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|Thread : Teacher who has to deal with ADD/ADHD...|
|19 Mar 2008 @ 7:55 PM|
Wed 19th Mar 2008
Threads: 1 Posts: 0
Teacher who has to deal with ADD/ADHD...
I'm a year 8 year veteran teacher who has pulled 3 years in a special ed inclusion room, and the remainder in a mainstream classroom. My concern is, when is ADD/ADHD to the point that the kid should be removed? I mean, if they can't sit for 50 minutes without jumping up, blurting out, how is that fair to the other 29 kids in there? I know everyone is entitled to "least restrictive environment" but at what point does the "good of the many" outweigh the "good of the individual" ???
|24 Mar 2008 @ 10:27 PM Reply # 1|
Thu 3rd Jan 2008
Threads: 0 Posts: 11
adhd in the classroom - really long post. sorry. 6 ideas at end.
I am a 27 year teaching vet. (highschool) and I also happen to have 3 ADHD children of my own ( 19, 16, 10) I begin by saying I really do understand how difficult it can be to control an adhd child in a regular classroom, especially if they are not IN control. If the parents have decided against medication, then you must resort to more intense supports. I would first take the child to "team" - request a high risk assessment by the school board. Have an IEP prepared. Tell your principal about your concerns. Speak with the parents - they may have strategies that help calm their child. Ask for support in the classroom: sometimes parent volunteers, student teachers looking for experience... ask your spec ed. dept. to offer you suggestions. If the child also has co ordination difficulties, especially with writing, ask for an OT referral. THAT"s all for "in the back ground". What you really are asking, however, is what to do in the classroom. I agree that you cannot allow the child to compromise the education of the other 29 students, but, by law and to do right by this child, you need to look at it as a teaching challenge, and not as a burden. It can be overwhelming - but if the children sense this, you are lost.
Teaching an ADHD child successfully requires more than simply adjusting the seating plan and offering extra time. Begin with what the child can do. Let's say you begin your day with a worksheet on paragraph writing. You hand out a template for a mind map and ask the children to fill it in. After 15 minutes you say it's time to move on. Meanwhile, the child has already been out of his seat numerous times to sharpen his pencil, get a drink, and pick up all the papers he dropped on the floor. As you glance at his sheet you notice that it is covered with doodles, but only one or two words appear on the page. Exasperated, you say something along the lines of "what are you doing!!! you haven't even started! Stop wasting time and get on with it." Then you hand out or explain the next step. You proceed to wander around the class and notice that the child has abandoned the first worksheet and is now doodling on the second one. As you pass by he makes an effort to write, and you sigh to yourself and keep going, as you don't want to distract him now that he has started. After 15 minutes, you collect this sheet and notice that he only did that ONE sentence. This process continues all day. As the day progresses your student either does nothing, gets more restless and disruptive, becomes irritable and short tempered, or he engages in negative attention seeking. You keep him in for recess to catch up, but he is sullen and angry and gets very little accomplished - but at least it is something. By the end of the day you can't wait to see the end of him and you feel frustration about how many times you had to correct his behaviour, while the rest of your students mostly got along on their own. It feels as though your carefully prepared lessons are completely for naught. You talk to other teachers who also complain about the amount of time this/these children require and question the value of inclusion at the expense of the other children. WHile this may not be your experience, it is typical, I find, of my colleagues and my childrens' teachers.
From the child's point of view this would be the same day... I got to school but I thought I was late so I ran and got all out of breath. The teacher told me I was too loud and then yelled at me to hang up my coat. I already did, but it fell off the hook. It wasn't my fault. Then so and so tripped me and everyone laughed at me, so I pretended it was on purpose and did it again. The teacher got mad at me again, but didn't say anything to so and so. ( I'm not saying you do yell, but my own children and many I teach will say this when they mean "I was scolded, or even the teacher's tone was angry - they have difficulty identifying more subtle emotions and tend to see everything as mad, sad or glad. The tripping was probably a coordination issue, but perceived by the child as intentional) I was in a bad mood now. I guess I was kicking the desk in front of me and got mad at me and told the teacher. She made me stop, but now I couldn't even get rid of my bad mood. I got a paper at my desk, but by the time I figured out what to do, the rest of the class was finished. ( mind was preoccupied with all the other things he'd just encountered and he had not yet switched gears) She gave me another paper, and told me to do it next but I didn't know what to do. I called her but she just got mad at me and so i just pretended to do some so she wouldn't yell at me again. I hate school. ( the teacher probably said something benign like I'll be there soon, or I'm helping _ wait your turn, or do your best, or even weren't you listening? I've already told you twice what to do) Then she gave out two more papers and said we had to finish them before recess or we would have to stay in, because no one was doing the work. There's no way I can get them done, I don't even know what she wants me to do and every time I do hand something in it's wrong, so what's the point? I like to draw cartoons though so I put one on every page and showed who thought they were really cool. The teacher got mad at me and said I had to miss recess. again. It's the only part of school I like and she takes it away. great. now I'm in a really bad mood. I'm thirsty. and my leg is itchy. I went to get a drink but the fountain was broken so i went to another one. The display in the hall is all cartoons. I wish I could put mine up. But they're probably not good enough. The teacher was mad at me when I came back, even when I explained that the fountain was broken. It wasn't my fault. Why does she always get mad at me. ( remember, you don't actually have to yell, most ADHD kids are very sensitive and believe, after years of teacher disapproval, that they are simply not liked - so what do they have to lose?) Anyway... you get the picture. This dialogue, by the way, is almost verbatim my 10 year old's rant; and your comments are almost identical to his teacher's. My first question is.. if you were asked to take in a child with MS who was confined to a wheelchair and who required constant attention and assistance, would you feel the same way? Sometimes it helps to ask this of yourself because ADHD is an invisible disability that looks like behaviour and not a neurological condition. Usually, ADHD children are very bright, but because they have difficulty with executive function, they seem unable to learn, remember or organize. Nothing ever gets done without your intervention - you have to take on the task of being their executive function, and gradually teach them the skills to learn more independently. It doesn't matter if the child is 7, 10 or 16... they have to start somewhere with someone who cares enough. You have made the inquiry, and that is a wonderfully encouraging thing. SO... what to do. 1. Regarding the work. After you have taught your lesson and explained to the class in general, give him ONE small chunk of a task. Write your name at the top of the page and put the date under your name. Put up your hand when you finish and I'll give you the next task. If you know what to do, do it, but otherwise wait for me to tell you. ( as the child gets more confidence, you can add to the chunk size, or ask another student to monitor and put them on to the next step) If you can't see yourself returning to his desk so often, create a numbered template or checklist for him. While it may seem more labour intensive than even what you are doing now, I assure you it is, in the long run, faster and less frustrating, because it is guaranteeing success. 2. They never have a clear sense of whether they are doing the right thing or not, so be liberal with the encouragement. These children are so used to constant disapproval, that they react like dehydrated plants to positive reinforcement. But match your encouragement to their abilities... if you praise even the ridiculous stuff you will lose credibility - they aren't stupid, just unable to gauge how much or how little to do. 3. If the physical mechanics of writing are difficult and laborious, think of alternatives... oral responses are best - they can usually talk your ear off if they get a chance. Or scribe for them. Use a tape recorder. If you have access to a computer - try word processing. There are computer programs that help them to organize their ideas, and writing programs that predict or do voice to text. 4. For focus, offer to let him use earphones with music to create a insulated attention bubble. After a period of seatwork, ask the child to do some heavy, big muscle work... clean the boards, move a desk, empty the recycling, carry something to the library or office. If the child is really hyper, get them to run to the end of the hall and back - and get a drink. Try giving him something to chew on or fiddle with. My son sat on a yoga ball at his desk for grade 3 and then switched to an air cushion on his seat so he could wiggle. The theory is that they need proprioceptor feedback to organize their thoughts. Some need to doodle. Some need to suck on something. Some require a bungie cord on the chair leg to engage a foot (so they don't kick the desk in front) When you see anger building, offer a trip to the washroom, library, office to pick something up, or ask him to do an errand like cleaning the windows. 4. Use empathy as your first response... most teachers use blame and shame - but no child wants to be unsuccessful or unpopular - they certainly didn't choose to have these issues. You look like you are getting frustrated, do you need a break? Can I help you get started? Look, you can do it, start here. ( Most have difficulty knowing where to start -- the first step is the one they miss most often) This empathy method also helps to teach them the vocabulary for how they are feeling... irritated, annoyed, frustrated, hyper, energetic, hungry, exhausted, anxious... 5.Do not expect anything you haven't explicitly explained in person. I mean homework. For example... he doesn't finish the writing task in school so you send it home. It come back untouched, or incorrect, messy and disorganized, or if you are lucky the parent has stepped in and helped. If you want parent participation in the homework, ask them to note HOW they helped... this may help you or at least let you know how much the student actually did. Suggest that they prompt, scribe, show and organize. Ask them to keep the process work so you can see how the student works. My son thinks best if he is bouncing on the yoga ball - this is how we do spelling review. For his journals, I scribe as fast as I can. He reads and tells me what he wants changed. I highlight errors and ask him if he can fix it. We copy and paste and hand in both the original and the final copy with a note explaining what steps we took and any helpful insights, like " he remembers much better if I teach him a mnemonic for the process" 5. Mnemonics are the way to go. Generally speaking, if the information is not of interest to the child, it does not go into long term memory. Most ADHD children have difficulty with working memory, so they need all kinds of aids, like mnemonics, templates glued to their desks or notebooks, checklists, organizers etc. Most importantly, if you can make a connection to the child's interests, you will be able to make progress much faster. 6. Think about the actual learning that you want to accomplish. Is there only one way to teach it? Try something different - it won't hurt the rest of the class to learn in a different mode, but it may help the ADHD student to be part of the class.
|27 Mar 2008 @ 1:53 AM Reply # 2|
|Special Ed Assistant||
Thu 27th Mar 2008
Threads: 7 Posts: 18
as a kid been there, did some of it, now I work in the system...
I've worked in MANY schools from being on-call as a special education assistant, have a B.A. in psychology, have 8 years teaching experience (ppl all ages, abilities, cultures...swimming lessons, all levels, lots of behavioural stuff) and am also a behavioural therapist for some familes.
I also have ADHD (inattentive subtype) LD (short term working disorder) and gifted (98th percentile IQ)
I work in a school district that is VERY progressive in terms of special education support and inclusive education.
What I've noticed with people who teach and support the kids who are off the wall is that we have to look at ourselves and see what is not working, and what can be done.
I have a suspicion that you're already thinking, "ive already tried everything!" In that case, let me know what you've tried, and I'll try to help.
The main thing I have noticed works the best is helping the student be more SELF-AWARE. I was contracted out for two weeks at a school to support a kid with high needs (not with ADHD) and there was a boy in the class who blurted out, couldn't sit still, got up in the middle of class to see what someone else was looking at on the other side of the room. He was aware he wasn't able to control himself, and had low self esteem about it, so when I first started there were behaviours. The teacher was doing some great things: -letting him go up and down the stairs if she noticed he was getting antsy (he was not a safety concern) -praising his work and effort (although not enough on the "little things") -making it clear that she still liked him as a kid :)
However, he was still calling out in class, which was frustrating to the teacher.
I sat close to him and got him to start putting his hand up and not blurt out with the use of a sticky note, and visual signals and a pen.
I put a sticky note on his desk and told him that when I noticed he remembered to put his hand up without blurting out first, I would put a line on the paper. I told him if he forgot, it was OK, he could try again. At first, to get him to realize how many times he was blurting out, I kept track of both (happy face, sad face). After a few days, it was just counting the times he remembered.
he would look to me if he forgot, I'd just raise my eyebrows, or put a hand over my mouth and raise my hand when he did remember, I put a tick mark.
when he got the hang of it and was looking at me when he remembered to raise his hand and not call out, he'd look at me... I motioned for him to write his own tick mark.
Sadly I was only there for a short time, and I don't know if the person I was filling in for continued it. The key is to give the feedback of performance RIGHT after they do it (if you're the teacher, then a special edcuation assistant might be able to do it, or have the student sit front corner so you can give the tick mark easily)
you can keep track of the number of times over the day, week etc... if they have a bad day, it's OK, tell them the next day they can try to do better.
there's a lot of other things that can get this to work or not work, but that's the general gist of it.
as for when you'r giving feedback, you MUST make sure you're being as neutral as possible. Visual cues instead of verbal reprimand (you might need to let the student know that just because they put their hand up doesn't mean they are going to be called on, but make sure you do call on them though) are essential.
it sounds really simple, but the self awareness is a huge issue for the kids, and I've noticed that I have issues with it as well, which is how I started noticing these things. Ppl with ADHD seem to lack self aweareness, and once they start keeping track of how they're doing in one SPECIFIC area, it helps.
There are a lot of things to look at as well: environmental design - desk arrangement, who the student is sitting close to accommodations - allowing the student to stand up while doing "seatwork" might be an option (one of the other students in the class was often standing, leaning and bouncing while doing work, but she was getting her work done and not disturbing others, so the teacher allowed it)
wiggle cushions on chairs, or wedge shaped cushion can help (leaning forward makes you more alert it seems) yoga balls instead of chairs (might need some ground rules for it though, no bouncing that causes bum to come off chair. if the student can't handle it, then it's not a strategy)
allow for movement breaks - have the whole class do stand up stretches, kids yoga poses (this is apparently reallllly effective) periodically
making comments one on one (so other kids can't really hear)... "I notice that you're getting wiggly, that tells me that you need a movement break." -this informs the kid their behaviour, and what it means. (self awareness...leads into self management)
not sure if you've heard all this before and tried it...
I'm pretty good with specifics and tweaking strategies, so even if you've tried some of the above and they didn't work as well as you liked, if you want I can see if I can help you tweak it.
I'm not trying to be condescending at all, just want to help. I've seen lots of teachers get incredibly frustrated.
Are you taking notes on behaviours...? for patterns...? there are students who once the data was being taken, it was discovered that they were more likely to be disruptive on mondays after they'd been at a respite worker's house and away from the parent, or just certain routines in the morning set the day off badly. I've had other kids who literally cannot sit up in their chair and string together a sentence b/c they haven't had the right diet (on days he had protein in his lunch he was MUCH more attentive. high school grade 10).
anyway, please let me know if you want me to see if i can help out... I love trying to help solve... but I can't really help you if you've already had your mind set in the frame of mind that it would just be better to have him removed from the class. I've had to do lots of observation and analysis of kids with behavioural challenges, and once that's been done, it usually results in an improvement.
Let me know what grade, and the specific behaviours which are disruptive (in detail: examples of what happens before the behaviour, and what you usually do, and what the reaction of the student is)
I'd love to help you out if you would like it.
PS: with a lot of the stuff, it has to be done periodically... eg. the wiggle cushions... have the student get it out when you notice s/he is getting ansty. if the student is focused and sitting fine without it, then leave it. that's just one example... a lot to do with the sensory system trying to regulate itself with jumping up and out of the seat etc.
|27 Mar 2008 @ 1:54 AM Reply # 3|
|Special Ed Assistant||
Thu 27th Mar 2008
Threads: 7 Posts: 18
I just realized that I know very little and posted a huuuuuge reply, so I want to apologize if any of it comes across as condescending. That is certainly not my intention at all.
|8 Apr 2008 @ 11:51 AM Reply # 4|
Tue 8th Apr 2008
Threads: 0 Posts: 1
I have an 11 year old (6th grade) who has adhd. I am fighting with the school about what accommodations she would be entitled to. She has had a problem with organization and fails to turn in her homework on time. This has slightly improved. Currently the following the accommodations are in place: preferential seating, extra set of books at home, daily check-out, extended time on tests as needed, and larger assignments broken down. I have requested that the school allow her to have open note or open book exams due to her inattentiveness and lack of focus. I was told that this sort of accomodations would be "unduly burdensome", and it would "change the integrity of the general education setting". I was also told that my daughter was given this 504 plan out of "good faith". My feelings are hurt that my daughter is being looked upon as a burden. This school is pushing for special education, but I don't feel that it is truly necessary. My daughter has no sense of success or accomplishment. She is currently failing. I could really use some sound advice. Thank you, kindly
|23 Apr 2008 @ 11:32 PM Reply # 5|
Wed 23rd Apr 2008
Threads: 0 Posts: 1
Also a Burden
I left A 504 meeting today with a feeling of disgust. My 12 year old daughter with ADHD has started middle school this year. Not only did her teachers not what to start IEP but they were also being reluctant to with up a 504 plan. I think accommodation given for your child’s plan was great compared to those that my child received. They included: • Directions given in a short concise manner. She may have the opportunity to direction repeated. • Preferential/Strategic seating • Team-out by removing her to another teacher’s room • A phone call home • Referral to in-school adjustment room for a class period. • Provide additional time for standardized assessments.
First meeting (about request additional help)-December 2007 This whole process began poorly because the teacher insisted that they did not believe that ADHD was affecting her behavior and that she just had an “attitude” problem. I was told that she just does what she wants to do. One teacher compared her to other ADHD children his has seen and did not think her behavior was similar. This teacher also suggested that she needed to be told how important completing her work was and she needs to be made to understand that she will fail if she does not complete her work (as if I do not to her talk about how she is doing in school). The school psychologist (whom I just met and hadn’t my child until that day) ended it the meeting by it sounds like she just has an attitude suggest we wait to see if she made effort to improve.
After this first meeting I left feeling like the teachers had their minds made up. She did not have ADHD and her problems were due to lack of discipline and my husband and I allowing her to do whatever she wanted to.
Last Meeting- Apri1 2008 I brought daughter’s grandmother along so she clearly understands what I described. Because I am a quite reserved person she thought I needed to be more vocal. During the meetings and conversations we had up to this point I felt like I was being talked to as if I were a young uneducated mother (I am 30 but have often been told I look a lot younger.)
At the meeting they discussed the same behaviors they talked about several times before. I and realized some of this is due to her grandmother asking questions. Frustrated after hearing the same thing over again without a solution I said that I’ve been hearing about the problems but I don’t hear anyone making suggestions about how to make it better. They basically said they tried everything they could and they don’t know what else to do. If she doesn’t do they work or say she won’t do the work they can’t make her. “Her refusal to do work has nothing to do with her ADHD” I also heard a variety of comments that add fuel to my previous feelings “Who does she fear?” “My son would be afraid to show me a failing grade on a report card”, “Well at some point she is going to have to go into the world and do this without assistance.”, “We write the assignments on the board what else do you what us to do.”, The social worker apologized to the teachers for suggesting to add more work to they’re load. “Well wasn’t she having problems at other school.” The teacher could not come up with anything that they could do an addition to help.
When I suggested there was a problem with communication because I hadn’t heard about these accommodations they said they had already made one teacher insisted they did and that they’d talked to me over they phone! Not only has not one phone call been place to me by an academic teachers since the first parent-teacher conference at the start of the year, but this is the same teacher would looked at his medical billed during one meeting and stepped out of meeting another and was gone for most of the meeting. These fabrications make me feel like this is only a job to collect a check and that they don’t genuinely care for students.
So when making additional requests make sure you thank that staff for what they have already done because your situation could have turned out like mine!
|26 Apr 2008 @ 3:04 PM Reply # 6|
Sat 26th Apr 2008
To Special Ed Assistant
You truly are a voice of reason. There was nothing arrogant in what you said. Your description of how you sat along side the child w/ADD and gently retrained him in class shows that you have a gift - we need more specialists like you. Do you have any advice on what I might do for/with my recently ADD diagnosed 17 y/o daughter who is failing in school but does not want to admit there is a problem, is not open to her diagnosis, and will not talk with her father & I about any of it? There are no behavioral issues; she's quite pleasant and delightful if we stay off "the" subject; she has recently started seeing a counselor and is being tutored 2 x/week.
Also, any ideas from anyone on ways to get off this heavy, negative, problem-laden track we've been on and take a more positive, upbeat approach to discovering who our daughter is, how she works and discovering her unique strengths and abilities?
|1 May 2008 @ 3:34 PM Reply # 7|
Wed 2nd Apr 2008
Ways that worked for my children
I would like to respond to most of these posts, but that would take most of the day. First of all, positive reinforcement usually comes from home. Dealing with teachers and administration is 1 huge headache. Whatever you do, don't give up. If you fight hard enough, you can get most of what you want, but it is a never ending battle. DO NOT let the school tell you that you can't have something. If they do tell them to find where it is written that says you can't and that you want it in writing. It is called prior written notice and it is the law under IDEA (look that up and do all of the research that you can). They have to put in writing what you can't have and they have 10 days to do it. Watch them back track. If you have educated yourself with the laws, (IDEA, NCLB, ADA) you will be amazed at all of the rights you and your child have. If your child has ADHD, get an IEP. Have them tested. I went out into the private sector and had testing for my daughter after the school told me she had no LD's. Boy did I prove them wrong. I just finished reading a fantastic book SURVIVING LEARNING DISABILITIES SUCCESSFULLY by Nancy and Danielle Graves. It is short and easy to read and will fill you with determination. It basically tells you to fight for your LD child and do not let fear be a factor! ADHD children are creative, talented, smart, and have great personalities. Unfortunately, schools don't like to deal with children like that. Read everything you can about LD and ADHD. Try everything. You will find things that work and that will be of great benefit. Never let up even though you may feel like doing so. Remember the squeaky wheel gets the oil. You can help your children be successful in school, just arm yourself with as much information as possible. Make copies of everything you find, keep all letters, report cards, evaluations, and anything else in folders and notebooks. I have 11 three inch binders full of paperwork that I have collected over the years. No one will ever tell me I can't have what I think is best for my child. As for the fidgety child, when he needs to move, teach him small movements, like a small rubber ball in a pocket, instead of a whole body movement. It works wonders. Or let him doodle on scratch paper . The idea is the same. He is moving, just little movements as opposed to big ones. That worked for my son. Good luck to all and remember, you must be the advocate in your child's life, so learn how to do it.
Local Time : 19 May 2013 12:45 AM
(Sun, 19 May 2013 04:45:00 GMT)