Monday, January 3, 2011

ADHD

CLAD2-PDD

Hi to all. Those of you who started back today I hope you all had a good day. Today I was told I’d be getting a new student on tomorrow, who has ADHD, and from what I understand, other emotional problems. I’ve had an Autistic student this year and the year before last, but never an ADHD student. Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas to make the classroom experience more comfortable for my new student, my old ones and myself? I appreciate any time you have to lend suggestions or insights. Thanks.

Ms. A

11 comments:

  1. Lots of structure, routines and calm is usually best for an ADHD student (and adults like me too). It will also depend on whether there is medication involved or not (not advocating this at all, just stating). Routine is very important..and when there is change, there can be difficulty. I have a student this year who is severely ADHD, but takes medicine, and loves to work. I keep him busy from the minute he walks in until we leave. If there is down time, it sometimes leads to difficulties. He can drive me crazy sometimes, but most of the time he has so much to offer everyone! I hope your experience goes well! :O)

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  2. I hope the last of my comment didn't come out wrong..of course he always has something to offer, lol, but what I meant was he is able to really contribute a great deal to our classroom and give to all of us. My children have learned more patience with him as well. We also use sing language in our classroom for basic things (we started because I was tired of saying "Please stop talking" to him, lol) and interrupting the flow of the lesson. Now I just sign it and it stops. It was an idea given to me by one of our Hearing Impaired teachers and it has worked out GREAT! Anyway, just wanted to explain...

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  3. And that would be sign language..see, I told you I was ADHD..and still on vacation, lol

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  4. I've had 2 experiences with ADHD students. One was great and the other not-so-great. When I was student teaching, I had a student who was severely ADHD, but ubder gifted. He could read anything and comprehend more than I could. He was able to walk around the room and do what he needed to do at the back of the room as long as he wasn't disturbing others. But, he could tell you verbatim what you had said for the last week. He just needed the time and space to move around if needed. My second one was quite a few years ago. The child was ADHD and was also on the autistm spectrum. Nothing could control her, her mood swings or her barking. She didn't want to have a space to herself, yet she didn't want to be with others. It was very difficult. I basically had to let her have her way when she was in a mood. It disrupted the class, but they got used to it. Actually, it was a weird bunch of kids...half of them had their quirks while the other half suffered from lack of administration giving a darn. The biggest thing I can think of is to see what they need to be able to function (more space or movement) and work it in as best you can!

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  5. Right now I have two students with ODD, ADHD,and LD, plus another ADHD/Autistic and one or two that arn't diagnosed but certainly have tendencies (and yes, I am a regular classroom teacher with a class of 20 kids). The biggest thing I have found is that every child is different even if they are diagnosed with the same special need. You have to take time to learn the child, what makes them tick, what do they enjoy and what they don't. Some tricks include: Target sheets....divide the class day up into blocks, a block for each activity such as: morning work, reading, math, centers, theme unit, etc. whatever your schedule may be and put a target sheet on his/her desk. For every activity that they successfully get through, give them a check mark. Negotiate an incentive with your child if they can complete 6 of 7 activities successfully, let them earn a privilege. Try to find an acivity or job (builds esteem) instead of candy or a prize. Sit students at the end of their group, so that they can sit or stand without interrupting the class. Take a small yoga ball or inflatable ball and fill it up about an 1/8 of the way full. It creates a small bubble the student can fidgit on and gets that movement that they need, but doesn't distract others. Stress balls can be squeezed. Round plastic pipes (like the kind that you buy at Lowe's) can be put under students feet and they can slide their feet back and forth (not distracting for the class, since it takes place underneath the desk). Incorporate movement like jumping jacks, toe touches, spins, etc. in routines like flash cards and math facts. Find an activity that your student might like to do when they have completed their work, for instance I have had a child that love to write stories so I gave him a spiral notebook to write in whenever finished with work. This helped with running around the room when done =). I have a "safe seat" area where I will send a child if they are too distracted or pestering (I say that lovingly) others. When I introduce the safe seat to the whole class, I tell them all that this is a place where we can go and do our best work. It does not mean that you are in trouble and I tell students that they are welcome to ask to go sit there if they feel they need space. I always ask my easily distracted friends if they would like to keep a divider in their desk to use when they would like. That way I don't have to seperate their desk from a group. Centers and daily five (even my reading group) all take place on the floor so that they can lay and fidgit as they work. I use the sign language too and love it!!! It helps tremendously with all students and the ever annoying "Teacher I need to go to the bathroom" in the middle of phonics. A meeting with the parents to set up privileges and consequences early on is always good so that they are using them same language as you are in your classroom. I hope some/ all of this helps!!!

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  6. I have a student in my class this year that is ADHD and takes medication (I am also not advocating this). I definitely know when he has missed his medicine, and for this student it does help him. I also got a bumpy seat pad from the SPED department (sorry I don't know what they are called) He uses it when he wants. I agree with a routine but all of my students seem to do much better on days when we are able to stay on schedule. This student is such a sweet child and I can tell that he wants to do well, so patience (you already have that you teach) and on days that are more of a challenge the entire class gets a little more exercise because we sing and move.
    A couple of years ago I had a bit more of a challenge with a student that was ADHD, and ODD he would get under the table and if things didn't go the way he wanted he would scream, but he had more than ADHD. I used a behavior chart with this student that was broke down into small times, for example - morning meeting, math time, walking in the hall, etc. He earned a red, yellow, or green, smiley I put times on the chart that I knew he would get green faces so that we could celebrate doing a good job, this helped him accept the yellow and red faces. This went home each night and his parents worked with me for rewards. (This was more for the ODD but could work with other students) With both of these students I was lucky because the parents worked with me. I am sure you will do fine sometimes it is just that fear of the unknown. Good Luck:0)

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  7. I have had many students with ADHD and yes, the best thing to do is maintain structure and routines. I have found that keeping a small chart on their desk to help them keep their pace helps. I have them add a sticker every time they finish a page, write x amount of sentences, etc. You will be able to establish goals and guidelines as you work more with the student. There will be challenges, but just breathe and remain calm. Students with ADHD feed off of the anger they sense in others, so just try to get through obstacles with a smile. Let us know how you do!

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  8. Thanks to all, these are some excellent suggestions. I think it is the fear of the unknown that's worrying me. Hey I might need to start another blog...my adventures with ADHD :)

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  9. I also wanted to say that I have just recently found your blog and am loving all you share! Thank you so much!

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  10. I work with ADD and ADHD kids who are having difficulty in school, and there are some great pointers in the book Rediscover the Joy of Learning. The book is written for teachers, coaches, and parents of kids who are struggling in school and have a learning difference.

    I took the certification program about three years ago and now I love every opportunity I get to help these kids.

    You can get the book and read some really good articles on working with ADHD kids at the authors their website http://www.nlpok.com.

    Hope this helps!

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