Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is defined by intense inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness in a child. People with ADHD have many problems in academic settings. Some of these problems are similar to the problems of people with learning disabilities: slow and inefficient reading, slow essay-writing, and frequent errors in math calculation and the mechanics of writing.” ( Berkeley p. 1) There are other characteristic of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder they will have problems with time-management, completing tasks on time organization skills , and memory. There are three types of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. They are attention-Deficit disorder, hyperactivity disorder and a combination of them both.
To diagnose a child with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder a child’s teacher or parent must gather information from several resources, including schools, caregivers, and parents. Then the healthcare provider can compare this child’s problems with other children. Male children are mostly diagnosed with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity. Onset of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has an onset of the age seven. Children must show symptoms for six months in order for a healthcare provider to diagnose a child with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Some symptoms of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are that children are in constant motion , squirm and fidget, often misplace items, are easily distracted ,do not finish tasks and are easily distracted. They also are forgetful of daily activities and don't listen to people when the speak to them. (Turnbull p. 213)
One hard thing that can happen is that doctors and other healthcare professionals misdiagnose Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders. "If a child is behaving poorly, if he's inattentive, if he can't sit still, it may simply be because he's 5 and the other kids are 6," said Elder, assistant professor of economics. "(Science p.1) Teachers and medical professional personal need to take that into account when evaluating if a child may have ADHD or not. Parents and teachers should get different thoughts and professional opinions when deciding if their child has ADHD. This person should be someone that knows their child and has worked with them and another and independent medical person. This way someone might not miss something and another might see something. “ A non discriminatory evaluation seeks to answer three questions. (1) does the student have ADHD and can the evaluators rule out other disabilities, (2) what should the students' IEP contain, and (3) do others disabilities exist simultaneously with ADHD.” (Turnbull p. 218) Children will go through many types of testing. Testing will involve communication, interviews, observations and psychological and educational testing. Always consider the age of of child and parents and teachers need not to compare students to other students. Having a younger child in class may have them act differently because they have not matured the way their peers have.
Inattention is a big part of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and can be revealed in a person that displays these symptoms but in the long run may not have ADHD. People with ADHD do not have the power to separate out stimuli and therefore, they pay attention to everything, not being able to focus on one thing at a time. Inattention is being easily distracted. People with ADHD may make errors in schoolwork or other activities and often has trouble organizing tasks and will often avoids or engage in tasks that require continuous intellectual efforts. Children under the age of six have trouble concentrating and organizing school work at any rate so in order to diagnose ADHD a professional must watch a child for may months before making the diagnosis.
Children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can be placed in an inclusive classroom. Inclusion is a term that “refers to the participation of students with disabilities alongside their non-disabled peers in academic, extracurricular, and other school activities.” (Turnbull p. 46) It involves bringing special education teachers to the child rather than making the child go to a special education classroom. There are many favorable effects of inclusions where a child with special needs can benefit from being in a classroom with children that do not have disabilities. These effects can be in such areas as reading, writing and communication, math, improving social skills and increasing friendships. Children can also make friends outside of school with extra-curricular activities. “Positive effects on children without disabilities include the development of positive attitudes and perceptions of persons with disabilities and the enhancement of social status with non-disabled peers." ( Turnbull p. 233)
There are many characteristic of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. A few of the most common symptoms are inattention, hyperactivity, impulsiveness, social and emotional characteristics.
Inattention in a child with ADHD can include failure to pay close attention to details or make careless mistakes and will not have the ability to complete tasks on time. They also have difficulty paying attention when spoken to. A child with ADHD will have a hard time following directions especially when told by someone to do something. A child with ADHD may also have difficulty being organized and cannot follow many instructions at a time. This means in the morning when a parent want their child to get ready for school they must give one direction at a time. So instead of telling a child to , brush their teeth, comb their hair and get dressed for breakfast just tell them to brush their teeth. When this is done give them another thing to do like comb their hair. Also check on them after a few minutes to make sure that they are following directions.
Hyperactivity is unreasonable activity or movements that have no purpose and are increased in speed. The symptoms for hyperactivity may include constant motion such as fidgeting or squirming. A person may also have a difficult time doing tasks quietly and being highly energetic. Children with ADHD cannot settle down. They will go from one activity to another quickly. They will do this with great speed and noise. They will do a lot of jumping around and will have a hard time settling down. “Children who are hyperactive are on-the-go constantly and have difficulty playing in a group activity. Children with hyperactivity shows excessive running or talking for their age group. The school age child who is hyperactive is frequently fidgeting with something or is out of his/her seat in class. These children find it nearly impossible to do their homework. (Hyperactivity p.1)
Impulsiveness is another characteristic of Attention-Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. Impulsive children may blurt out answers in the classroom, and talk a lot even talk over someone else. In class they will not raise their hand or be able to be patient and wait for their turn in a game or in a class discussion. They will have disruptive behavior and not sure if they can control the disruptive. Children who are impulsive my throw shoes, blankets or toys when they get upset or feel out of place.
Social and Emotional characteristics are a big part of ADHD. Child will have low self esteem, and have a lot of conflicts with parents. They will spend a lot of time in power struggles with parents. Trying to be right all the time. They also have a lot of high risk behaviors and when they get older may use drug or alcohol or smoke cigarettes to help ease symptoms of ADHD.
Medications can help. The most common types are called stimulants. Medications help children focus, learn, and stay calm. Sometimes medications cause side effects, such as sleep problems or stomachaches. The most common type of medication used for treating ADHD is called a "stimulant." A stimulant can be medicine called Ritalin actually has a soothing effect on children with ADHD. Antidepressants can also be prescribed to a child with ADHD. This medication should be watched as it may cause suicidal habits in a child if kept on the medication for to long. Your child may need to try a few medications to see which one works best. Parents need to watch children to see if they have any reactions to medications because it is not easy for a doctor to know exactly which medication will work for your child. Therapy can also work for a child with ADHD. There are different kinds of therapy and one is behavioral therapy. Behavioral therapy can help teach children to control their behavior through the day. Most doctors or therapist will use a combination of medications and therapy to care for a child with ADHD. Many medications can be taken at home in the morning and children will not have to leave class during the day to take more medicine. Thus helping children not feel different then their peers.
Children with ADHD can fit into a regular classroom and be with their peers. Children may need to leave for special classes but overall can do well with the right classroom environment. The regular classroom includes students who receive most of their education in that classroom between 80 – 100 percent of the time. “In 1984-1985 about one quarter of students with disabilities received their education outside the regular class for less than 21 percent of the school day, but by 2003-2004 this percentage had increased to 50 percent” (Turnbull p. 43)
Although the majority of students with ADHD have typical intelligence they frequently have problems achieving academically.” (Turnbull p. 215) If a child is placed in a proper classroom with a teacher who is properly trained and understands the needs of an ADHD child the child can succeed in the classroom. The teacher must not allow the child or any child in the classroom to fall behind in course work . There are many ways that this can be done.
Teachers can start lecture with a summary of material to be covered, or provide a written outline. “ If you use broad margins and triple-space, students will be able to take notes directly onto the outline: an aid to organization.” ( p. 2) At the conclusion of each lecture, review major points. Students with Attention-Deficit hyperactivity disorder may tend to forget what they are doing in class. Their mind may drift during long lessons. They are better able to stay tuned-in when the class material is stimulating and the format varied . Have children get up and walk around and take brakes to get children to refocus on material.
Children with this type of disability may often be distracted and have a hard time keeping on task. Teachers should decide to have them to sit near the front of the class, away from outspoken or loud peers, doors, windows, clocks and pencil sharpeners. When it is time for a teacher to give a test or complete and in class assignment they should allow students enough time to complete it without being pressured to accomplish it at a certain time. Have reading assignments be taken home and done with parents so more time can be used to accomplish the assignments as well as children will be less frustrated.
Avoid making and giving assignments by communication only. This is because students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder may not be focused enough to hear the assignment. Always write the assignments on the chalkboard. Teachers can also write them up before hand and print them out. These printed assignments or lecture notes can be given to the children during the lecture.“ They can also divide tasks into sub-units, giving explicit instructions, and modifying the delivery or modality of instruction according to the pupil’s learning style.” (Raggi & Chronis 2006).
As a teacher it is very important to remind student with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder when assignments are due. Give them a syllabus and help them during each class time showing them what they will be working on and when each assignment needs to be completed. For large projects or written assignments help the student break down the task into smaller factors. “Set deadlines for each part; for example, there might be deadlines for the proposal of an essay topic, for a research plan, for the completion of research, for pre-writing to find the essay's thesis, for a writing-plan or outline, for a first-draft, and for a final edited manuscript.” (Berkly p. 2)
Another option to use with a child with ADHD is peer tutoring or the use of an assistant in the classroom. It is a strategy whereby an ADHD individual is paired with a peer tutor to work on a certain academics. Peer tutor providing one-on-one instruction and assistance at the individual’s own pace. “Research has shown that peer tutoring improves classroom behavior and academic performance. This peer tutoring has also been extended to parents and helping children at home. (Daily p. 460) There are a wide range of needs of children in a classroom and the use of an assistant or tutor in a classroom can benefit everyone. This assistant can help with students questioning and testing issues while the main teacher can continue on with the day’s lesson plan.
As a parent with children with ADHD you need to make sure you take care of yourself. Do this by exercising, eating right and get enough sleep. Find ways to handle and reduce stress . One of the best ways to help your child is to help yourself and find support groups on line or in person. Talk to your child’s doctors, therapists, and teachers. Join an organized support group for parents of children with ADHD. It is necessary for parents to decide if a child needs help with their education in the classroom and to realize that the child has learning disorders with ADHD. “ Next is to consider how and if it will impact their communication, discipline, socialization skills and, their need to be independent by putting them in an inclusive classroom.. Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can do well if provided the proper tools and to be with children and support from their peers and other professionals. (ADD p. 2)
Turnbull, Ann (2010). Exceptional Lives Special Education In Today's Schools. 6th ed. New Jersey: Pearson. p 1-63.