Child Study - Educational Observation of Development of a 5th Grader

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Introduction
Archie is a 10 year old in the fifth grade class here at Friends' School. He’s attended this school from preschool until now, a total of seven years. He lives in the neighborhood and tends to be one of the first kids in the classroom every morning. In general he seems to be a happy child, smiling often. He has a tendency to be quite goofy at times and struggles with impulse control, often speaking out in class or being disruptive by talking or making jokes. This seems to stem from his ADHD, which he is on medication for. Though he has many challenges related to his ADHD, he displays an aptitude for math, enjoys reading, loves computers and is full of random facts that he adores to contribute. His general health seems fine however we have noticed that he spends quite a bit of time in the bathroom on occasion. We suspect that he may have digestion/constipation issues, however this is unclear and only speculation, as his younger sister is known to have these issues. He is on ADHD medication and takes that daily. He chooses not to eat a snack mid morning, but seems to eat a light lunch every day. He is of average height and weight in comparison to his classmates. He has plenty of energy daily and hasn’t missed any school due to sickness in these first 5 weeks of school. Archie is the oldest of two children. His younger sister is in the second grade here at Friends' School. His parents are his adoptive parents, though his sister is biological – I do not know any further information about this at this time. His parents are both Lawyers by trade, though the Mother is the only one currently practicing. His father is the Hockey Coach at DU. I see both parents frequently here at the school dropping off and picking up their children. In addition, their Nanny and Aunt are often here at the school and heavily involved in their lives. They also are very involved with them at home and are on top of Archie’s behavior including enforcing consequences. Why I selected this child?

The decision on which child to choose was an interesting process for me. I found it quite difficult because I truly wanted to learn the most from this process as possible. Not only about this one individual child, but learning that will relate to future students in my classes. I knew that I wanted to choose someone that didn’t fall into the gifted/exceptional categories academically because in the future I don’t see myself working with kids that are outliers on either end of extremes, and didn’t feel I would learn what I wanted to by choosing someone from those categories. Once removing some of those kids, that also removed some of the obvious choices with quirky personalities! However, I find myself lucky to have a number of interesting and bold personalities in class and no one that seems to get overlooked or blend into the cracks. I took a look at the kids that were right were they needed to be academically, however had some barriers to learning socially/emotionally/behaviorally etc. Who needed extra help in ways that I don’t currently know how to attend to? How do you support these types of kids and encourage them to be part of the group and follow norms without squashing their own unique personality? By asking myself these, among other questions, it became obvious that Archie was my choice. I see my future classrooms having at least a few children like him that have ADHD or similar learning issues. I want to know how to relate to these kids, encourage them, and support them. I also hope to learn how to help them manage their own behavior in the classroom to allow the other children to learn and not be a constant distraction which often leaves them feeling like an outsider or looked down upon by classmates. Key questions about this child:

1. How severe is his ADHD disorder, when was it diagnosed, what is being done to help him compensate? What aspects of his learning are most affected by this disorder? 2....
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