Hyperactive Children in the Classroom - What a Good Teacher Can Do To Help Them
It's happening more often - when a child is particularly difficult in class, the teacher asks the parents to talk to a doctor: could she have ADD/ADHD, can he prescribe medicine? Often, the answer is yes, and a child is put on powerful drugs without knowing exactly why she was misbehaving. But one quality of a good teacher is that she knows how to look beyond the problem to see the needs of her students.
Here are a few things a she should consider before labelling a child ADD/ADHD.
1. Does she have any physical problem? Vision and hearing problems can make it difficult for children to concentrate in class. Look out for signs like holding books too close to the eyes, or answering questions late, or unclear speech. She may need to see an optometrist or ENT specialist. Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can also make a child cranky and distracted. Try to find out if this happens frequently and encourage her to eat a healthful diet.
2. Does she have any family problem? If her parents are going through a divorce, or if she is neglected or abused or depressed for whatever reason, expect problems in class. Another child may have parents who have given in to her in everything, and basically she expects the same from everyone.
Whatever the specific problem, where the parents are unable or unwilling, you are the best person to offer encouragement, love, and some serious training.
3. Do her skills match those of her class? There will be problems if she is either ahead of her class or behind all of them. Children who have been passed up the various grades without a solid foundation in the work of the previous grade, or those who need more practice in writing, tend to have more trouble coping as they move up. Other children tune out because they are bored.
4.Is she abusing drugs? Some signs of drug abuse - hostility and lack of concentration - match symptoms of ADD/ADHD and what a psychologist would call 'common co-morbid conditions' like Conduct Disorder. If a student is abusing drugs, though, this would not be characteristic of her personality but rather something she has developed after getting addicted.
Ask others if you have not known her long enough - is this kind of behaviour is normal for her? Referring a child to a doctor for a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD and for prescribing medicine has never been simpler, but it is not something a responsible teacher does easily. There are lots of things good teaching can cure, and you need to be sure you are giving a child what she needs before pronouncing her ADD/ADHD.
About the author:
Jon Bennett writes about natural, non-medical ways to help your ADD/ADHD child succeed. Get more information regarding ADD.