Through trial, error and a positive approach, this teacher learned how to work with her student's special cognitive style
My first graders took a seat on the carpet for our first story time, and I began to read, "The Three Little Pigs. James, sit still." The children looked around. Was the book's title Three Little Pigs James Sit Still? They realized I was talking to one of their classmates, who was rolling on the floor. I continued, "The first little pig built his house of…James, stop wiggling, stop touching that." What should have been a simple task of reading the book, showing the pictures and stopping to discuss each problem the pigs faced was becoming increasingly difficult. I read on, trying to ignore the disruptions. CRASH! The chair James had been rolling under had fallen over and knocked a crayon box off of my desk. The loud noise interrupted the story and the children complained, "James, Miss Gigout can't even finish a page. You're messing up the story. Miss Gigout, does he have to be in our class?" James pulled the chair off himself as the crayons rained down from the desk. His face burned deep red and he began to cry. He turned his back to the class, trying to pick up the mess he'd caused, and I felt his shame. A special student. In the first hour and a half of our first day of school I saw clearly that James had the classic symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). He was inattentive, lacked concentration, stared into space, was impulsive and hyper. When James' mother arrived to pick him up after school, we talked about his behavior. She informed me that James had indeed been diagnosed with ADHD but was not taking any type of medication because the family just couldn't afford it. I realized that something had to be done; I couldn't ignore his behavior, hope for the best and basically let this little boy fall through the cracks for the next nine months of school. A style versus a disorder. For the next few days I researched...
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