View Full Version : Advice for a teachers aid?

10-06-14, 07:14 PM
I was talking to my aunt about ADHD today, she is an aunt it dont see all that often so she didnt know id been diagnosed.

she is a teachers aid working with kids 9/10yo (grade 5) and 6/7yo (grade 2). We were talking about the social stigma of the word "adhd" and kids being on medication, and my opinion on how the school system will never be able to be successful for both nt and adhd kids at the same time.

well she was genuinely interested in the subject and asked what i would to to help the kids, or change in the system.

Well, im 36 and only recently diagnosed. My daughter that doesnt show signs is 4 and just started pre school, so i have no idea what would actually work, or what she chould do to help her kids in school.

i thought this would be a good question to pose to you people here in the community. What kind of advice would you give a teachers aid for boys and girls for each type, or the signs to watch for to notice the undiagnosed?


10-06-14, 09:42 PM
One aspect of a successful classroom where some students are hyperactive is free access to intense physical activity during all classes - which has been accomplished in one pilot project by keeping a trampoline in the corner and telling students they may simply go and use it whenever they need it. Sounds crazy, but it's not a joke, it works in real-life classroom situations, and it increases the ADHDers' academic performance significantly. I heard this on a radio report in Canada, and I wish I had a link for it.

10-06-14, 10:07 PM
She mentioned giving some kids stress balls to squeeze or a small toy to play with that seemed to help some kids focus, but the teachers were having a hard time with the nt kids and the "not fair" thing im not sure what the harm in letting the nt kids have stress balls n toys too... but there it is.

i can see a trampoline being really disruptive to the rest of the class though, im not sure how they kept the noise down, all the kids from playing on it at the same time or staying there all class. Would be an interesting article to read.

10-07-14, 10:12 AM
Universal design dictates that any student who wants/ benefits from an intervention should be allowed to use it regardless of diagnosis/lack of diagnosis.

The biggest problem I've seen with fidgets (stress balls and the like) is that inevitably someone throws the darned thing across the room. Clearly, that's the type of behavior that needs to be discouraged, but I think that can be done.

De-escalation of anxiety/bad behavior is a big one. Instead of harping on bad behavior, sometimes giving a hyper child an out (like the trampoline) is a good one.

Clearly, trampoline requires a visual barrier so the other kids don't get distracted, but having a way that a student can discretely signal the aide that they need a break *before* they start to melt down is priceless. (or having an adult or student who recognizes the signals that a kid is about to go nuclear; sometimes the students know their peers better than the teachers, too, as they've been in the same classroom since Grade 1). That way an aide or someone similar may be able to take the child out and walk around the building until they are able to rejoin the classroom.

Related to above, I think that a lot of times gentle redirection, and a first step of a gentle talking to may de-escalate faster than using a sharp tone of voice and starting with an adversarial stance. Most of these kids are really, really used to getting into trouble for things they may not be able to completely control. They need coping mechanisms rather than punishment as a first step.

As for the fairness issue, accommodations are supposed to level the playing field. If you've got 5 kids who are trying to see something on the other side of a brick wall, you give the shortest child the longest ladder so that their adjusted height allows them to see over top of the ladder. Same with the other children.

"It wouldn't be fair to the other students if . . . " usually starts a sentence in which the person who is talking wants to give all the children the same step-stool, regardless of height. The tallest child may not even need a ladder to see over the top of the brick wall, and the second tallest may only need a small box. If you gave them *all the same step-stool, the tallest would be too tall, and the shortest still wouldn't be able to see.