching the Tiger is old, but also has good strategies.
I agree with making it interesting. I taught a poetry unit (snore) this year, but instead of classics -- which my students would struggle to read -- we used song lyrics. Using technology of any kind instantly gets my kids interested. They are currently researching the Chinese Cultural Revolution, but because they get to use Prezi or PowerPoint they are all working diligently.