Thursday, October 1, 2009

ADHD Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder Student

A hyperactive student is not necessarily an ADHD student. This might surprise you, as ADHD is often associated with hyperactivity. An ADHD student is definitely an Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder student. How then, do you tell a normal hyperactive student from an ADHD student?

The ADHD student will definitely display the following traits: He is easily distracted. He will not stay focused on something for long if he is on something he does not particularly fancy doing, and will probably be attracted to something he is more in favor of doing. The ADHD student is likely to be distracted by, or rather, attracted to, some sound or sight. If he is bent on something he likes, he can be focused on it for hours.

The ADHD student is thus someone intriguing and challenging to teach. Because ADHD is a neurological disorder, it is likely that the ADHD student has some accompanying learning needs. The ADHD student may be extra sensitive to sound or sight, especially rapidly changing scenes such as computer imagery and bustling activities in the canteen and the playground. You will find him livelier after recess and lunch breaks as his hyperactivity will be highly stimulated by the shifting sights and sounds of the bustling activities around him.

Because the ADHD student is a lively and easily stimulated child, he is also emotionally charged at times, and appearing temperamental to many who do not grasp the fundamentals of ADHD children. To win the ADHD student over, you need to help him handle his emotions. To help him do that, you need to give him a sense of security to be around you. In other words, you need to help him agree that you are on his side, and that you are always right, whether he likes it or not. You need to appeal to his keen sense of right and wrong and help him rationalise beyond his irrational ways and thinking. Speak sense to him and grow his emotional intelligence. If he realises that you are rational even if he is not, and that you are not there to pin him down, he will kow tow to you and call you his lord.

When the ADHD student is emotionally stable in your class, you can do wonders with him. Because he may be easily excited by sight and sound, he is most easily handled with non-verbal cues. The ADHD student is a creature of habit. How do you control him? Collaborate with your colleagues and use the same signals and code of conduct. For example, teach him to respect your stare as being a signal for him to stop moving around, sit down and  keep quiet, or risk being sent home to reflect on whether he is self-controlled and disciplined enough to come to school again.

The ADHD student is a mirror - he is God's gift to us teachers. If you see him screaming his head off in your class, ask yourself if you are setting him that example. Chances are you are yelling your head off at some naughty students and he is, being neurologically wired to mirror the movements around him, just doing as he sees you do. You will be surprised how easy it is to control him when you are quietly seated at your desk and speaking in a controlled fashion. In fact, praise him for being well-behaved that day, and you will find the whole class of students being on their best behavior.

The ADHD student loves deeply, especially his mother and his father. They are the last persons he would want to hurt. Tell him sincerely that his lack of self-control (and not ill behavior) may cause his parents deep grief. He will be deeply remorseful and you will see a new him, even if it lasts only one night. Encourage him to do his best for them. Always remember to praise him for his good behavior and let his parents know when he is better behaved. You will make his day, and his mother will heave a sigh of relief that finally, someone in school is empathetic towards his needs.

The ADHD student may be seen to be clumsy, especially if he is big for his size. This is because in his eagerness to do something, he will throw caution to the wind and likely end up a mess. Tell him it is better to take his time. If he seems frustrated by some intricate activity, or overstimulated by the noise his classmates make during group work, send him on an errand to give his brain cells a break from the over-stimulation. For the same reason, if an ADHD student can keep on task for more than an hour independently, his effort is to be applauded.

It takes lots of patience and non judgemental attitude to understand the ADHD student. Once you grasp the parameters in which his actions are controlled, you will find him very entertaining and a true human being, seeking the truth in his own way and wanting just to be helpful at times without thinking beyond what lies before him. Show him the love and understanding as you would other normal students, and your ADHD student will improve beyond expectancy. You will grow to love him and miss him when he is not around.

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