need advice on ADHD child

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by luv2teach415, Sep 17, 2014.

  1. luv2teach415

    luv2teach415 Companion

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    Sep 17, 2014

    Hi all,

    I am a 3rd grade teacher in a self-contained class. I have one student with severe ADHD. I've been a teacher for years now, and this is the worst I've seen in terms of ADHD. This student doesn't sit at all. Honestly, the student just can't...needs to be moving all the time. I don't mind if my students need to move around as long as they don't distract others, and this student does usually focus when moving. However, there are also many times throughout the day where this student does become disruptive to others who are also trying to learn and work. We do brain breaks in the classroom about every 30 - 45 minutes to get them moving and re-energize. We do different activities and group work. But I guess, I'm looking for any suggestions that you all might have on how to handle and help a child with severe ADHD. Any advice? Thanks so much.
     
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  3. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Sep 17, 2014

    Let him stand to do written work.

    Stick a piece of velcro (soft side) on his desk or the inside of his desk for him to fiddle with.

    If there is another student who you think is mature enough to be a buddy for him, talk to that student and enlist whatever type of help you think might be valuable.

    Give the student a daily chore.

    Provide pictures of appropriate classroom behavior.

    Provide a safe space for him to use to regroup.

    Arrange a special signal he can give you to let you know when he feels out of control. He may be so unaware of his feelings, though, that he won't be able to do this. Give him some kind of picture chart of emotions that he can use to express himself to you.

    Remember that he will probably not be aware of how his behavior is inappropriate.

    Make sure there are a variety of assignments/chores/activities at which he can be successful each day.

    Send home a daily checklist designed to address his particular issues.

    Pray often, if you are inclined to.
     
  4. luv2teach415

    luv2teach415 Companion

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    Sep 17, 2014

    Thanks for writing back upsadaisy. I do have theraputty that I use in the classroom, but that doesn't really help this child...just needs to move. I do allow the student to stand up by their desk if they need to or even go to the rug. I have a special chair in the room for any child to go to if they need a break and regroup. Using a signal might actually be a really good idea to keep the frustration level low. I have this child run errands for me as well (even if it's just to check my mailbox in the office). I might try the signal.
     
  5. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Sep 17, 2014

    Have you looked into getting him one of those therapy chairs that allow him to move and wiggle at his desk? Or a yoga ball?
     
  6. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Or a pressure vest? Put tape on the floor to outline the area of a spot he can move in. It isn't easy, I know. Does he interfere with other children, luv2teach?
     
  7. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Just an aside - my own son was diagnosed with ADHD and treated for it through childhood. He was treated for bipolar disorder for a few years. None of the meds for either condition helped much and they all had terrible side effects. Finally, at age 28, we found out that he had brain seizures that caused manic behaviors. They also caused other symptoms common to people with ADHD. Once he received the proper medication for seizures, there was a big change. He still suffers from the lack of appropriate intervention in childhood, however, and probably always will. I mention this because it sometimes seems that ADHD is so common that it must be a relatively simple ailment, but it can be a complex issue.
     
  8. luv2teach415

    luv2teach415 Companion

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    I like the idea of a therapy ball chair or a spot where he can move. I do have an area where he knows he can go to, but he always manages to walk over to his friends. Maybe I should clearly mark an area for him. My school doesn't have the biggest budget, and I also worry that students (or even parents) might start saying things about him. I think I do a pretty good job teaching the social and emotional aspect in school. It is still a concern for me, though, that the class will see something like a therapy ball chair and know that he is really different for needing that. He does at times interfere with the other students' learning which makes it very difficult. When this happens, he really just needs me to quietly speak with him about what he is doing because like you said, upsadaisy, he doesn't always know what he's even doing.
     
  9. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

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    Sep 17, 2014

    This summer I had a student who had the inner tube of a bicycle tire cut and tied around the front legs of his desk. Because it was bouncy, he could push at it with his feet, bounce his feet on it etc. and it wasn't disruptive at all. (If his desk is wobbly, it might make some noise, I guess, but this kiddo didn't make much noise at all.) When he had the freedom to fidget like that, he could concentrate a lot better.
     
  10. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Sep 18, 2014

    Just as an aside, I have ADHD and theraputty doesn't really help with my attention issues - it's more painful for me. Something that they can fidget with and manipulate would be more useful - something very tactile. One thing I remember that helped me a bit was how in my 7th grade science class, I would always get distracted. In the science classroom, which was pretty much a lab, they had those little things where you just flipped a switch and gas started coming out, but the part where it came out was threaded - i'd run two fingers up and down that. The tactile sensation would help me pay attention and it didn't draw attention to myself.
     
  11. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Sep 20, 2014

    Active sitting! Look into Hokki Stools from Kaplan
     
  12. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    People with ADHD act very hyper, but it is in pursuit of stimulation to a part of their brain that is actually understimulated. That is why stimulants work for them. In my son's case, that wasn't the cause of his hyperactivity, so the stimulants didn't do much good.
     

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