Attention-Deficit or otherwise known as Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the major cause for majority of adolescent, and children outpatients in most hospitals than any other disorder. It is the most common psychiatric children’s disorder in USA. Approximately three to seven percentages of children attending school are affected by this disorder. Basically, the condition majorly consists of three main signs: impatience, short concentration span, inattention, restlessness as in hyperactivity among others. ADHD is mostly diagnosed in growing children, but the condition can at times stretch into adolescence and adulthood. The prevention of long term effects of the disorder is key because the condition is much prevalent in our society. But for this to happen, there need to be an existing alliance of school, home and the community at large to improve the growth of a child suffering from ADHD, and, more so, curb social, academic, and emotional hardships.
In the event of diagnosing ADHD in a child, that particular child together with the family members should immediately be informed about its causes, manifestations, its growth phase and the available treatment options. It is worthy noting that proper coordination of ADHD in homes, schools, and in communities is advisable. For instance, the Teachers in a school environment should play a paramount role in enabling pupils, and students with ADHD to a successful do schooling.
Therefore, it is important that the parents and teachers in schools should comprehend how ADHD can interfere with the learning process. Such effects may include: lack of attention in class, making noise in class, not concentrating for longer hours in class, difficult to wait for turns and disorganization of the highest level. Note that ADHD is not of itself a learning disability, but can also prejudice a child’s ability to learn, and apply what he or she has learnt. A child can also find difficulties in making, and sustaining friendships in both homes and schools. Some of common disorders that are commonly accompanied with ADHD is anxiety and mood disorders, oppositional defiant disorders, and learning disability.
A child with ADHD condition will typically show behaviors that is can be categorized into two major lines: poor continuous attention and impulsiveness. A teacher in class uses these two main categories to diagnose ADHD disorder in a child. For instance, a child exhibiting hyperactivity will usually look fidgety in class, experience difficulties in staying at one place, but instead he or she will be yapping at different places, he can play quietly, and will usually act as though he has been stung into doing a certain activity. For a child with Impulsivity, a teacher will notice difficulties in participating in daily chores that require taking turns. More so, a teacher will realize that a child blurts out answers to questions instead of waiting to be chosen to answer.
Additionally, a child will not settle on one task but will keep on flitting from one task to another without completing one task at a time. Moreover, due to inattention behavior of a child with ADHD, his or her educational experience will degrade, as in, a child will not be able to follow detailed instructions. The child will always find difficulty in sustaining attention for duration a certain activity, and he or she will be misplacing required items. Children with this disorder will always exhibit aggressiveness, and will, at times, be rejected by fellow normal children, thus face isolation in their development. Ideally, this child will always be making careless mistakes in class, pay less attention to details, and again he or she will dislike tasks that deserve sustained mental involvement.
In a school setting, the knowledge of key evidence oriented characteristics of a child suffering from ADHD is helpful to the teachers, and other school personnel. According to Dr. Russell Barkely, some of the key characteristics of an ADHD affected child are: children affected by ADHD being unable to remember: they have rules that they need to follow in mind but, at times, fail to access those rules; they unable to complete their assignments in time.
Teachers, on the other hand, have established interventions that can be of help to ADHD victims. These interventions are antecedent interventions which are the things that done before target behaviors occur. The other intervention is consequence based interventions which refers to things done after noticing the behavior. They are both designed to regulate the rate at which the unwanted behaviors occur. In general, antecedent interventions alleviate the problems before they happen, and include the decrease of downtime. These includes rising pacing jobs, frequently announcing and reiterating class regulations, and their repercussions. A teacher can decide to deal with more difficult academic, problem solving tasks in the morning rather than in later hours of the day. Research has it that techniques like using small spaces, reduction of visual and auditory intrusions, modification of tasks length, and monitoring the children when expected to work independently should be encouraged.
Role of a teacher in educating a child with ADHD
A child suffering from ADHD can exhibit unique challenges in the classroom. Research has it that students with ADHD have persistent academic difficulties resulting to lower average marks, poor grades, several expulsions, increased children dropouts rates, and less college student completion. For instance, a student can exhibit hyperactivity, inattention or impulsivity which can generate frustration. Teachers, therefore, have a role to play, in ensuring children with ADHD improve in education, and more so, the symptoms of the disorder are controlled. First of all, teachers must appreciate their learning disability but at the same time support the importance of classroom, and instructional structure. Therefore, teachers should always ensure that they work with the hardest concepts in the early hours of the day. Additionally, a teacher should always be giving directions to one assignment at a time instead of directions to a numerous assignments all at once. Moreover, teachers should always employ the technique of varying the pace and type task activity to catch the maximum student’s attention. Finally, the teacher should structure pupil’s and the student’s environment to meet his or her special requirements. For instance, a child with ADHD should be made to seat away from possible distracting areas such as near computers, windows, and doors. Instead he or should be seated near a hardworking student working on the same assignment.
A student with ADHD should have tangible conspicuous reminders: for instance a big clock in the bedroom, charts for school tasks, assignment pad to record assignments, and a special bag to put in the task upon completion. More so, a child’s attention needs to be gained before speaking to him or her, and having the child imitate the directions for important chores. A teacher should avoid responding inconsistently to inappropriate behaviors. More so, a teacher should avoid issuing consequences without prior warning or without a student noticing why it is being issued. Finally, a teacher should avoid repeating patterns of inappropriate behaviors followed by ineffective punishment.
Treatment of ADHD
The direct and causes of ADHD are still not very clear although scientists in neurological imaging techniques, and genetics are trying all their best to find out. Many researchers link ADHD to a genetic or biological background. There exist several treatment measures that have been associated with somebody suffering from this disorder although there is no specific cure for ADHD. Some of the effective strategies include the pharmacological, behavioral, and multimodal techniques. The behavioral method entails involving a wide set of interventions that will modify the social and physical surroundings to change one’s behavior. They are basically meant to issue structure for the victim children, and, more so, to instill the right behavior. Most people who utilize this kind of approach are parent’s psychologists, school teachers and staff, community mental health therapists, and home care doctors. Some of the behavioral approaches include: teachers and parents being trained on management of a child with ADHD, a systematic program contingency management (positive reinforcement, token economy), training in social skills and problem solving (clinical behavioral therapy).
Also we have cognitive behavioral therapy (self monitoring, development of problem solving techniques, self reinforcement, and verbal self instruction). Basically, the mentioned techniques are meant to teach and foster strategies for positive behaviors, and direct consequences for inappropriate behavior. The behavioral approach is appealing for both parents and teacher, because they could be used in conjunction with medicine. More so, the behavioral techniques can be applied in a variety of settings including schools, homes and community. Additionally, the techniques could be used in case a child has unfavorable reaction to medication.
Moreover, pharmacological approaches are some of the most common approaches in treating ADHD cases. It includes the use psycho-stimulants, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medications, anti-psychotics, and mood stabilizers. The most commonly used medication treatment is using stimulants which are found to be effective with about 80 to 90 percent of the children with ADHD. These stimulants include the use of Methylphenidate, Dextroamphetamine, and pemoline. Researchers have discovered that psycho-stimulants are responsible for generation of neurotransmitters which is, in turn, responsible for making an ADHD patient to concentrate on important aspects of the environment. Teachers play a paramount role in ensuring proper medicinal administration by developing a plan that ensures that medication is given in accordance to the doctor’s recommendations. A teacher also maintains a child and parents rights to medical confidentiality.
Lastly, the final treatment approach is using multimodal techniques which are the utilization of a combined approach where the medication and behavioral treatments are merged. Multimodal interventions improve a child’s academic performance; school associated behavior, and a parent or teacher-child interaction, and, on the other hand, reduces ADHD victim’s anxiety, and, more so, reduces their oppositional behaviors. Multimodal treatments are found out to me useful in improving social skills for children suffering from high stress. Once a child has been introduced to Multimodal treatment, lower medication dosage is effective. Multimodal treatment is highly associated with improvement of child anxiety, oppositional behavior, academic performance, effective disciplinary responses, and teacher-child interaction.
It is evident that teachers play an important role in the diagnosis, treatment, and education of a child with attention deficit hyperactive disorder. For instance, teachers use inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity of an affected child to detect this disorder, and react accordingly. More so, teachers can apply his or her teaching tips to try to enhance educational experience, and ways to control the signs of the disorder. Additionally, teachers are much aware of the disabilities that accompany this disorder. Therefore, this can help them in diagnosing and management of ADHD victims. For instance, teachers have been issued with guide like “Teaching children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder” and “resource directory for ADHD”. These help teachers to detect and manage students with ADHD disorder.
ADHD is the major cause for majority of adolescent and children outpatients in most hospitals than any other disorder as stated earlier on. It is the most common psychiatric children’s disorder in USA. ADHD is a reality, and is affecting most of our children. Therefore, this disorder needs to be attended to ensure that the victims do not face rejection in the community. More so, the affected should given special attention with proper educational experience by well trained teachers. Good educational experience will make these children to lead a normal life like other normal children. This article shows vividly how a teacher is significant in helping children with ADHD in terms of the disorder diagnosis, treatment and education of such children (Barkley 1990).