Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), also known as attention deficit disorder (ADD), is a mental disorder that most often occurs in children. Symptoms of ADHD include trouble concentrating, paying attention, staying organized, and remembering details. With the insurmountable number of children that are being diagnosed and a continued increase in numbers, teachers need to be able to address this disorder and implement measures to ensure that students’ needs are met academically.
The issue concerned with ADHD are the same issues that are directly stemming from its symptoms. A teacher that has a child or children in their class are bound to deal with the problems of paying attention, staying organized, trouble concentrating and remembering details. Many reports estimate that anywhere from 5% to 8% of school-age kids have the disorder. ADHS is one of the most common behavioral disorders that happens in childhood, according to both the CDC and the National Institutes of Health. Imagine a classroom where a teacher has students that are diagnosed with ADHD/ADD.
The student would have difficulty with multiple tasks, especially complex tasks, planning and staying focused, these are the things that children with ADHD will have a difficult time doing. A teacher would not have time to continuously address or assist these children as well as others. But it is not the fault of these students, just that their brains will not allow them to refrain from their disorders. So additionally, the brain has an important role in the characteristic behaviors of these children. First, the three primary characteristics of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
The signs and symptoms a child with attention deficit disorder has depends on which characteristics predominate. As published in the Lancet Psychiatry Journal, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with the delayed development of several brain regions and should be considered a brain disorder (2017). Brain imaging studies have associated structural abnormalities with ADHD in children and adolescents, including: • Delayed cortical development • Ellison, Ellison, & Bullmore (2008), explains in the psychiatry journal that cortical thinning, and reductions in the volume of grey and white matter.
White matter consists of axons, or nerve fibers. Grey matter is the outer layer of the brain. Researchers found that people with ADHD may have different neural pathways in areas of the brain involved in: ? impulsive behavior ? attention ? inhibition ? motor activity • Reductions in the volume of several regions of the brain, including: the posterior inferior vermis; splenium of the corpus callosum; total and right cerebral volume; right caudate; right global pallidus; right anterior frontal region; cerebellum; temporal lobe; and pulvinar (Kobel M, Bechtel N, Specht K, et al. , 2010).
There are certain areas of the brain that are smaller in children with more severe ADHD symptoms. These areas, such as the frontal lobes, are involved in: ? impulse control ? inhibition ? motor activity ? concentration Regions of the brain implicated in ADHD in children and adolescents Earlier, I ask to imagined a classroom where a teacher has students diagnosed with ADHD/ADD. Teachers are faced with some daunting challenges of ADHD in the classrooms. It is especially imperative that teachers can recognize the hallmark symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity as it can be both frustrating and distracting.
Likewise, students with ADHD can have the intelligence but lose focus in the lesson. Additionally, their behaviors consume time and can disrupt a class. Challenges in the classroom can vary. Dr. Segal, of Harvard Health describes some of these challenges in an article submitted to Helpguide. com (2006):
1. They demand attention by talking out of turn or moving around the room; they don’t pull their weight during group work and may even keep a group from accomplishing its task. They have trouble following instructions, especially when they’re presented in a list, and with operations that require ordered steps, such as long division or solving equations. 3. They often forget to write down homework assignments, do them, or bring completed work to school. 4. They often lack fine motor control, which makes note-taking difficult and handwriting a trial to read. 5. They usually have problems with long-term projects where there is no direct supervision.
Furthermore, there teachers should be able to meet the needs of students with ADHD/ADD and understand the cognitive processes and human development of the individual learners. Children with ADHD can show some manifestations of Motor Impairments and cognitive impairments. Per Jensen, E. , (1998) which states the following: There are several social and academic consequences of ADHD, including impaired social, academic, and occupational functioning, comorbid mood and anxiety disorders, increased rates of substance abuse, and persistent neuropsychological impairments.
ADHD has also been found to be associated with impairments in executive functioning, which is linked to deficits in the frontal brain regions. The prefrontal cortex which control the executive functions of the brain shows in children with ADHD by difficulties in planning, organizing, and performing strategies. They may display difficulties in attention functions by mistakes that are careless, negligence and have difficulties in performing activities. Echeverri explains that “children show severe problems when they must follow through on instructions and tend to avoid tasks that require sustained mental effort.
Moreover, they show an apparent trend in losing their personal belongings or forgetting their academic obligations” (2010). Memory functions such as following orders and instructions and difficulty in recalling information are all difficult even with intense concentration. Perceptive functions are observed in obvious hearing problems. (Nigg, 2009) Psychiatric Times The core difficulties in executive function seen in ADHD result in a different picture in later life, depending upon the demands made on the individual by their environment (Harpin, 2005).
Children with ADHD can also develop some mild to serious human development problems early and later in life. Problems can surface early with low self-esteem. In class and even in their personal lives disruptive behavior, learning delay and poor social skills can hinder growth. Moreover, as children grow into their teenage years and early adulthood to adult hood criminal behavior may develop, school exclusion, substance abuse, conduct disorder and complex learning difficulties. Of, course we should not assume that children with ADHD will succumb to these problems.
These issues will vary depending on family involvement, resources and cognitive ability. An environment that is sensitive to the needs of an individual with ADHD and aware of the implications of the disorder is vital. Families and teachers alike need to be able to meet the needs of individual learners. Executive Functioning involves the use of higher level cognitive functions to select and achieve goals, or develop problem solutions, such as: planning, organization, time management, working memory and metacognition. Additionally, the best approach according to Dr.
Savarese is “when working with these children is to personalize the strategies and techniques to meet their individual needs, knowing that not all children will respond to the same strategies” (1998). Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS) is an evidence-based and system-wide practice that uses data-based progress monitoring to make decisions and respond to students’ academic and behavioral needs through access to instruction delivered in varying intensities. Students learn at their own pace with structure and support in challenging areas.
Learning aligns with interests, needs and skills, and takes place in an engaging environment where students gain a better understanding of their strengths. Personalized learning may sometimes include specific practices, such as: competency-based progressions, flexible learning environments, project-based learning, learner profiles, personal learning paths, blended or online learning. Collaborative efforts with general educators, special education teacher, colleagues, specialized instructional support and parents play critical roles in setting goals and supporting students.
What may be a success is not only being proactive and sharing expertise, but to incorporate personalized learning highlights into your regular school-to-home communications. While there is growing advancement in computer technology a teacher might find it an innovative tool for students with ADHD. For example, a student often misplaces his homework assignments, and when he finally does begin them, he is easily distracted and jumps from task to task before each is completed.
To help him organize tasks more effectively, and to save time when preparing to do homework, Bradley’s teacher showed him how to structure folders on his Mac Book Pro so that documents and files can be found more easily. The Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media, WGBH Educational Foundation give this example #9 Pages 17-19: “Bradley’s teacher showed him how to structure folders on his MacBook Pro so that documents and files can be found more easily. Each week he sets up a new folder with subfolders for specific subjects such as chemistry, English, and history.
He drags the weekly folder into the Dock at the bottom of his screen so he can easily locate and open it. He also sets the folder view to show everything alphabetically, making it simple to find everything he needs” (2010). Another innovative idea is to use the symptoms of the disorder to teach students. The power of movement in teaching and learning, the use of creative movement in the classroom to teach across the curriculum. Griss states that simply by getting students out of their seats, we encourage new levels of self-discovery and self-expression.
And by letting students experience the curriculum through their bodies, we help them make deeper emotional, interpersonal, and kinesthetic connections to academic subjects (2013). In conclusion, ADHD has become a prevalent issue in the United States. Approximately 11% of children 4-17 years of age (6. 4 million) have been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011 as reported by parents. As it appears these numbers will continue to increase and teacher and parents need to be proactive in their measures.
Better processes for screening and intervention will continue to be an important measure. Students who are diagnosed need not be isolate but continue their studies in general education population. This means that educators need to be well trained, and well equipped to be proficient at their jobs. The development and implementation of differentiated instructions that meet the learning needs of students with ADHD. Most importantly provide resources for students, families and education staff that will strengthen the collaboration with parents and students.