H1 – Honor student diversity and development.
There is much controversy surrounding attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Many individuals deny that the disorder exists, others refuse to treat it with medication and others are suffering from the disorder. A child who is diagnosed with ADHD is likely to have difficulty with attention and impulsivity that interferes with their learning. ADHD has two classes of symptoms. There is the well-known type of ADHD where a child is hyperactive and impulsive with their behaviors. There is also another class of ADHD where the child is simply inattentive, from the outside it may appear as if the child is paying attention but really he/she is in their own world. According to Pressley & McCormick, “These symptoms must be present for at least 6 months to be relatively certain that the symptoms are an enduring pattern of behavior and not the consequences of some transitory developmental or environmental factor, and exist before the age of 7, since the developmental pathology is theoretically present by then and so the ADHD diagnosis does not get confused with other conditions that may occur later in life”(p379).
There are many different strategies that can help students with ADHD. One important strategy that is helpful for these students is to reduce distractions. A child with ADHD has a difficult time paying attention and it is not helpful when there are unnecessary distractions. A few ways to limit distractions is to place the student in the front row in the classroom, facing the board, close to the teacher’s desk. This will help the student to focus without the distractions of other students, windows, or hallways.
Another way to limit distractions is to offer the child to wear silencing headphones. We use these a lot for ADHD students and they love them. Along with limiting distractions it is also helpful for ADHD students when a teacher is constantly checking in. When these students receive prompts and reminders on what they should be working on, they are much more successful.
Although there are many different strategies that can help students who battle ADHD nothing compares to medication. Several of my students with ADHD are on medication and there is a huge difference in how well they are able to focus with the medication. It just makes the child’s life so much easier, they are able to complete work and focus on conversations.
ADHD makes it difficult for many students to participate in activities that come so easily for others. We can make their life a bit easier by applying practical strategies that help them focus their energy.
Pressley, M. & McCormick, C. (2007). Child and Adolescent Development for Educators. New York, NY: Guilford Press.