At What Age should Expectations Change?

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by callmebob, Apr 14, 2011.

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  1. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    When working with students who have "ADHD", at what age would you deam it appropriate to expect them to start working to control their own behavior? We make accomadations and set up different accomodations, routines, and methods for these students to cope/deal with their issues. At what age do we say, they need to start handing their problems, tough it out, and sit in class and learn.
    I have always had problems sitting still (making it through a 30 min. sitcom without getting up 5 times is rare, ha), fidgeting, staying focused, etc. But that is something I had to learn to deal with, I didn't want, ask for, or expect any different treatment, it was my issue to deal with.
    When do we hold the kids accountable and say, this is something you are going to have to deal with, start dealing with it.
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Well...this is tough.

    If a student has been diagnosed with ADHD, especially if they are classified as having special needs, you must help the student cope with it by both modifying when appropriate and teaching him or her strategies to lessen the impact it can have on a person. I don't think there is an age where a student can necessarily just "get over" being ADHD.

    Are you facing a particular issue with a student with ADHD? That may help me think this through.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I'm in over my head here.

    But I don't think it's like a switch that suddenly turns on. I think that, as with all kids, it's a sliding scale. The more mature you get, the more self control you're expected to be able to exhibit. The only thing is that, with a kids iwth ADHD or similar issues, that scale is a bit more drawn out than with a kid who doesn't have those issues.

    I think that very young babies have carte blanche on behavior. As they mature, that changes. Kids grow in leaps and bounds, and the rules and expectations change as the kids grow.

    So what would be acceptable from one child at age 11 might not be so with another.

    Does that make sense??
     
  5. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    This is not about a particular student that I have. Instead it stems more from the fact that I have always had a hard time buying into the idea of ADHD as a disability.
    I understand that it can be a real thing, but don't agree with it being classified as a disability. Also I never said they had to get over being ADHD, just that at some point they have to learn to live with it and just deal with it. There is a difference.
    I have issues and differences that affect my everyday life, they are apart of who I am, I have to live with them. I don't expect any form of different treatment.
     
  6. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    At the same age that we should expect kids with glasses to read without them less, and kids in wheelchairs to go part of the day without them.

    Facetiousness aside :), it is a brain-based "disability" (or whatever the preferred term), and - while it changes in it's manifestation through a person's lifespan, it doesn't just vanish.

    That being said, Alice makes a good point that even kids with ADHD learn executive functioning skills, just at a more drawn out rate. It is common to see hyperactive components of ADHD lessen during middle school, with the presenting issues being more attentional, but it's still there.

    Still, I do think that kids with ADHD can be expected to do things at all ages, but those expectations should be based on the child's skill level, as opposed to actual age. In short, if a child can successfully meet expectations, then those expectations would be appropriate.

    Another issue is kids who don't actually have ADHD, but who are diagnosed as such - those kids are in a different category.
     
  7. bros

    bros Phenom

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    I'm currently 20. I have ADHD.

    Even though I have developed coping techniques, I still have some issues that stem from my ADHD, such as inattention, slowed processing speed and procrastination.

    However, an important thing is when the student takes accountability for their actions (as much as possible) instead of using their disabilty(ies) as a crutch.
     
  8. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    So you are grouping kids with poor site and those who can't use their legs, in with those who have a hard time sitting still? To me, thats disrespectful to the first group. And again, I did not say that the should act like they should "get rid of their glasses." It is something that they can learn to deal with and not require accomodations.
    A brain based disability? Kids who are not very bright have more of a brain based "disability."
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

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    I think the point is that the answer may be "It depends."
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I don't see any disrespect grouping all those together. There are many disabilities and conditions over which the student has no or limited control, including physical, behavioral, and neurological.

    For whatever reason, there seems to still be an awful lot of resistance to accepting psychological and behavioral disorders. Lots of people seem to believe that students should just be able to sit still, to not be depressed, to not feel anxious, etc., but that's not really all that fair. Just as problems with the student's eyes prevent him from reading without his glasses on no matter how hard he tries, a disorder in the brain can prevent him from behaving in a socially acceptable way even if that's not how he wants to behave. I once worked with a little girl who had Tourette's and she'd scream "dumb b----" every 20 minutes or so. To her this was absolutely mortifying, but she couldn't hold it in any more than she could hold in a sneeze.

    I think it is appropriate to work with kids to teach them coping skills so that they can learn to function with their disabilities. At the same time, I think it's important to remember that some kids may always display the signs and symptoms of their diagnoses in spite of their best efforts.

    ADHD requires a medical diagnosis, and that's for a reason. The medical community is not usually flippant or careless in making those sorts of decisions. We're not doctors, and it's not appropriate for us to determine whether a diagnosis is valid or not. It's not within the scope of practice of anyone here on this board to determine whether I really need my glasses or am clinically depressed or have the flu. It's up to my doctor to make those decisions.
     
  11. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I understand that there are some serious psychological and behavioral disorders. I don't believe ADHD to be one of those. I believe there are some conditions that people have that they just have to get used to.
    The average symptoms of ADHD are things that kids/people should be able to learn to deal with. It still does not make sense to me that there are extra accomodations for these situations.
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    You may not believe it but that doesn't change the fact that it's recognized by the medical community as a real thing. You're going to have to learn to set aside your personal beliefs if you're going to continue to work in a school where there are kids with ADHD.
     
  13. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Why do I have to set aside my personal beliefs? My personal beliefs help guide a great deal of what I do in my classroom.
     
  14. Cerek

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    This is very similar to the rule discussed in the other thread. Whether you personally agree with ADHD as a brain-based disability or not is irrelevant. Scientific research has shown that it is and that certain effects from it cannot simply be "turned off" or "dealt with" through willpower and discipline, as you imply.
     
  15. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Well when kids get to the real world and try and have a career. They will need to meet the requirements of the job they choose and are not always given special accomodations.
    This is also true when it comes to students in college. College students don't get the same type of accomodations. If a professor does not like the way a student is in their class, they can simply make them leave. That is reality and that is what they have to be ready for.
    And this is also not the same as the other thread, where my personal agreement is irrelevant. My personal belief has a significant impact on almost everything that happens in my classroom.
     
  16. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    It's true that these kids will need to eventually function in society. When it's time to them to start looking for a job, they're just going to have to find one that allows them to use all their talents and gifts, just like the rest of us have to do.

    The fact remains that whether you believe in ADHD or not, it exists and there is tons of research to support it. By refusing to acknowledge its validity, you can't support students who have it in any meaningful way. Just because you have a particular personal belief doesn't mean that it has a place in the classroom. You could personally believe that humans are made up of 90% string cheese and 10% nitrous oxide, but that doesn't make it true. If you carry that belief into you classroom and use it to work with your kids, you will be doing them a tremendous disservice and definitely not preparing them for life in the real world.
     
  17. Jem

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    I think it's important to be open with students and talk with them about how their brain functions. Whether ADHD symptoms start occurring in second grade or seventh grade, the student should be part of the conversation from the first moment he or she is tested and diagnosed. They can then begin to understand how to advocate for themselves, meaning they can be shown WHY they are getting certain accommodations, how the accommodations help them and what they need to do on their end to control the situation.

    I've seen many parents and administrators stick their heads in the sand and say the child doesn't need to know, it will only make it worse, the teacher needs to do everything in terms of accommodation, etc. I completely disagree. The child isn't stupid-they understand that their body/brain is working differently. They understand how bad it feels to get yelled at every day because they can't sit still. So involve them in the conversation and help them take control of the situation. I think that can happen at any age.

    It's late and I'm tired-I hope this made sense.
     
  18. Cerek

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    With all due respect, in this case your personal belief is wrong.

    As Caesar and EdEd have both pointed out, ADHD is a medical diagnosis. Your personal belief it shouldn't be doesn't change the fact that it is.

    Since it is a medical diagnosis, part of the job requirements you mentioned for an educator is to put personal opinions aside and increase your understanding of the condition and symptoms based on the scientific research available.

    By the time they reach college and beyond, most people with ADHD have learned different coping strategies. That doesn't eliminate the symptoms they still experience, it just means they've learned ways to adjust for those symptoms. In elementary and middle school, however, it is not reasonable to expect ADHD kids to just "deal with it" any more than it is reasonable to expect a dyslexic to just "see the numbers the right way". It simply cannot be done.

    Understanding that, and the medical reasons causing it, will help you understand the need for certain accommodations. It will also help you work with your students to develop the coping strategies they will need later on.
     
  19. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    You know, I was going to stay out of this thread, but I can't resist responding to the "real world" comments. People often say that these accommodations won't be provided in the real world, yet all I have to do is look around me and see these same things that are considered "accommodations" in a school setting very much present in the day to day workings of my office. I work in the "real world", at a major national bank who's logo involves horses and a stagecoach. This is not some small mom and pop operation. So, here are some examples of things I see and do every day:

    -I have a slinky at my desk, complete with a slinky course. You can often find me playing with my slinky when I'm dealing with a particularly difficult situation.
    -I also have my monitors and keyboard adjusted so I can stand and work instead of being tied to a chair. I'm far to fidgety to sit all day. I'm not the only one who's desk is arranged this way, and my company provides the necessary accessories to arrange the equipment so this is possible.
    -We have a break room with foosball, air hockey and ping pong tables.
    -We also have a quiet room, complete with a cot similar to what you see in hospitals for patients' visitors to sleep on, just in case somebody wants to nap during their lunch break.
    -There's a group of people in an area not to far from me that relieves stress by chucking paper airplanes at each other. This is not only tolerated, but encouraged as long as the work gets done and nothing gets damaged.
    -There's another group of people who toss around a nerf football.
    -There's a man who keeps a nerf baseball at his desk and can often be found tossing it as high as he can while talking to the bankers he's working with.
    -Countless others have toys or fidget items on their desks that get used regularly.
    -I just received an email from my boss asking if my crayon supply was okay and did he need to order more (I like to color when playing with the slinky seems to be loud enough to bother the person on the other end of the phone).
    -Workforce management caters to our break and lunch schedule requests. Do I want a long lunch and only one break? Two breaks and lunch? No lunch and 2 15 minute breaks? No lunch and three 10 minute breaks? Would I rather work four 10 hour days instead of five eight hour days? Do I need a split shift? If it's at all possible, they honor these requests.

    It seems to me that list involves quite a number of the accommodations provided to ADHD kids to help them learn to cope with their disabilities.
     
  20. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I think that our goal as educators is not just to expected them to deal with it but to help them progress in their self-advocacy skills. My students, usually around the middle of sixth grade, are pretty good at letting me know what they need and asking for it. When my students with severe ADHD/ADD ask for a drink, that is how they are coping with their disability. When they ask for a thinking moment, they are advocating. However, when these same students use this as an excuse, then they may lose the benefits.

    I strongly believe that all my students can be successful in a classroom setting, they can do the work, they can learn. However, to make this possible, some students need more breaks, more help, more guided practice, more hands-on activities. It is the teachers job to determine this with the help of the students and parents.
     
  21. MrsC

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    Well said, mopar!
     
  22. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    MM, That sounds great, but I don't think I am going out on a limb by saying that not every work place is like that. Not every work place is happy, accomodating, and makes it easy for you do to do things the way you want.
    Also, it is not that I don't believe that ADHD is real. I understand and recognize that. What I don't believe is that it is something that we should/need to make accomodations for. It is something that alters behavior in the classrom. Whether a student behaves appropriately or not in the classroom should not change based on a disability. You either behave or you don't. If your behavior effects other students in the classroom, it can't be tolerated. If the students behavior effects a teahers ability to teach, it can't be tolerated.
    I think we put up with those types of situations way to often. Whether it is students with ADHD or other ED diagnosis.
     
  23. Cerek

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    You're still exhibiting a lack of understanding about ADHD. Kids with ADHD do not disrupt class on purpose or because they just don't feel like exercising control.

    They cannot control their actions and/or attention the way kids without ADHD can. Caesar's example of the Tourrette's child is a perfect case. It sounds like your perspective would be "They just need to learn NOT to shout out in class." As Caesar pointed out, those with the verbal component of Tourrette's cannot "hold it in" anymore than they can hold in a sneeze.

    The same is true for ADHD. Students have a difficult time focusing, are often fidgety, have a tendency to speak out whenever they have a thought on the matter and sometimes simply find it impossible to stay in their seats for 40-50 minutes at a time.

    ADHD kids also don't like sudden changes (such as changing from one center/subject/activity to another). They need at least 15-30 minutes to mentally process and prepare themselves for that transition. When they have difficulty or become frustrated with sudden changes, they aren't being defiant, they simply cannot help reacting that way.

    Another symptom of ADHD is that kids sometimes have to follow a specific routine or set action before they are ready to do something. This is a critical exercise of control for them and it is a need that should be understood by their teachers. While taking classes for my licensure, I came across a perfect example during research on a paper about ADHD. The author was visiting his brother in Chicago. The whole family had gone to the city for the day and, when they got home, the author decided to carry his niece (who has ADHD) up onto the porch so she wouldn't slip in the deep snow on the steps. The niece adamantly stated she did NOT want to be carried, but the author did anyway, thinking he understood the risks better than she. As soon as he set her down on the porch, she immediately turned around, walked back down into the yard, then walked up the steps herself.

    That may seem defiant or even bratty to someone who doesn't understand ADHD, but for the niece, it was essential that she be allowed to have that small bit of control over her actions and environment.

    To say a child should just overcome that through willpower or discipline demonstrates a complete lack of understanding about the true nature and effects of ADHD.

    Yes, most ADHD sufferers will develop better strategies as they grow and mature, but that takes time. It is completely unreasonable to expect elementary and even middle school children to have the same amount of control and discipline as adults, regardless of what you are discussing. Most elementary school kids are still very impulsive and ADHD only increases that impulsiveness. Middle school kids are usually beginning to exercise a little more control and learn some coping strategies, but they are still learning what works through trial and error more than anything else. In high school, their maturity increases (although often more slowly than their peers) and their strategies become a little more complex and cohesive.

    Not all colleges or jobs will make the same accommodations as elementary or middle schools, but then they are dealing with much older versions of the student. Also, most ADHD sufferers will look for a college or job that does offer certain accommodations, just like every single person looks for the college or job that is the best fit for them.

    Even so, ADHD IS listed as a medical disability and if a college or job flatly refuses to make any accommodations, they will open themselves up for a potential lawsuit under the Disability Act.
     
  24. tchr4evr

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    I was going to keep quiet

    I was going to stay out, like some others, but I can't anymore. I am one of those who believe that ADHD does exist, but way too many children are diagnosed as having it. I feel way too many parents want an excuse for their child, insteading of teaching their child to sit still or behave. I have looked at the symptoms of ADHD, and most of them are common for any young child. My son doesn't like to sit still when he's bored. He will often become inattentive, when he's bored, as I did. My son has temper tantrums. My son will blurt things out. He is always moving. But, he's five. He's a boy. His school work is too easy for him. He is stubborn. He wants his way. I was the same way. I don't buy it, and I never will.
     
  25. Cerek

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    So your personal experience and opinion are more valid than scientific data supporting the effects of ADHD?
     
  26. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    If the ADHD diagnosis triggers an IEP or a 504, that makes all the difference in accommodation versus expectation of behavior change. Legally, teachers must accommodate all parts of an IEP or 504, no matter what our personal beliefs might be regarding the diagnosis. If the student does not have an IEP or 504, then the teacher has more wiggle room but should probably be understanding of the student's individual needs.
     
  27. Cerek

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    Well put, catnfiddle.

    It just concerns me when teachers say they don't believe the effects of ADHD are real or legitimate. That means they may use that "wiggle room" to flatly deny accommodations because they don't believe ADHD is the cause for the behavior.
     
  28. tchr4evr

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    I'm not saying they're more valid, but this is my experience. If I have a child in my room with an IEP or 504, I will always follow the accomodations, whether I agree with them or not. I just truly believe that we have created a generation of children who are allowed to have exceptions made for them, when they may not be necessary. I think it is unfair to those who don't have the opportunity to have an exception. And frankly, if my son did have ADHD, I want him to learn to be like everybody else, not be given ways around what is expected of normal people.
     
  29. a2z

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    And if he was not learning because of his disability would you have said, "Too bad, so sad. You aren't like everyone else, either get over it or get used to it." So, you would rather see your son fail than have people teach him differently so he could develop the strategies needed.

    I think your BIG issue with this, and many teachers issues with this, is that often the accommodations are just that. The missing piece is the need for constant extra instruction and help to develop coping strategies AND then to develop strategies for when the typical routine can't be used. This is a long process needing everyone involved to be aware and someone available to REALLY help, not just tell them they didn't follow through.

    I'm not saying every school misses the REAL Teaching involved, but many do. It is obvious because so many people believe it isn't fair so obviouly they aren't giving the needed instruction. They may give a mandated accommodation, but there is so much more to teaching a kid with a disability than dumbed down coursework and accommodations.
     
  30. Cerek

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    I'm sure that some parents do use ADHD as an excuse for behavior that is really normal. On the other hand, I've personally seen a number of parents that refuse to consider ADHD as a possible source because they don't want their child to be "labeled". Both perspectives demonstrate misunderstanding of what ADHD really is and does.

    First, ADHD has very little effect on intelligence or academic ability. It just affects the students ability to focus on the task at hand, which often does impact academic success. It doesn't mean the child can't do the work, it just means some adjustments might need to be made to help them complete the work.

    Parents are often worried about medicine as well, because they don't want their kids to be a "zombie". Again, this shows a lack of understanding, because there are numerous medications available now and each one works a little differently than the others. No single medicine is right for every ADHD case. Doctors will typically try the medicine they think will work best, give it a couple of weeks to see if a change occurs, then try a different one if the first doesn't work. Once the right medicine is found for the individual student, the medicine can make a tremendous difference in their ability to stay more focused in class. It does not turn them into a "zombie", it just helps control the constant barrage of impulses they feel throughout the day that would otherwise distract them from their work.

    Even with ADHD, I still hold my own sons and my students to the same standard as everyone else. ADHD is not an excuse for not doing the work assigned and, unless there is a 504 or IEP stating the student is allowed to do less work (such as fewer spelling words) than the rest of the class, I still expect all of my students to do the same amount of work.

    Also, as a previous poster mentioned, most ADHD students DO want to learn just like everyone else around them, but their body won't let them. It's no different than a student with one leg wanting to run as fast as their classmates on the playground or on the track team. Without some accommodations (such as a prosthesis), it will simply be impossible for them to do that, no matter how much they may desire it. Using a prosthesis will give them a much better chance to run or compete at the same level, or at least be more competitive.

    And I have seen 1 or 2 students that do try to use a diagnosis as an excuse for disruptive behavior and/or not doing their work. I don't allow them to do that. I may not get complete compliance from them, but they will not be allowed to just sit and do nothing in the class. I still expect them to give the best effort they can.
     
  31. a2z

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    I do like your take on a lot of this.

    How do you see structure and routine helping with the initiation aspects of ADHD?

    I've seen adhd kids that work slowly. So, they can't be expected to handle the same workload as you pointed out with the comment about reduced workload in the 504 or IEP.

    But adhd interfers with learning. Sometimes severely. So potential is there, just not the academic skills. With the right help that gap can be closed considerably. Depending on the severity of the adhd sometime not completely.
     
  32. tchr4evr

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    Apr 15, 2011

     
  33. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    You don't allow students with physical impairments to get to class a few minutes later? For real?
     
  34. a2z

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    Freaking amazing isn't it! Some views utterly astonish and sadden me.

    I'm sorry kid, you can't learn to read because you don't fit our model chosen to teach students. I know with different instruction you can succeed, but we just don't do that. It wouldn't be fair to the others that get it using our current model of instruction.

    You need to go out into the world lacking skills you could have had if we just did things a bit differently for you, but sucks to be you if you can't figure out how to do things our way.

    Actually as a society we are afraid of attitudes like yours. If you don't fit our one-size-fits-all model and can't adapt, you are worthless to us. Ignore the fact that you are dyslexic and have a 160 IQ, you don't deserve the additional attention needed to allow you to be successful. Oh, and by the way, when you don't sit ther quietly and complacently at the right times, we will punish you. If you don't particpate properly even though you don't have the skills, we will punish you. Eventually we will break you down until you realize you are completely worthless to us or you figure it our way.
     
  35. EdEd

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    It's been interesting to read posts so far - I've really appreciated reading everyone's thoughts and clarifications.

    One thing to consider is that accommodations are created to match student need. A student in a wheelchair may need an accommodation to get the second floor, while a child with ADHD may not. Likewise, a child with a wheelchair may not need modification of assignments, while a child with ADHD might.

    The main issue here is when you say "figured out." Kids with ADHD can figure out some things, but they can't necessarily craft and follow their own intervention plan with 100% effectiveness, just like a child with depression can't craft and implement an intervention plan that leads to significantly reduced depression.

    I can see your reasoning with this. Part of this issue is whether you see grades as something to be earned, or a process of assessing student achievement against other students. I have often tended to view grades as a measure of true student achievement, and like you have been frustrated when kids I've worked with get 95s on all of their subjects because they are essentially participating in a different curriculum. My problem isn't that the child feels successful, it's that those grades have ceased to become a useful indicator of actual progress.

    Because grades are used as a normative achievement measure comparing the student's progress against the curriculum in which other students participate, a child with substantial curricular modifications getting all As isn't really getting all As in the actual curriculum - but a personalized one. When grades are modified in this way, grades become relatively useless because they aren't really a measure of anything that an outside observer could use to measure anything. If I review records of a child's grades over 5 years, and the modifications, grading scales, and curricula changed over time, I'd have no useful way of measuring how that child's academic growth has progressed or declined over time.

    It is important to clarify that I'm not talking about modifications/accommodations, but with the SAME expectations. In other words, if we base a child's grade on the same unit test as everyone else, but I had to modify my instruction to teach that child, that's fair - in that case, the standard of measurement is the same as with other children. However, if I base the grade on something different - e.g., a shortened unit test, the same test but with more time, etc. - then the grade instantly becomes incomparable to the grades of others.

    When grades are modified, that modification is sometimes indicated by a star or other symbol on report cards, which can be helpful in determining that a particular subset of grades should be essentially ignored when it comes to comparison/assessment. However, the true scores a child would have received are not known, so all we would know is that the grades are not valid - we don't know what they would have actually been.

    There is definitely research to suggest that there is an overidentification of children as needing special education, particular with minority groups. However, I'd be curious as to which kids you see in your school should not be identified as needing special education? Which of those "diagnoses" are invalid to you?

    .

    I agree with part of what you are saying here - that we should not just change the standard curriculum so that we can fit all kids into that box, but rather seek out new boxes that kids may fit better into. We should also modify not only curricula and accommodations, but expectations. I see this too often in middle/high school alternative programs where kids' likelihoods of graduating on time and moving on to college is so low, yet we continue to force reading, math, etc. as though they were going to college, rather than pursuing vocational educational opportunities.

    At the same time, many kids with disabilities can become doctors and lawyers, but may need accommodations to get there.

    The key is looking at the individual. Some kids with ADHD may not need certain accommodations - some may. Whether or not a child has been diagnosed with a disability is irrelevant to potential - what's relevant is their individual skills and talents they bring, and how realistic certain expectations are. I agree - we should be honest with parents, ourselves, and children when certain expectations are too high. However, certain expectations may be completely reasonable with the right intervention/accommodation.
     
  36. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Apr 15, 2011

    I'm just going to throw this out there....I have two very severe ADHD kids in my classroom, almost to the point where it is a constant thought process aloud. Every thought that comes into their mind is spoken by both all day long.

    Now, I get the when do I say enough. I also have two students who need complete quiet to learn. I have headphones that they wear because no matter what you do, you cannot silent these two students. Nor would I want to! Everyday I learn more about reading and math by listening to these two student's thought process. I can literally see reading in action.

    So, when is it too much to allow two students to interrupt the learning of 20 or more students?

    **In no way am I saying that we should not teaching all students or should have these students leave the room because honestly, they deserve the same education as the other 20 or more students sitting in the room.
     
  37. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Apr 15, 2011

    One thing I know from my own experience is that ADHD kids normally need extra time to transition from one activity to another. My first class comes right after lunch and recess, so I know most of the kids need a few extra minutes to get settled for the class. I'm a stickler for starting on time, so I just try to get them headed in that direction a few minutes early so they do have time to adjust to the transition.

    Inside the classroom, I've tried to incorporate WBT techniques (with mixed results) to keep the lessons interesting and active as well as informative. The mixed results are more my lack of skill and reverting back to "standard lecture" mode than any fault with the techniques themselves. I still believe WBT is one of the best approaches to lessons for ADHD kids because, when done correctly, the lesson focus changes quickly enough to hold their attention while the gestures and Teach/OK address their need for movement.

    I expect to have more success as I become more proficient in incorporating the techniques correctly.

    I have an ADHD student with an IEP that calls for him to have up to 100% extra time when taking a test. In other words, he can take up to two class periods to complete the test, if necessary. I have a handful of other students that are also very slow when taking the test, but don't have a 504/IEP. For the sake of fairness, I allow those students the same time limit even though it isn't required.

    I work with some elementary school students after-school that either have fewer spelling words than their peers or a different list altogether. I do wonder if that is really the best accommodation, but I'm not an SPED teacher, I don't know their full medical history and I don't have access to their IEP's, so I work under the assumption that the general ed and SPED teachers have worked together and determined this is the best approach for these specific students.

    I agree completely. My own son has a very high IQ and is extremely capable in all subjects, but especially math. It's just a matter of getting him settled in and focused enough to actually do the work. The ability is there and the strategies we've developed help a LOT when it comes to reaching his full potential, but there are still times when the ADHD does interfere and it is a constant struggle to overcome that.

    For those with severe cases of ADHD, overcoming these obstacles and constant interference can be extremely challenging and frustrating for both sides.
     
  38. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Apr 15, 2011

    The ole reduce the number of words instead of changing the instruction trick. Depending on the reason behind the reduction I have issues. All too often the child hasn't learned or internalized the spelling patterns of the words. In my district's case it is because they don't TEACH spelling. They assign words for memorization. So, the only known solution (well the only one they will even consider as an option because it is easy) is reducing the list.
     
  39. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Apr 15, 2011

    Let's not turn disagreements into something personal. The conversations get shut down that way.
     
  40. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Apr 15, 2011

    Well, a lot of conversation happened here today. Tch4ever, I appreciate your honesty and views on the topic.

    Cerek, as for comments you made about whether the behaviors are on purpose or not; for me it does not matter. Whether or not behaviors that a student exhibits in a classroom are on purpose or something that they have to work harder to control, they are still impacting the learning of the other 20+ students in the classroom. (No I am not refering to students with terrets that truly do not have control, never had a student like that at this point). I am more referring to the students who simply shout out the thoughts they have without raising their hand over and over again. Those ADHD kids who don't sit still, continually get up and walk around class during a lesson, interrupt, shout out, and overall interrupt the learning of the majority of the students in the classroom.
    When what 1 or 2 kids in the classroom hinders thos of hte many, I have a serious problem with that. It does not matter to me whether it is on purpose or not. They are hindering the learning of the many and that is what bothers me.
    I have lost count how many times I have yelled at a few students this year for interupting lessons, my speaking, other students. The other students in the class are tired of it, the time those kids have cost us in the classroom.
    Those kids who actually sit there, pay attention, and try and learn, they are the ones who are hurting, and it continues to be frustrating.
     
  41. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Apr 15, 2011

    Do these disruptive students officially have a medical diagnosis of ADHD? Have you tried any interventions to help them? ADHD kids try to learn, but their brains are like fireworks. They are not purposefully disruptive. They have a challenge.
     
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