My life experience proves that all things are possible with faith, persistence and a desire to be more than anyone thought possible. I want to give back to students what I've found in working with and overcoming obstacles. Learning isn't always easy, but it is well worth the effort. Some of us, including myself, need more time and patience to learn for information to be understood and applied. Because I've been there, I can transfer and apply my knowledge and expertise to others. Over the ...
My knowledge of ADH/D is extensive. ADH/D is classified under three parts of the IDEA Act (Learning Disabilities, Behavioral Disabilities, and Other Health Impairments). The DSM-IV classifies Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder into three types: Inattentive, Hyperactive-Impulsive, and Combined. To be diagnosed, there must be 6 or more symptoms for at least 6 months straight that deters from the appropriate developmental level.
The inattentive type symptoms (characteristics) are:
* Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in study/work/activities
* Difficulty sustaining attention in tasks/activities
* Seems not to listen when spoken to directly
* Lack of follow-through on instructions/school work/chores, or workplace duties (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions)
* Difficulty organizing tasks/activities
* Avoids, dislikes or reluctant to engage in tasks requiring sustained mental effort
* Loses necessary things for tasks/activities
* Easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
* Forgetful in daily activities
The Hyperactivity type symptoms (characteristics) are:
* Fidgets or squirms with hands or feet or squirms in seat when sitting still is expected
* Leaves classroom seating or other situations with â€œsitting stillâ€ expectations
* Runs about or climbs excessively at inappropriate times (adults may feel very restless)
* Difficulty quietly playing or engaging in leisure activities
* "On the go" or as if "driven by a motor"
* Talks excessively
The Impulsivity type symptoms (characteristics) are:
* Blurts out answers before questions completed
* Difficulty awaiting turn
* Interrupts or intrudes on others
I personally understand ADH/D because I have Inattentive type as well as my children who have Combined type. Since the moment I received my diagnosis, Iâ€™ve spent 14 years researching. Iâ€™ve learned about the possible causes of ADH/D such as biological, psychological, and environmental. Iâ€™ve learned trigger factors (i.e. repetitive high pitch noise, stress, foods, chemicals, illness, etc) and about over-stimulation when to much environmental stimulation might trigger a â€œshut-downâ€. New research explores cognitive affects, developmental patterns in ADH/D, and the correlation with other learning and cognitive disabilities. Iâ€™m always constantly learning. I use this knowledge and apply it personally to myself in my education and work life as well as my children in assisting in their education. I realized how ADH/D affects learning not just in attention but in visual and auditory processing, sensory motor skills, and cognitive abilities.
Over the last 14 years, Iâ€™ve used learning strategies to teach myself and my children how to live, work, and study with ADH/D. I have many strategies and techniques for different characteristics of ADH/D.
Below are just few:
Many people with ADH/D struggle with organization which may lead to a feeling of overload or to quit. Sari Solden, M.S. puts it, â€œgiftedly unorganized.â€ I developed a â€œStop, Drop, and Rollâ€ approach by which I â€œstopâ€ what Iâ€™m doing then â€œdropâ€ it into the appropriate place, and â€œrollâ€ it up in a job completed. It allows me the time to say enough to the mess, the chance to find a place where it belongs, and then the opportunity to complete a task. Itâ€™s amazingly simple but really effective.
Often distraction meets disorganization. When this occurs, I break down directions in simple, short, concrete terms. I like to keep a general outline so as to view the bigger goal, but have student complete one task at a time before moving to the next (single, goal-oriented tasking).
From experience, teaching self-monitoring techniques are the most important factor for a studentâ€™s lifelong learning. Give a person a fish, they eat for the day; but teach them to fish, theyâ€™ll eat for a lifetime. I see self-monitoring more than identifying behaviors the students manage and rate. I see it as helping them understand themselves and how to deal with issues as they encounter them. I give them the tools to help them manage their own behavior and performance.
How do I get the studentâ€™s attention? First, I keep it interesting. What ever I discover gets the studentâ€™s mind engaged. I especially like to bring the lessons â€œto lifeâ€ and make it relevant to their life. I know first hand that the best way to learn is to employ all the senses (multi-sensory approach) when giving lessons.
I could easily write a book on ADH/D; however for reference, I keep a Special Education portfolio from my Supporting Instruction in Special Education class. My instructor said I went â€œabove and beyondâ€, but my experience is above and beyond.