ADD students...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Teach2reach, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. Teach2reach

    Teach2reach Rookie

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    ...did you ever have experience with ADD students? What types of behaviors do they show? Any tips on how to accommodate the ADD student would be appreciated.
     
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  3. Dee452

    Dee452 Comrade

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    Aug 4, 2008

    In my experience I try to make sure that I have their attention and that are always occupied. If I notice they are getting bored I will let them get up and move around. (ex. open the blinds for me) This gives them a break and they can get focused again.

    But each student is different.
     
  4. kallard

    kallard Rookie

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    adhd daughter

    My daughter is ADHD, and is typical more for boys...girls often have more ADD without the hyperactivity. My daughter is very outgoing and does not hesitate to tell you what she is thinking. She is fidgety and gets into trouble at home getting into things. She can be aggressive.

    She has been trying different medications...the one she was on helped her to be managed in the classroom, but I didn't like how it affected her personality. We are now trying a medicine that is more for the calming part rather than attention...but she is not back in school yet.

    I don't know what grade level you are talking about, but if there is something that the child can do to keep their body active, but not disturb others, then that is one possible solution. The other poster said to get them up and do things for you to give a little break...this does help. However, some students may take advantage, so be aware and break the cycle if they start using this.

    A special ed teacher told me that there is some thing that is like a large rubber band that goes around the bottom of the chair legs in front that allows the child to keep their feet moving, without it really disturbing anyone.

    One ADHD child I had (unmedicated) (4th grade) I allowed to bring a laptop and do written assignments on the laptop. I had to watch to make sure he was on task, but it helped with his writing tremendously, as this was a problem area for him.
     
  5. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    The best accomodation you can give a child with ADD or ADHD is extra patience!
     
  6. kallard

    kallard Rookie

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    patience is key, and love

    Thanks for saying that about patience. People get so irritated with my daughter sometimes (her older sisters mostly), but I think she is the most entertaining and wonderful child. I hate the idea of me medicating her just so she won't cause trouble in class...on the other hand, I don't want her to be the bane of the teacher's year either!

    Fortunately, her insight and sense of humor often make up for her difficulties. :unsure:
     
  7. Teach2reach

    Teach2reach Rookie

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    Thank you all for the advice. I am a nervous wreck, this year I will have three ADD/ADHD students in my classroom. Get this...it is only my second year teaching. I am hoping to read up & gain incite on how to help these types of students be successful in the classroom.

    Dee452, thanks for your input. Every child is different. I will have to experiment through the first month or so.

    Kallard, thanks for sharing your own daughter's journey with ADHD. I teach grade 3.

    Teacherintexas, patience is something I WILL aim to have everyday with these children!
     
  8. JustT

    JustT Comrade

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    Remember to help refocus, refocus, refocus back to task. It depends on the child and the severeity. Sometimes just your proximity near the student will help. Eye contact also works greatly. IMO... they also need help with time management and pacing so I like to give a little subtle warning the assignment is due in 10 minutes.

    Be kind with their organizational skills. Sometimes you can hand them a paper and after 20 minutes, they have no idea where it went and they are not kidding.
     
  9. MissHunny

    MissHunny Comrade

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    I took a grad class on ADD/ADHD type behaviors and I created a short brochure that may be helpful to you or parents. pm me with your email add. and I will send it to you if you like.
     
  10. Teach2reach

    Teach2reach Rookie

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    MissHunny, I just PM you.

    JustT, thanks for those tips! In 20 minutes? Wow. I really do need to be extra patient. I've heard eye contact helps them control minor behaviors as well.
     
  11. kyblue07

    kyblue07 Companion

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    Behaviors that we might consider or view as disruptive may be an ADHD student's way of coping or focusing. For example, during last summer, my son realized that if he hummed while completing a chore or task, etc that it helped him focus. When school started he started humming when working on an assignment. The teacher sent him to the corner without bothering to consider or even ask him. Didn't expect him to be able to hum in class, but at least take the time to ask him to stop and do something less disruptive. He was only doing what he knew helped him focus.

    Take the time to consider and find out before jumping to conclusions. I've had students who could only focus while doodling or playing with a squeezy ball.
     
  12. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I agree with patience. That's the most important thing.Tthe advise you've recieved to come up with ways to get them out of their seats to do some job is excellent. Another thing I've done is to have a mini-confrence with the child and arrange for cues that are only known to him and me. For example, If I catch little Johnny off task or staring into space, I will walk past his desk and tap twice. Since I'm constantly moving around the room while I'm teaching, nobody knows what I just did except for the two of us. He's able to refocus himself without any unwanted attention from the rest of the class.

    Another technique I've used with success for a variety of learning issues is prior warning. I'll say: "As soon as I finish with this problem, I'm going to aske the class to tell me the steps I took to solve the problem" or some other question I plan on asking. That gives the children with ADD, or other LD's an opportunity to plan out an answer in advance and be able to shoot their hands up in the air along with everybody else, and no one's the wiser.

    I think a lot of these kids' problems are made worse by the negative attention drawn to them when they have trouble in class. I try to find solutions to the problems that eliminate that issue, and I've found, when I'm successful with it, the students response is amazing.
     
  13. JustT

    JustT Comrade

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    Most kids are even sympathetic. I had an extreme case one year and I gave this student two desks at the back of the room after many other tips didn't work and I was running out of solutions. It worked wonderfully. He would walk from desk to desk in the back of the room and at each stop, he answered another question or wrote another sentence.

    The other students didn't even mind at all. They were greatfull that "Johnny" can complete his work and stop bothering their concentration with pencil tapping, sharpening, chair rocking, asking random questions, trying to talk to the next person about something trivial, pointing out the star on the bullitenboard is misaligned, etc...

    :)

    MMSWM - I like the quote you have on your signature line!
     
  14. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    I'm very ADHD, and so I view my ADHD kids as totally normal! Ha! For me, my biggest coping strategy is lists. Everywhere, for everything. If I can't see it, I won't remember it. I could be working on a lesson plan or creating a worksheet, and I'll start thinking about dinner, and all of a sudden I'm shopping for shoes online, and I've totally forgotten about my lesson. I need to have a list in front of me-finish lesson, then dinner, then shop for shoes. And my husband is forever re-directing me: Katie, put that down and get back to your original task.... It's nothing to get tense over. You will do it naturally and not even notice you're doing it. Re-directing is something that teachers are great at! Just do it with kindness, love and patience, and the students will understand. When you live with this, you know that the teacher/partner/boss is not being mean-they are just getting you back on track.

    It would also help if you formed a group with those kids and they helped each other with coping strategies. I didn't know anyone who had this but myself when I was diagnosed, so I had to learn a lot of my strategies on my own. It would have been nice to have a friend. I think the worst thing you can do, however, is treat it like a huge disability and something that you're afraid to deal with. It's just extra energy, passion, interest and excitement rolled up in a child who lacks impulse control! No big deal.... ! ;)
     
  15. peridotylayne

    peridotylayne Companion

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    What do you do about severe cases? This past year (my first year) I had 4 ADHD in my class, and one was not medicated regularly. He would crawl on the floor, use profanity, scream, hit, throw assignments away, eat erasers, ... etc etc. When he was medicated it was like a COMPLETELY different child. I was at my wit's end by the end of the year and gladly walked him to his bus. :blush:
     
  16. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    I think that is more ED than ADHD. I think a lot of people group any kind of frustrating behavior on the part of the child into ADHD, which is kind of insulting to me. If you're being rude and and immature while acting out, that's a whole different set of issues. Especially when people have tried to help you, and you continue to exhibit the behaviors. So yes, those kids are def. impulsive and probably have symptoms of ADHD. However, their emotional issues will need to be dealt with differently, and I think it's important to realize that.

    Does this make sense?
     
  17. peridotylayne

    peridotylayne Companion

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    Yes! I thought I was the only one that thought this. Since the first day of class (when he sliced his pinky with a pair of scissors and disappeared for 2 hours) I thought there has to be something other than ADHD affecting this child. I kept making comments about it to our grade level counselor but she jut kept offering advice to help him focus (which NEVER worked when he wasn't on medication). Thanks for the response Jem. I was beginning to wonder if I was labeling him just because I wanted to make myself feel better for not being able to reach him better.
     
  18. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    No, you aren't crazy. It seems like everyone does it. Even my mom, who is a principal. She always talks about her little ADHD kids. NO! We are impulsive and made bad choices and can sometimes drive you a little crazy, but I still know right from wrong and will certainly not destroy stuff and shout out profanity and be mean. There is a difference between extra energy and bad behavior. And I think that ADHD can be such a POSITIVE thing! I have the most awesome brainstorms, and when I get going on an art project, I can work for HOURS on it because the energy and passion and craziness is there. We do awesome in certain professions, such as teaching, or advertising, or other creative, high energy, face paced careers. There are so many good things about this diagnosis. NOT disorder. Diagnosis. But we are certainly not the eraser eating, classroom destroying horrors that so many people give the label to.

    Whew. I'm done.
     
  19. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I had a student last year that was ADHD undiagnosed until nearly the end of the year. He shredded everything he could get his hands on: paper, erasers, crayons, peeled the paint off of pencils... His desk was a disaster and he had a HUGE problems with organization. To make things even more difficult he was hyper-sensitive emotionally, so trying to help or offer suggestions tended to backfire. Some of the kids really started getting mad at him for accusing them of doing and saying things they hadn't or were misinterpretted. I worked with him on his organization by checking that every paper made it into the proper section of his accordian file thing and required him to check with me again in the AM to physically hand in his work to me. This really only works if you have parent cooperation, but most parents are ready to try anything. I made sure he was always in the front of the room facing me in a place I could wander to easily if I saw he needed redirection. Sometimes placing a hand on a shoulder is all that is needed, but know your kids. Some kids hate being touched. The hyper-sensitivity issue was directed towards the counselor. I was at a total loss as to how best handle this. I really leaned on her for advice and guidance.

    Keep in mind that each kid is different. The thing about ADD/ADHD is that no two people will show the same combination of symptoms to the same degree. I suggest you check out his cum files, get in touch with his parents pronto, find out what they do at home, what works/what doesn't, and be very observant of the child for a couple weeks. You'll figure out the behaviors pretty quickly. And don't forget the extra few doses of patience. Many times these children are just as frustrated and confused as we are.
     
  20. Teach2reach

    Teach2reach Rookie

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    Oh, I totally agree. I have already heard some negative and cruel comments about the one child with ADHD. I actually had tears in my eyes as the two teachers made a joke about him. Come on now, everyone has feelings and wants to be treated equally. I like the idea about tapping their desks. This is a way not to humiliate the child. Your advice was great, thanks so much mmswm:)

    I love the idea about forming a group! Cool, it was nice to here a perspective from a teacher with ADHD. :up: Your right they are probably used to the prompting. I just don't want to nag them. I know, I should not be afraid. It is not that I am afraid of the kids. I'm just afraid how I will react...juggling everyone's needs...but that is all about teaching. Thanks so very much for sharing your own experience Jem!

    Oh boy, it sounds like you learned a lot from dealing with this one child! I appreciate your advice on the hyper-sensitivity issue. That is something I will be careful about. I have a phone conference with one of the parents on Thursday. So, I'm hoping this will help! Your right, some are frustrated and confused. I want to help them to feel good about themselves and not feel that way. Thanks so much runsw/scissors. :hugs:
     
  21. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    The thing is, sometimes the whole eraser eating, crayon shaving, pencil dulling, etc. does happen simply because these little (and sometimes bigger) creatures need to MOVE. Think about it. A classroom is an incredibly false environment. As an adult, or even as a teen, can you think of a single work environment that had every single thing scheduled down to the minute for you? Where you are/were required to remain seated for hours at a time? Where your boss hovered over you every moment of the day? Of course not! But that is exactly what a classroom is. And people with ADHD simply are not wired in such a way as to make this an environment conducive to their learning.

    I'm terribly ADD, have been all my life. It has taken me a good week to clean, really clean, three rooms and a hallway because I cannot stay focused on anyone task long enough to actually finish it. My mom was over helping me with the front room last week, and at one point she looked up and just started laughing. I had been sorting through one box of stuff and completley abandoned it because another mess caught my eye. Thank goodness for moms. She kept me on track for those few hours and the front room looked 100% better when we were done. I would absolutely die in any type of job that restricted movement i.e. sitting at a desk all day. Teaching is great because I'm constantly moving and on the go.

    Just keep in mind that most AD(H)D children are some of the warmest, kindest kids you will ever meet and often will do anything to please you. Even a soft reprimand can kill their day. Do correct them when necessary, but they need more guidance than discipline.
     
  22. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    This is really important, as is a willingness to be flexible. I had a student a few years ago who I battled with the first year I taught him (grade 6 science). I wasn't willing to be flexible or even try to undertand his behaviour or the reasons behind it. I demanded that he sit quietly and attentively, stay still in his seat, and had no patience if his work was incomplete or he had lost something. The second year I had him (grade 7 math), I sat down with T and his mom and talked about my concerns and expectations. We worked out some compromises and started the year with a truce. We went through some growing pains, but constant communication and some creative problem-solving helped us to find strategies that worked. I needed to be flexible and be willing to bend a bit. When T stood in my doorway and said, "I didn't have my meds this morning; I can't come in the room. What's the work today--I'll work in the hall", I let him--and the work got done!

    It's important to remember that every child is different and there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution.
     
  23. Teach2reach

    Teach2reach Rookie

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    Thanks again, this all makes so much sense. Your the third person today that has told me they are good-hearted kids. My principle came it to my room today while I was setting it up. He came over to me & said I will enjoy students A,B & C. He said they all have much to offer in the classroom.

    I'm scared I will just shoot out reprimands at them when I am frustrated or stressed. :(
     
  24. Teach2reach

    Teach2reach Rookie

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    Aw. MrsC! Sounds like you had an unique bond with T. So true, there is NO "one-size-fits-all"! Thanks.

    Does anyone have any advice for me on Thursday? I have a phone conference w/one of the mothers. Student "A" was diagnosed with hyperactive-impulsive type. How do I go about this...I'm nervous....:unsure:

    Thanks everyone has been wonderful on AtoZ!
     
  25. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Start by asking her about last year. How did things go in her opinion? What worked (or didn't)? What would she like to see happen this year? Sometimes understanding the frustrations from the previous year is a good starting point. It clues you into what kinds of behaviors the child might exhibit and gets you thinking about different ways of handling/accomodating them. Also, make sure you ask about what works at home. The setting is different, so you may not be able to use the same techniques but it does help you begin generating ideas. Don't be nervous. Just the fact that you are having this conference shows you care and want to do right by the child. Most parents would be thrilled with the idea you wanted to start off on the right foot.
     
  26. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Parent input is so important; they know their children best. Finding out about previous successes (and failures) will help you to plan best for your students. If the situation arises during the phone call, you may want to find out about medication. We have some students who occasionally forget to take their meds in the morning and we have needed to set up a protocol.

    (You're right, Teach2reach--T and I did have a pretty special relationship, once we got past all that other stuff!)
     
  27. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    This is very true, RWS. I think my classroom is a bit more free-flowing than others simply because I need to move all the time, too. We do a lot of group work where students can move to places around the room. We sit on the floor a lot. Kids can just get up and go to the bathroom when they need. I put all the supplies on the back table so kids have to get up out of their chairs to go get them. We do relaxation scripts and stretching. Kinestetic games are great, too. Think about how often you can let students move, and most importantly, give them choice and control over their activities. Of course they need to be seated when you're giving a lesson on fractions, but then let them get up and move to another seat when it's time to work on the practice problems. I love the idea of letting them walk between two desks. And that will help your 'non ADHD' kids, too.
     

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