How ADHD Affects the classroom experience
ADHD is a disorder that impacts the classroom environment in a very prominent way. Around 3-7% of all school-aged children are diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, which averages to about one in every classroom in the United States (Bussing, 2012). Like stated before, children diagnosed with this disorder have a hard time focusing on certain task. Kids with ADHD will find doing one task at school very difficult, like reading an article for example. Children with this disorder may also have difficulty listening to directions. When a teacher is telling the class what is expected of them, students with ADHD are at high levels of excitement and may be distracted by other smaller things than the directions that are being given. This would affect the classroom because if one student is defying the directions that were given, many other kids may follow that kid. Social influence affects a lot of what happens in schools; when one person does something, many other people follow. Children with ADHD also have a very high tendency to zone off and get bored very easily. This will also be detrimental to the classroom because a student will not be able to grasp what is being taught if they are constantly becoming bored with the activities that are happening throughout the school day. Children with this disorder also have a lot of energy, as stated before. Kids with ADHD can be in constant motion during long periods of time and have a difficulty stopping. During my elementary schooling, I went to school with a kid who had a very extreme case of ADHD. Every day, the teacher would have to take special time just for this student. The frustration that built up due to this child was very visible on the mood of the teacher. One of the worst days of the class was when the student made the teacher very upset and brought her to tears. The student refused punishment, left the school building and was running on a median in the middle of the highway. No one in the class had any idea what was going on. The following video shows a little more clearly how ADHD can affect a student in the classroom and affect the classroom environment as well.
As seen in the video, if a child that has ADHD goes untreated many negative outcomes may occur which can affect the classroom in tremendous ways. Children may have a higher difficulty in mathematics, reading, and writing. On top of that, the child may struggle concentrating, and the children will have a higher tendency to repeat grade levels. The emotional and social levels in the classroom will also be effected due to the lack of diagnosis of ADHD. Children that go undiagnosed may struggle making friends and may have more conflicts with other classmates. It's very important to be aware of these possible outcomes within a classroom due to the diagnosis of ADHD so that teachers, school administrators, and parents can help alleviate some of these outcomes so optimal learning can take place for that child. The main goal of this information is to inform people about ADHD and then provide some possible solutions and tips to handle a student that is diagnosed with ADHD in the classroom.
What to do if you suspect a student has ADHD but is not diagnosed
- DO NOT TREAT THE CHILD DIFFERENTLY
- DO NOT TELL THE PARENTS YOU THINK THEIR CHILD HAS ADHD
Tips for Teachers with STudents diagnosed with ADHD
- SET GOALS FOR THE STUDENT
- COMMUNICATE WITH THE PARENTS
- TREAT THE CHILD LIKE ALL THE OTHER CHILDREN
- BE KNOWLEDGEABLE OF THE MEDICATIONS THE STUDENT REQUIRES
- SET UP THE RIGHT SEATING IN THE CLASSROOM
- FOCUS ON CLEAR INSTRUCTION DELIVERY