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Hi guys n gals.. me again ... Talk to me about ADHD please

(4 Posts)
Alambil Wed 29-Oct-08 13:44:49

Specifics aren't necessary - don't want to put you on the spot, but I'm starting my teacher training placement on Monday and there's an ADHD (not statemented...) child in the class, so...

Is there anything you find particularly helpful/ unhelpful the teachers of your lovely DC do / don't do?

Also, could you give me a brief run-down on "what" it actually is? Is it "just" no concentration or is it a genetic thing? A brain thing?

Please excuse my complete ignorance... I apologise; I'm learning as I go along

MannyMoeAndJack Wed 29-Oct-08 14:19:44

My ds meets the criteria for ADHD but he wasn't formally dx because we made it clear that we didn't want to medicate him.

Individuals with ADHD are impulsive, hyperactive and are inattentive. My ds is certainly all three; he cannot resist touching/licking/bashing/tapping certain objects (no matter how many times he is told not to and moved on or given something else instead, etc). He is certainly hyperactive too and has been since he could walk; he cannot sit for longer than about 5mins (at school during lunchtime, he will eat a few mouthfuls of food and then he has to get up and jump about - it's a similar story at home). He is definitely inattentive; he is dx ASD and my theory as to why he has no routines, rituals or obsessions and doesn't mind/notice change is that he is unable to pay attention for long enough to develop any routines/rituals or to notice that changes have happened!

The above three areas of difficulty result in behavioural problems. Many children are prescribed Ritalin or similar to control these behaviours and to enable the child to learn.

I would say that biochemistry underpins my ds's ADHD. It's certainly not his diet because he has never eaten sweets, e-numbers, fizzy drinks or the like in his entire life!

My ds attends a special school; his day is very structured and he has 1-1 supervision.

magso Wed 29-Oct-08 14:27:10

Well there is a child with AD(H)D in most classrooms so you are wise to 'gen up'!
If the child has a dx of ADHD (and not ADD)it is likely to be a lot more than a 'just' no concentration'. AD(H)D is a neurobiological condition that affects everything and it can run in families. It is more common in children who are born prematurely or suffered difficult early medical histories (so it can be genetic or due to neurological damage or both).
It is not caused by bad parenting (Magso wishes to shout this from the rooftops!!) How old are the children you will be teaching (I ask this because many young children dxed with ADHD at 4-6 later prove to have ASD or other disabilties.
There are variations (a spectrum) of ADHD. I cant remember the exact biological details but there is malfunction in the pre-cortex (the bit that routes messages to the thinking cortex) of the brain which can cause crosscircuiting. In impulsiveness the child sees (an open door to run through for instance) then does this without the thought processes to stop it such as considering rules or danger. The child has to painstakingly learn to intervene in their impulses.
The brain of a child with ADHD is sometimes described as like a ship with a sleeping captain- because some of the links in the brain underfunction and get left behind. Medication - often stimulants- can tune up ( wake up the captain) the mildly underfunctioning bits but may have less affect on the most underfuctioning areas so may help attention but barely touch impulsiveness. Children with ADHD often cannot cope with waiting they need to be busy all of the time. They cannot cope with boredom.
May I suggest you read Christopher Greens readable book.
Children with ADHD have a very discouraging time at school and will need you to notice all their efforts! So if the child jumps out of their seat but at a reminder look from you sits back down notice the compliance ( and dont punish the jumping up until it is within their control).
Parenting a child with ADHD is exhausting and there is little support. Please do not belittle the parents ( many teachers do)!! Try to get the parents on your side and work together.
Goodluck!!

Alambil Wed 29-Oct-08 19:36:14

Thanks you two - both very helpful.

This particular boy is 9/10yrs old - I am only with them for 5 weeks and won't be teaching all of that but I'd still rather have a heads-up on the bits I will be doing!

There is a TA in the class in the mornings; I'm not sure whether she's general or for this lad.

He is lovely; I went to the class for a couple hours the other day and he was doing some ICT work. He had a keyring in his hands to fiddle with (I know this is to do with some kind of therapy thing already so didn't question it) and was concentrating on task for 5 minutes at a time I'd say.

I will see if our library or the university library has that book - I am quite interested in the whole ASD / AD(H)D thing - I do NOT blame the parents, that's for sure!

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