Monday, November 8, 2010

ADHD Kids Are Fun!

Ok, the truth really is, ADHD kids are challenging, distracted & unfocused. I just can't settle there though. These kids have such a hard time learning in a "sit still, listen & shut up" environment. They really do! They squirm, wiggle & jump out of their seats without warning. Oftentimes their motivation to accomplish tasks wanes. But they are some really cool kids. I look back over my teaching & substituting years with a big smile as I think of those little characters, struggling unsuccessfully  to conform to the "norm" but winning my heart in spite of it.

Frustration often prevails for teachers of ADHD kids. Trying to match a tailored "plan" to each child often seems impossible but with the right combination of adults cheering on the child & seeking their success over anything else....exciting results are produced!

I want the same thing for my boy. I want those who influence his life to be filled with praises for the things he DOES do right (yeah, I know you have to look hard some days).  I don't want his head hanging down because he "blew it again" or "FAILED" at something.

We've come a long way in beginning to overcome racial, religious & a multitude of other prejudices. In my opinion, this is one that has a longggg way to go. Too many kids feel they are a disappointment to their parents, families & teachers. They think they are "bad." Hmmm, I wonder where they're getting this message? My heart aches to see ADHD kids feel accepted, loved & valued. Not just my kiddo. If WE think they are bad kids who just WON'T listen, (because we don't believe it's a proven neurological disorder) we send this message straight to them. We need to educate ourselves beyond the causes & treatment of ADHD & figure out how to undo the harm we've caused them by our unsupportive words & general lack of understanding.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

wow, this is all so true. I as a child, and now as a teacher. It seems like so many ADHD kids are creative, and very visual, and those two things don't make for "good grades." I'm very visual and struggled through every minute of 12 years of school thinking I was just purely "dumb". The most overwhelming "teaching find" for me has been doing math visually. No digits, just shapes representing numbers. I spent one year with two very visual students, who could not make sense of digits; adding, subtracting, multiplying with shapes. By the end of the year they were faster at digit math than some of my top math students. They were two students who had "suffered" through school in previous grades, thinking they would never "get it."
Why can't we teach verbally, assessments be oral, ....we can't. College is waiting for them.
I try to teach to their learning style and yet give them tools to make it through our "maze" of education, while my heart aches, because I know what "dumb" felt like. I went to college at 30 not for a career, but to prove to my family and myself that I wasn't dumb. It worked! I couldn't believe I graduated. I couldn't believe a career awaited me.