Helping, Teaching and Parenting Kids with ADHD
What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder? (ADHD)
Purpose of this post not to give medical advice, but to provide general summaries from different sources with different opinions, to Race Awareness of ADHD, ADD in kids and adults.
Scholarly Articles: Race Awareness of ADHD
ADHD or ADD relatively common, often unrecognized condition. It affects 4.4% of U.S. adults, but most adults with ADHD live with the symptoms and suffer the often-devastating effects of ADHD in their lives without identifying the source of their struggles. Instead, their difficulties are attributed to their own shortcomings.
Once diagnosed, many adults are happy to learn that they do not have a character flaw as aptly described in the title of one popular book on ADHD, “You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!” (a classic book for adults with ADHD).
We all know kids who can’t sit still, who never seem to listen, who don’t follow instructions no matter how clearly you present them, or who blurt out inappropriate comments at inappropriate times. Sometimes these children are labeled as troublemakers, or criticized for being lazy and undisciplined. However, they may have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), formerly known as attention deficit disorder, or ADD. ADHD makes it difficult for people to inhibit their spontaneous responses—responses that can involve everything from movement to speech to attentiveness.
What Causes ADHD?
In people with ADHD, brain chemicals called neurotransmitters are less active in areas of the brain that control attention.
Researchers don’t know exactly what causes this chemical imbalance, but they think genes may play a role, because ADHD often runs in families.
Studies have also linked ADHD to prenatal exposure to cigarettes and alcohol.
“Children with ADHD have a lot going on in their brains. We see it when they jump from one activity to another or hear it in conversations when they cannot stay on topic. External consistency, from parents and teachers, may be the only stability those children have in their day.”
Is it normal kid behavior or is it ADHD?
The signs and symptoms of ADHD typically appear before the age of seven.
However, it can be difficult to distinguish between attention deficit disorder and normal “kid behavior.”
If you spot just a few signs, or the symptoms appear only in some situations, it’s probably not ADHD. On the other hand, if your child shows a number of ADHD signs and symptoms that are present across all situations—at home, at school, and at play—it’s time to take a closer look.
Once you understand the issues your child is struggling with, such as forgetfulness or difficulty paying attention in school, you can work together to find creative solutions and capitalize on strengths.
Characteristics of ADHD:
The signs and symptoms a child with attention deficit disorder has depends on which characteristics predominate.
Teaching Strategies for Students with ADD/ADHD
What you can do as teacher?
Seat a child with ADHD away from windows and near your desk
Create a quiet area free of distractions for test-taking and study
Give instructions one at a time
Make sure the student has a system for writing assignments and important dates
Keep instructions simple and structured using charts and other visual aids
Allow for frequent breaks
ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) and related health challenges
How teachers can help children with ADHD
How do you teach a kid who won’t settle down and listen?
The answer: with a lot of patience, creativity, and consistency. As a teacher, your role is to evaluate each child’s individual needs and strengths. Then you can develop strategies that will help students with ADHD focus, stay on task, and learn to their full capabilities.
Successful programs for children with ADHD integrate the following three components:
Accommodations: what you can do to make learning easier for students with
Instruction: the methods you use in teaching.
Intervention: How you head off behaviors that disrupt concentration or distract other
Your most effective tool, however, in helping a student with ADHD is a positive attitude. Make the student your partner by saying, “Let’s figure out ways together to help you get your work done.” Assure the student that you’ll be looking for good behavior and quality work and when you see it, reinforce it with immediate and sincere praise. Finally, look for ways to motivate a student with ADHD by offering rewards on a point or token system.
Accommodating students with ADHD in the classroom
As a teacher, you can make changes in the classroom to help minimize the distractions and
disruptions of ADHD.
Seat the student with ADHD away from windows and the door, right in front of your desk unless that would be a distraction for the student.
Seats in rows, with focus on the teacher, usually work better than having students seated around tables or facing one another in other arrangements.
Importance of Consistency
“Consistency is important with all children, but especially for children with ADHD. Consistency makes things predictable for them,” said Brandi Paluska, a licensed clinical professional counselor at The Children’s Center, a program of Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois.
Give instructions one at a time and repeat as necessary. If possible, work on the most difficult material early in the day.
Use visuals: charts, pictures, color coding. Create outlines for note-taking that organize the information as you deliver it.
Create a quiet area free of distractions for test-taking and quiet study.
Reduce the number of timed tests. Test the student with ADHD in the way he or she does best, such as orally or filling in blanks; give frequent short quizzes rather than long tests.
Let the student do as much work as possible on computer. Show him or her how to use a pointer or bookmark to track written words on a page.
Divide long-term projects into segments and assign a completion goal for each segment. Create worksheets and tests with fewer items
Accept late work and give partial credit for partial work.
Have the student keep a master binder with a separate section for each subject, and make sure everything that goes into the notebook is put in the correct section. Color-code materials for each subject.
Provide a three-pocket notebook insert for homework assignments, completed homework, and “mail” to parents (permission slips, PTA flyers).
Make sure the student has a system for writing down assignments and important dates and uses it. Allow time for the student to organize materials and assignments for home. Post steps for getting ready to go home.
Teaching techniques for students with ADHD
Teaching techniques that help students with ADHD focus and maintain their concentration on your lesson and their work can be beneficial to the entire class.
Starting a lesson
Signal the start of a lesson with an aural cue, such as an egg timer, a cowbell or a horn. (You can use subsequent cues to show much time remains in a lesson.)
Establish eye contact with any student who has ADHD and list the activities of the lesson on the board.
In opening the lesson, tell students what they’re going to learn and what your expectations are. Tell students exactly what materials they’ll need.
Conducting the lesson
Keep instructions simple and structured. Use props, charts, and other visual aids.
Vary the pace and include different kinds of activities. Many students with ADHD do well with competitive games or other activities that are rapid and intense.
Have an unobtrusive cue set up with the student who has ADHD, such as a touch on the shoulder or placing a sticky note on the student’s desk, to remind the student to stay on task.
Allow a student with ADHD frequent breaks and let him or her squeeze a rubber ball or tap something that doesn’t make noise as a physical outlet. Try not to ask a student with ADHD perform a task or answer a question publicly that might be too difficult.
Ending the lesson
Summarize key points. If you give an assignment, have three different students repeat it, then have the class say it in unison, and put it on the board.
ADD and ADHD Blogs and Forums you should read and follow
10 ADD/ADHD Blogs and Forums you should follow
Attention Deficit Disorders can be complicated and difficult to navigate. It is easier to tackle such a difficult problem with ample resources.
And, who better to provide these tips and tricks than someone who is going through or has already gone through the same thing as you?
This is why blogs and forums can provide a safe place for those in the ADD/ADHD community to share their experiences, ask questions, and provide help to others. It is not so scary when you realize how many people are out there with you!
On this website you’ll find the personal stories of moms and dads parenting children with ADHD. Parents tell you what has worked (and not worked) for them, their struggles and adventures, links to helpful information and other similar stories. ADHD Momma has a network of parents of children with ADHD who support one another. You will also find helpful articles from their ADHD Consultants, many of whom also parent a child with ADHD.
2. ADD Consults
ADD Consults is a place to find ADHD resources, professionals, consulting services and products. It also provides a forum to connect with others in the ADD Community.
3. Positive Thinking and ADHD: ADDerworld
ADDerworld is a blog that discusses “everything and anything about ADD”. The blog was created by Bryan Hutchinson, a Motivational and inspirational writer. Bryan is the author of several books about life with ADHD including the highly acclaimed, best selling “One Boy′s Struggle: A Memoir” and the author of the hilarious eBook that went viral “10 Things I Hate about ADHD”
4. ADHD Parenting Blog
This blog is geared towards parents who have children with ADHD. It provides general information, treatment, discipline ideas, and just general support.
5. Intrinsic Motivation and Magical Unicorns
A blog about time-stewardship, self-regulation, and the ongoing pursuit of sustainable and deep happiness. Written from the perspective of a clinical neuropsychologist.
6. Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder Forums
A place where anyone can discuss ADD/ADHD and offer advice and support to others. This provides a forum for people close to ADD/ADHD to find support and talk with others who understand what they are going through.
7. 18 Channels: An ADHD Life
Katy Rollins was first diagnosed with ADHD in her 30’s. After realizing she was “eccentric” she did some research in graduate school that helped her discover her condition. 18 channels was started as a journal for herself, but she eventually realized that it might also be useful or helpful to others, who may be seeking just the kind of information that she was.
8. ADHD and Marriage
Dr. Edward Hallowell and Melissa Orlov blog about marriage and when one or both spouses has ADHD. Topics discussed are:
- What is it like?
- What are common themes in marriages with ADHD?
- What strategies can be used to improve these relationships?
- How can struggling couples get their marriages back on track so both partners can thrive?
9. ADD Moms
If you are a mom with Attention Deficit Disorder, or a mom with an ADD child (no matter what the age), and you need information, support, or coaching, you’ve come to the right place! ADD Moms is a blog run by Brenda Nicholson, an ADD mom as well as an ADD Coach. She has raised 3 children, all with Attention Deficit Disorder, and learned to manage her own ADD symptoms along the way.
Psychotherapist Keath Low manages About.com’s ADD/ADHD Blog. The blog provides the basics on the condition, from symptoms and diagnosis to treatment information. There is also a forums section where anyone can share their story, ask questions, and comment.
The ADD/ADHD Resource Series
- What is ADHD? Nine Websites that explain Attention (Hyperactivity) Deficit Disorder
- Seven Organizations that provide support for individuals with ADD/ADHD
- 10 ADD/ADHD Blogs and Forums you should follow
- 20 ADD/ADHD Books and Videos you should read and watch
- 10 Recreational Programs, Camps and Schools for children with ADD/ADHD
- 10 Toy Stores that provide great activities for Children with ADD/ADHD
- 30 ADD/ADHD Resources you should follow on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more!
- 20 APPS that can help individuals with ADD/ADHD
Students diagnosed with ADHD/ADD
Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder Clinic
Faculty: Kevin Antshel, PhD
Associate Professor, Psychology and Director of Clinical Training
Weekly diagnostic clinic that evaluates children and adolescents for ADHD. Allows graduate students the opportunity to use assessment tools, including Gordon Diagnostic System (GDS), Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT), as well as structured child and adult interviews.