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Teaching ADHD students
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katia04



Joined: 09 Dec 2011
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:18 pm    Post subject: Teaching ADHD students Reply with quote

I have a student in one of my classes that is very obviously ADHD, and even though it's not considered real in China, I know it when I see it, as my brother also struggles with this. This student is a good kid and makes an effort to speak English in class, but he seems absolutely incapable of staying in his seat for more than five minutes. I've tried everything - offering him rewards for staying in his seat, assigning him extra homework (which he does, by the way!), giving him more stuff to do (like pass out papers), and praising him when he stays in his seat. What it ultimately comes down to is that he JUST CAN'T DO IT. I talked to the Progress Adviser and she says he is exactly the same way in his regular school, but at the end of the day I just can't have a 12-year-old acting like a Mexican jumping bean (figuratively speaking). I don't want him losing too much "face" by doing too much harsh discipline, but I also want to control this kid enough so that he doesn't set most of the class getting up and out of their seats as well. Any tips?
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LongShiKong



Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 939
Location: China

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had at least one in every class--both here in China and in Canada. For the sake of the class, you, the child run this advice through Google Translate to hand to the parents.

I've found such kids are more capable than the rest when they do focus so I don't expend needless effort in trying to sustain their attention at the expense of the class. The trick is to keep them from distracting the class without ignoring them completely.
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DebMer



Joined: 02 Jan 2012
Posts: 211
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Mercola article LongShiKong linked to is excellent advice, although you have no control over what the child consumes outside of your classroom. I wish all parents understood the implications of taking chemicals into the body.

Try having him sit in the back of class and allow him to stand up to work at his desk, if desired. Having clay and/or pipe cleaners, drawing materials, etc. at his desk so he can work with his hands might also be helpful. Most kids like him need to multitask if they're going to stay engaged. I'm sure the fact that you allow him to help you do active things around the classroom is a great benefit to him, too.

It sounds like you have a good understanding of him and his needs, and thank God you recognize and praise his capability and intelligence, which is probably more good than anything else you can do for him.

The hardest thing is trying to meet the needs of the other students while also meeting his. So many kids learn best by doing. I always think kids like this would find growing up on a farm or a ranch or in the jungle an absolute paradise. My second child is a ball of energy. She focuses just fine, but the house really can't contain her.


Last edited by DebMer on Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9708
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only tip I could offer, and all that any other poster lacking a medical qualification could offer either, is to refrain from making uninformed medical diagnoses. There is every likelihood that this type of assumption could lead to more harm than good.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9605
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Sasha is correct here. Really, it could prove to be way out of line to try to tell the parents anything in such a case; much more realistic to assume they know more about their child than a teacher. This could easily come across as meddling at best...
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1216

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know what you mean about making sure one student doesn't derail the whole class. I've taught enough in public schools to see a number of kids - of all ages - have difficulty settling down to work, answering appropriately, sitting quietly and so on. Generally speaking, too, these kids will have difficulties in all classes, not just yours.

But I also agree with other posters in that if other teachers are aware, it's not really up to you to "inform" the parents, who are probably all too well aware. In my experience, classmates are generally well-disposed towards each other, and will often be very accepting of different characters and personalities to just be themselves. I'm talking about Italian kids here, who aren't usually fazed by "difference" - this might not be the case in other countries - but your student's classmates might be less affected by it than you think.

But on another note, I do wonder about the whole diet - ADHD connection. I've seen how an entire class can go from dozy to bounce-off-the-walls in ten minutes after eating sugar and fat-loaded snacks in their breaks. These kids don't eat much at breakfast either (except milk and biscuits) and are expected to sit still from 8am til 1.45 pm. I'd be bouncing off the walls myself, if I had to sit still for such long periods of time, but that's another issue.

I feel very uneasy about the numbers quoted in the article. Not so much that I disagree, but that I think we're storing up problems for ourselves. Our diets are changing, and yet we expect students to behave quietly on a protein-poor, vitamin and fresh-air deficient, starch, sugar and fat-heavy diet. You wouldn't get great results from an adult on that sort of diet, but we're inflicting that on growing, developing brains. And I'm not even getting into the gene-warping, DNA-altering type scandals presently occurring in our food supply chains.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12873
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have to wonder if the increase in autism

"The number of children with autism in the United States continues to rise, according to a new report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The latest data estimate that 1 in 88 American children has some form of autism spectrum disorder. That's a 78% increase compared to a decade ago, according to the report."

is also related to diet. GM foods are almost 20 years on the market (1994).

"Commercial sale of genetically modified foods began in 1994, when Calgene first marketed its Flavr Savr delayed ripening tomato."

You are what you eat, after all.

Regards,
John
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artemisia



Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 867
Location: the world

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too, would be very cautious about thinking I could diagnose a condition, however familiar the symptoms may look. Likewise, I agree with Spiral and Sasha about possible negative consequences that could come from approaching individual parents over this. Something like that could go down very badly although you’d have good intentions. Many parents do want to be involved in aspects of their child’s schooling, but would probably baulk at being given advice (diet or otherwise) on how to raise their kid.

The article (link) posted by LongShiKong is very useful and I’d consider whether a translated copy could be used in a general sense. For example, a mail out to all parents from the school’s senior management or nurse (if they have one) on the effect of diet on behaviour might be possibility. IMO, this sort of thing needs be adopted as official, whole school policy from higher up and not from teachers. Perhaps it won’t have much impact, but it might.

DebMer wrote:
Try having him sit in the back of class and allow him to stand up to work at his desk, if desired. Having clay and/or pipe cleaners, drawing materials, etc. at his desk so he can work with his hands might also be helpful. Most kids like him need to multitask if they're going to stay engaged.

Yes, this could be very helpful and I’d give it a go. Could you also assign a place that’s separate from his usual desk in the classroom? Perhaps a place at the back where he could bounce off to (quietly) would work well. He could do a few things standing up and on an ongoing basis (like a jigsaw puzzle). Any kind of problem solving activities (hopefully linked to learning English) could keep him engaged for a time. You may find he’s less ‘hyper’ if he knows he’s actually allowed to get up and move between two places without being disruptive to the rest of the class.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9708
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Food for thought?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFc67ZiZ2M0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jR6wfoHJJs
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wangdaning



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 2200

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am sorry, but being bored is not a disease. There was a time when my elementary school tried to get my mom to believe I was ADD, now they added hyper. I never got any meds, my mother would not allow people to drug me.

Maybe you need to simply ask the child what is up. If he is bored in the class then get some extra work for him to do. Re-evaluate your method. I had a teacher who was sure I was a horribly possessed child simply because her classes sucked (yes, I can still remember fifth grade).

I am not saying you are a bad teacher, I don't even know you, but labeling a child with a psychological issue is serious. Most likely they are far ahead of the class and everything seems uninteresting. Maybe give the kid a research project and let them run with it.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12395
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be very careful about sticking labels on students - especially when you are working in a culture that you yourself do not fully understand.
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santi84



Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 866
Location: under da sea

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a parent of a child who is "on the radar" for this particular condition (he's still too young for diagnosis), I am positive that the parents probably know that something is not right. Due to face, they may not be interested or willing to admit it, but I wouldn't necessarily assume that, due to culture, they do not believe there is a problem. If you think it is obvious in a classroom, I can assure you it is much worse at home - kids with this behaviour are like this from the day they are born Shocked

I would also suggest that perhaps the style of classroom learning in China directly conflicts with his learning style/possible disorder. Boys, particularly those with certain conditions, require much more physical/tactile learning methods, rather than sitting down with a pen and paper and listening for an hour.

Tread very carefully, or not at all.
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cmp45



Joined: 17 Aug 2004
Posts: 1404
Location: KSA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

santi84 wrote:
As a parent of a child who is "on the radar" for this particular condition (he's still too young for diagnosis), I am positive that the parents probably know that something is not right. Due to face, they may not be interested or willing to admit it, but I wouldn't necessarily assume that, due to culture, they do not believe there is a problem. If you think it is obvious in a classroom, I can assure you it is much worse at home - kids with this behaviour are like this from the day they are born Shocked

I would also suggest that perhaps the style of classroom learning in China directly conflicts with his learning style/possible disorder. Boys, particularly those with certain conditions, require much more physical/tactile learning methods, rather than sitting down with a pen and paper and listening for an hour.
Tread very carefully, or not at all.


I have had a few students over the years that fit within similar descriptons, but never acted on my suspicions for the very reasons mentioned. However, what can one do with university level students who are older (in their mid to upper 20s) and are not as easy to manipulate as their younger counterparts. I can hardly permit games and such activities all the time when there is a strict syllabus to follow and formal exams to write. A lot of the lessons/ exercises do require some reflection, thinking ...sitting at a desk for at least 10-20 minutes stretches. In addition, with a class size of 20-25 students, it becomes harder to devote any significant amount of time one to one at the expense of the other students.
No easy answers...except try to manage the 'problem' student the best one can without too much disruption to the overall group. Implementing physical tactile methods may sound good in theory, but may not always be appropriate or suitable for adult classroom situations. Nevertheless, your suggestion has been noted since it was in response to the OP's specific question.


Last edited by cmp45 on Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:29 pm; edited 3 times in total
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12395
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a student who seemed to have all the symptoms of Schizophrenia. When I reported this to my Saudi supervisor he urged me to do nothing and simply cope as best I could.

Such is the stigma of being mentally ill that it was all hushed up, until the trainee became an employee and really annoyed a local bigshot.


Last edited by scot47 on Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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katia04



Joined: 09 Dec 2011
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi guys,'
Thanks for the advice, and keep it coming! BTW I have absolutely NO intention of talking to his parents and making a "medical diagnosis." No. What I'm saying is that this kid has ADHD tendencies, and I'm much more concerned with addressing these tendencies than "curing" him. Basically, I'm not out to be a doctor, I just want him to sit still so he doesn't derail the class. And he DOES make an effort - he's not a bad kid and I don't want to punish him. Also, I don't, and never have, seen ADD as a "mental illness," and I am not intent on labelling this kid, just helping him!
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