SEVERE adhd--advice needed

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by rchlkay, Mar 16, 2007.

  1. rchlkay

    rchlkay Companion

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 16, 2007

    Hello. I'm a special ed teacher with 9 4th grade students. All of my kids are LD and all but one also qualifiy under OHI with either ADD or ADHD. So, I'm used to working with kids with ADHD. However, I have a student that has severe ADHD and I'm at a loss of what to do with him. (If you've read Joey Pigza, picture him.) I've used chair balls, hand fidgets, frequent breaks, lots of physical activity. I'm pulling everything out here for this child and nothing is able to keep him still and quiet for more than a minute at a time. Very little learning is going on because I'm spending the majority of the time keeping this student from running around the room. It's not just the hyperactivity. He's also very compulsive and his social skills...well, they're nothing to write home about. The parents are very supportive and aware of what's going on. They're doing everything they can to help. He was on medication that was working okay (and by okay I mean not good, but tolerable most of the time) but due to some side effects, his doctor took him off of it and switched it. Now it's just chaos not only here at school, but also at home. I don't think it would have been such a bad week but we also had our state standardized tests this week. I've left school every night this week with a huge headache and near tears. So please, if anyone has some advice, maybe something I'm not thinking of, it would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2.  
  3. IMac

    IMac Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 18, 2007

    This sounds like much more than ADHD. Who did the assessment?
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,938
    Likes Received:
    682

    Mar 18, 2007

    ADHD can be this severe and can completely impact a child's ability to learn. It sounds as though they need to quickly assess the meds, or lack of, and make a plan to find some that work.

    How many kids are in the class? Is it self-contained? Is he safe?
    Do you provide daily feedback to parents? Is he on a contract?
     
  5. rchlkay

    rchlkay Companion

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 19, 2007

    We're working on the meds. Mom's had him seen by several specialists and of course they all contradict each other so who knows when they'll get everything adjusted. At the beginning of the year he was in a pull-out, push-in setting for about 25% of the day. Recently we did a change of placement on his IEP because he simply couldn't not stay in the gen ed room at all. We’re hoping once the medication is adjusted we’ll be able to move him back in because he really is a bright boy and used to be able succeed with minor accommodations. I have 9 students that come and go occasionally but I always have at least 5 in the room with me. I do have him on a behavior contract with very little success. I'm going to try breaking this down even further and go with a small reinforcement every five minutes. Maybe that will be more manageable for him. I do think he's safe for the other kids to be around. His behavior is not violent or anything like that; he's just extremely active and talkative. I worry more about his own safety because he really doesn't think before he acts. I caught him trying to stand on top of my rolling chair the other day. When I asked him why this was a bad idea, he couldn't tell me. I honestly think he had no idea that that was not safe. I know that his impulsivity could be dangerous for the other students but I am keeping a very close eye on this and there hasn’t been a problem yet. Actually, the other kids are pretty annoyed with his behavior and tend to avoid him. I do have a notebook that goes back and forth between here and home and I usually talk to his mom at least twice a week on the phone. I know there really is no solution and all I can do is pray that they get his meds adjusted soon. He’s absent today and it’s giving me a nice needed break. Also, the Kindergarten classroom aide has volunteered to come in for about half an hour in the afternoon to help with him. That’ll be nice too. Any more suggestions would still be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  6. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,938
    Likes Received:
    682

    Mar 19, 2007

    It sounds like you are using many great strategies. It is very difficult when a student doesn't respond. (My own son was like that in school and we never did find a way to help him be successful.) I hope they find meds that work. It is so sad for a bright child to be blindsided by ADHD. I wish all the people that don't 'believe in' ADD could come see your student in action.
     
  7. IMac

    IMac Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 20, 2007

    Were you able to find a med that helped your son?

    My reason for questioning the ADHD diagnosis is because I am an adult with ADHD and also work with special kids.
     
  8. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,938
    Likes Received:
    682

    Mar 20, 2007

    Unfortunately, no. We tried lots of different drugs, both individually and jointly. One caused him to gain 50 pounds and, I swear, turned his hair from straight to curly. It has remained curly since that time. Very curly. Scary.
     
  9. dillpickle

    dillpickle Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 31, 2007

    Have they tried Strattera?? It worked on a student of mine last year that was schizophrenic with severe ADHD. She was on that among other things for other symptoms though. I am a reg ed teacher. I used to have to make her my "assistant" to keep her focused. I'd get her to come up and help me demonstrate a lesson or help with other things to keep her mind on the task. It worked pretty well, but the other kids got mad and said I was choosing favorites. Good Luck.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Sarahaha,
  2. catnfiddle
Total: 214 (members: 2, guests: 190, robots: 22)
test