Dealing with ADHD student

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by jeni8601, Aug 8, 2014.

  1. jeni8601

    jeni8601 Rookie

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    Aug 8, 2014

    First of all, I am a 1st year (3rd Grade) teacher with ADHD. I was diagnosed at 7 and am 28 now. I had several teachers hate me. I remember being put into a special desk away from everyone. I remember losing recess and being yelled at. I remember being embarrassed because I felt different. I swore I would never make a child feel that way...ever.

    I have learned how to control it, and I guess I never understood how my teachers felt then.

    Here is the thing. I have a student with severe ADHD. He is in the front of the class, and CONSTANTLY interrupts and is distracting. He bangs his pencil around. I have to repeat directions several times, and have even had to move him to a desk away from everyone, in which he started playing with objects around him and never got anything done. I can tell that he literally cannot help blurting out. Sometimes he will start to say something and then cover his mouth because it came out without him meaning to. I remember that feeling when I was a kid, and now I find myself getting frustrated as a teacher.

    Now, I will explain to the class directions, and then guide him through everything (in front of everyone else) so he knows what I am talking about. I seriously have to sit on his butt for him to get stuff done. I feel bad for making him feel different in front of everyone! I do make sure to praise him for good behavior, and I have explained to him that I was very similar to him and that is why I stay on him about things.

    My main thing is that he stays confident, which I have done a great job with. I explained to the class that every student is different and sometimes some will be rewarded simply for improvement and while they are all equals, they are all unique in their learning style. My ADHD kid loves me, and his mom has said that he comes home so happy, but I NEED HELP! I am losing my patience with him and I NEVER want to make him feel the way I did as a child.

    I need suggestions on how to deal with this behavior (even though you would I think I would know)!
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Aug 8, 2014

    A couple of suggestions:

    Can he sit in the back of the class where he can stand and move around if he needs to? I have made a duct tape large square around the child's desk and let him move around as much as he wants to in that area. My students called the square their home away from home and loved the freedom it gave to get the squirmies out, yet allowed him to still feel that he was following class rules.

    Another thing to try is to have his parents or the school buy a yoga ball and let him sit on that.

    Another idea...get him out of his seat as much as possible to be your helper. If he really seems like he is at his wits end, have an arrangement with the office or another teacher to give him (and a buddy) a note to take with him to that location. The note doesn't even have to say anything specific...it just gives him time to move and regroup.

    Another idea...is you classroom close to the pe field? I have sent my ADHD kids to run laps (again, with a buddy). My room was right outside the field, so I could keep an eye on the boys while they ran laps.

    Anything to get the excess energy out and concentrate better!
     
  4. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    At the risk of sounding insulting (believe me, not my intention!), what do you think would have helped 8 year old you? Put yourself in your student's shoes. What would have helped you?

    All the suggestions above are great ones to try. One thought... is there any particular reason he has to sit? If he will stand and do his work... fantastic!
     
  5. Luv2TeachInTX

    Luv2TeachInTX Comrade

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    Can you recommend him or a 504 plan or special ed? I would talk to your LSSP and SPED teacher for suggestions as well.
     
  6. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Also, another suggestion... instead of explaining the directions, have him explain the directions to you. Tell him before you give directions that you're going to go back to him to repeat the directions.
     
  7. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    Aug 8, 2014

    Put foam ends on his pencil so he can tap without making noise.

    Give him a clipboard and allow him to do his work in his duct tape square (great idea btw), that way he can work and pace.

    For my ADHD boys, I couldn't use meds due to the side effects, so I allowed the kids to have mountain dew or other high caffeine beverages when the youngest was really losing it in class. I even gave a supply to the teacher for him to quick drink on breaks. Calmed him right down....so talk to the parents and see what tricks they use at home.
     
  8. jeni8601

    jeni8601 Rookie

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    Aug 8, 2014

    Thank You!

    Great ideas! As for the person who asked what would have worked for me...I had one teacher who did a lot of hands on stuff, and I was her favorite student. She was also a 1st year teacher at the time. I knew she loved me and wanted her to believe in me, so I tried harder. That is what I am trying to do with this child.

    As for the other suggestions, I guess I'm just scared. I look in the other classrooms and everyone is sitting so quietly and doing work. I feel like I have to be the same, when really I am totally OK with having a fun, loud, hands on class. I just don't want someone to look in the window and think I am not in control.

    Also for those who suggested duct tape for movement or exercise balls...what about the other students? Won't they wonder why they can't have the same "privileges"?
     
  9. jeni8601

    jeni8601 Rookie

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    My student teaching was in a small private school so I have just recently learned about 504's. Am I able to suggest them before talking to the parents?
     
  10. hopesma

    hopesma Rookie

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    Tell the kids that fair is not equal. Fair is everyone getting what they need to be successful. These are not toys but tools he needs to help him.

    Do you write the directions down anywhere? I'd write them in a short, numbered list so he can see the steps.

    I would check with your school before getting an exercise ball - some schools won't allow them for liability reasons.

    One class I saw used an ironing board for kids. They could stand at it for writing. Could he keep a fidget in his desk and use it quietly? You could also put Velcro under his desk (no, not to stick him to it! LOL) to give him something to rub or a band around his chair to quietly kick against.

    I agree if possible, let him run errands or get movement breaks. I used to take some of my kids to the gym in the morning to run a few laps and I do think it helped.

    Do you have a sped dept? I would talk to them or someone in admin before ever mentioning anything to the parents.
     
  11. MzMooreTeaches

    MzMooreTeaches Cohort

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    Aug 9, 2014

    Hi there! It's okay to have a class that is loud, engaging, moving around. That is normally my class. I like for my students to interact during our free times, laugh, smile joke around. We have such a busy academic packed day that when they get a chance to get the wiggles and conversation out they know that when it is time to work and focus I mean business due to giving them a lot of down time throughout the school day. Besides I want my kiddos to enjoy school and it sounds like yours does! Don't mind the super quiet classrooms that look nice and neat... the question is are those kids happy?

    Also since you have to repeat directions so much, its it possible to make him an example or giving pictures directions that he can have at his desk.

    He does sound full of energy an I think like everyone else said the key is to let him move as much as possible. I love the idea of him delivering notes to class. It's interesting I did that for one of my students without realizing that he needed that movement. It worked and he was so much happier as a result.
     
  12. bros

    bros Phenom

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    You should refer the child for an evaluation for an IEP - ADHD can qualify for an IEP (Under OHI, Other Health Impairment), even if they aren't behind academically, particularly if their organization skills are in need of improvement - the student may also benefit from an OT consultation.

    If you do not know how to do it in your district, ask your principal/mentor teacher what the process in the district is for referring a child for an evaluation.
     
  13. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    You've only known the student two weeks at best, and the student is already in third grade. It's probably a little early to start throwing out IEP talk. A better option at this point would just be to bring him up to whatever your school calls its school support team.

    bros, I know you mean well, but the IEP process is meant to be something of a last resort when everything else has proven ineffective. That goes doubly for support services like OT. In most schools that I've seen, you could count the number of kiddos qualifying for OT service on one hand with fingers to spare.
     
  14. lilia123

    lilia123 Companion

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    Have you considered a behavioral chart? Think of one or two behaviors that are the most disruptive to his learning and create a chart where every 3 or 5 minutes he uses a more expectable replacement behavior, he will get a sticker of check. When the child gets a set amount he can receive some type of reinforcement. There is a great book called "The Tough Kid Tool Box" that has many resources and premade charts for elementary age children. Discuss it with the parent because if he can get reinforcement from home it will make the program much more motivating for him.
     
  15. bros

    bros Phenom

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    If the student has an actual diagnosis of ADHD and it is not just presumed, then a referral for evaluation would not be outrageous.

    If there is no diagnosis, then simple tasks that the teacher can implement in the classroom should be attempted - a popular one is putting a piece of velcro on the desk for the student to play with
     
  16. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Honestly... it really would be outrageous this early in the year, unless there's already previous documentation of interventions tried and failed. There are very few instances where a child should go from absolutely nothing to a special education referral. The whole point of special ed is that it takes effect when general education interventions have not worked.

    Talking to the special ed department for recommendations, or bringing the child up to a School Support Team would be fine, but going directly to an IEP evaluation would not be best practice, unless there's documentation of failed interventions from previous teachers.
     
  17. Luv2TeachInTX

    Luv2TeachInTX Comrade

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    And, simply having an ADHD diagnosis alone will not necessarily qualify you for special ed. There has to be documented proof that it is having a negative impact on the child's learning. I've sat in on many an ARD where we recommended 504 instead.
     
  18. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I understand you are a teacher with ADHD and are recognizing behaviors in your student that seem to be a result of ADHD. Does he have a confirmed diagnosis of his disorder?
     
  19. jeni8601

    jeni8601 Rookie

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    He does not have a confirmed diagnosis, but his mother mentioned that he has it. I have a paper for each student documenting RTI's, EIP's, etc. They are all easy to understand except this one. Whoever his teacher was last year put a check mark under RTI but did not put a tier number or anything. Does this mean he exited RTI?

    He also has the number 2 written under EIP-Reading but there is a checkmark over it, so again, does this mean he exited?

    Last week was the first week, and I did some fun writing assignments. I found his writing to be at grade level but have yet to assess his Reading or Math. Last years Rigby level is at an S, which would not qualify for an EIP right? I will find out everything after the SLO's next week.
     
  20. jeni8601

    jeni8601 Rookie

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    Also thank you soooo much for the suggestions. I am going to be trying some things out starting Monday. I think I will start with jobs, and introduce other things as needed.
     
  21. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I don't know what system your school uses to track RTI. Is last year's teacher still in the building? Talking to her might be a good idea. If that teacher isn't there, talk to any second grade teacher that is remaining. Chances are, they heard of him. You might also want to see if mom would be willing to get a formal diagnosis. It would make your life easier down the line if you or a future teacher ever need to go down the 504/IEP route.

    For kids with ADHD, I typically find that writing is the worst thing they do. If he is on grade level for writing, I'd expect him to be on (or above) grade level for everything else. I'm not familiar with Rigby, but if an S in Rigby has a similar meaning to an S in F&P, it would mean he's at end-of-fourth grade reading level, almost fifth grade.
     
  22. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    You've gotten some wonderful suggestions here. If possible I'd go back to last year's teacher and talk to her about the report and learn more about his academics and what worked with his behavior. Or talk to whomever did his RtI. Chances are if this child was in the building last year, he is a known child.

    I would explain to the kids that fair is not equal. I would have them sitting at their desks and then talk about how we needed to get to the door. Those closer to the door would need less steps to get to the door and those sitting farther away would need more steps. The goal was the same, to reach the door. It helped them to see why I did things differently for some students.
     
  23. samsmom

    samsmom Rookie

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    There are many wonderful suggestions here (I am a sped teacher). Remember, though, to document all the interventions you try. Having that record is so important. And I agree with others - do not worry about having your classroom 'look' like everyone else's. Noise and movement do not automatically mean you are not in control.
     

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