View Full Version : What about students who have trouble with attention but fall short of diagnosis?


TygerSan
01-04-16, 01:08 PM
I would love to be able to read the whole editorial referenced in this blog post. (http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/01/04/459990844/were-thinking-about-adhd-all-wrong-says-a-top-pediatrician?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20160104)

Basically, a top pediatrician is contemplating what happens to kids who have trouble paying attention but fall short of the diagnosis of ADHD. One of the points brought up is the fact that skills like attention and other executive functions aren't binary. That is, your ability to pay attention isn't a yes or no kind of thing, rather, your ability falls on a continuum. Somewhere on that continuum is where you tend to draw a line and say "this person has so much trouble paying attention, we'll say they has ADHD and treat them."

It is becoming more and more obvious that things like attentional capacity, executive function, and "grit" are skills that predict success in the classroom, but aren't necessarily supported or taught. Rather, if you fall well short of average, you're given the diagnosis of ADHD, and if you are struggling but not enough to get the diagnosis, you're kind of SOL. So why not support/teach these skills to everyone?

SB_UK
01-04-16, 03:47 PM
It is becoming more and more obvious that things like attentional capacity, executive function, and "grit" are skills that predict success in the classroom, ...

docility [doing what you're told], fear [of teachers, failure, parents], poverty (bit like fear ie wanting to escape poverty) and low dimensionality (no interests elsewhere) [ie alternative pursuits to occupy the mind]

As far as I can see - academic success just requires memory through repetition and the capacity to suppress boredom.

Being competitive also - ie wanting to beat others.

But as for 'love' of subject - that's not what the current competitive educational environment turns out.

For love to exist - one should actively desire to study/work for no remuneration.
Learning should be fun.
Since the genome to neurone reward system exchange - human beings should be all about 'learning' but somehow human beings 'stuff up' learning and make it dull.

-*-

If any student had a mind they'd be screaming - "yes this is some easy stuff you're teaching me - but why should I care about any of it ?"
If it were useful we'd want to know.

SB_UK
01-04-16, 03:59 PM
I would love to be able to read the whole editorial referenced in this blog post. (http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/01/04/459990844/were-thinking-about-adhd-all-wrong-says-a-top-pediatrician?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20160104)

Basically, a top pediatrician is contemplating what happens to kids who have trouble paying attention but fall short of the diagnosis of ADHD. One of the points brought up is the fact that skills like attention and other executive functions aren't binary. That is, your ability to pay attention isn't a yes or no kind of thing, rather, your ability falls on a continuum. Somewhere on that continuum is where you tend to draw a line and say "this person has so much trouble paying attention, we'll say they has ADHD and treat them."

It is becoming more and more obvious that things like attentional capacity, executive function, and "grit" are skills that predict success in the classroom, but aren't necessarily supported or taught. Rather, if you fall well short of average, you're given the diagnosis of ADHD, and if you are struggling but not enough to get the diagnosis, you're kind of SOL. So why not support/teach these skills to everyone?

This problem can't be solved.

What we need is a system where kids who aren't very good are not thrown into the gutter to live pointless lives.

If you want to pursue education do it [without expect of payment].
If not then don't [without expectation of 'benefits'].

It would be a useful exercise particularly as I really want to know how many of the degrees which're offered would continue to exist if 'love' of {academic subject} was rendered the 'motivation'.

Would any ? survive - would all teaching shift to the vocational model ie learn by doing eg painting, acting, gardening, cycle maintenance etc ie would University type education involving just book memorizing and regurgitation just die.

peripatetic
01-05-16, 12:18 AM
What I thought most interesting is the difficulty of leaving without support those who fall just short of criteria. It does seem like more should be done to help those children, too. I often wonder about the benefits and detriments of how we rely so heavily on labels. But admittedly I am loathe to acknowledge mine, including ADHD, and think having them as identifiers hadn't always served me well...though they certainly have gotten me treatment access quite readily.


EDIT: didn't see tyger had already started a thread on this, so I merged my post on it. Cheers!

sarahsweets
01-05-16, 03:37 AM
It is becoming more and more obvious that things like attentional capacity, executive function, and "grit" are skills that predict success in the classroom, but aren't necessarily supported or taught. Rather, if you fall well short of average, you're given the diagnosis of ADHD, and if you are struggling but not enough to get the diagnosis, you're kind of SOL. So why not support/teach these skills to everyone?
I wonder though, how these things can be taught? What kind of interventions can we teach all kids so that they all have a fair shot?

TygerSan
01-05-16, 12:25 PM
I wonder though, how these things can be taught? What kind of interventions can we teach all kids so that they all have a fair shot?When I think of that question, I think of the philosophy of Universal Design (and Universal Design for Learning, specifically, as it relates to education).

The principle is actually kind of simple: installing things like ramps and automatic door openers on doors, wider aisles in stores, etc., all of that benefits *everyone*, not just those who are in wheelchairs/ have mobility needs. Think about having a graded path up to a nature center, for example. That not only makes it so that Johnny can easily traverse the path from the parking lot to the front door in his wheelchair, but you can easily push your sleeping child down the ramp to the car in her stroller, and the man delivering the 40 gallon fish-tank can easily maneuver his load up the ramp as well.

http://www.universaldesign.com/about-universal-design.html

We can apply this principle to the classroom as well, by providing students with time to move around and stretch out (I'll bet you that benefits more students than the ones for whom this is written in their IEPs); allow multiple modalities of access for learning materials (think Montessorri sandpaper letters) The research doesn't necessarily support catering to individual's learning styles/multiple intelligences, *but* it does support the notion that presentation in multiple formats facilitates learning and retention.

I think we could absolutely do something similarly when it comes to executive functioning and/or attentional processing. Just having multiple strategies for organization/ modeling different ways of keeping papers straight in one's backpack/binder would've helped me out tremendously. Non-punative notebook checks (i.e., support rather than punishment) would've meant that instead of wheedling out of a grade that I knew I needed accomodation for, I more than likely would've tried to work towards the goal of being more organized, for example.

Now, I have no idea how one would be able to take the time teach and/or model that type of thing in today's educational climate, but that's a whole other can of worms.

mildadhd
01-08-16, 12:31 AM
The borderlineness of ADHD, is ADHD's awareness and treatments Achilles' Heel.