In some children, not paying attention, making careless mistakes, hyperactivity etc are not indications of a chronic troublemaker in the making. Rather, these behaviors (if they occur over a long period of time) are a sign of something very troubling, a behavioral disorder known as ADHD.
Here are a few tips for realizing, recognizing and dealing with potentially ADHD children in your classroom.
1. Realizing a child might suffer from ADHD
- All children have trouble sitting still, trouble paying attention and tend to behave impulsively.
- But if you a notice a child in your classroom constantly exhibiting these symptoms, then it’s time to call the parents or guardian and share your fears with them.
- Alternatively, you could also refer them to a health professional who deals with emotional and behavioural disorders in children.
- ADHD left undiagnosed might cause severe problems for the child all through his or her academic life and even later on in life.
2. Learn the symptoms that constitute ADHD
- A common ADHD myth is that children who suffer from ADHD are going to be bouncing off the walls, incapable of sitting still even for a moment or constantly blurting our things.
- Some other symptoms are hyper focus, extreme distraction, simply zoning out of conversations, lessons etc.
- Learn to distinguish between normal behaviours and ADHD symptoms.
3. Once you recognize, don’t criticize
- Once you know you have ADHD children in your classroom, it is important to be careful in your handling of them.
- If despite trying everything you have to accommodate the child in your classroom, the arrangement does not work out, call the parents of the child and have a frank talk with them. If all goes well, you can chalk out a better plan to help the child when he or she is in school.
- If not, refer the child to other teachers who are better equipped to handle ADHD children.
4. Acquaint yourself with ADHD and if possible, attend workshops that help teachers deal with behavioural disorders
- Once you know you have an ADHD child in your classroom, and then it is imperative that you attend workshops or receive some training on how to deal with children who have behavioral, emotional and learning disorders.
- Participating in a workshop or undergoing a training course will not only help you know disorders that affect children better but it will also help you become a better teacher.
- Get in touch with child psychologists or pediatricians to know more about workshops or training programs.
5. Sensitize your classroom and the school
- Very few schools have counselors who are present at the school.
- Once you have a little more information about ADHD and other learning disorders, push for the school to employ a children’s counselor who at least comes in twice a week.
- You yourself could take the initiative and request a training program for learning disorders to be hosted at your school.
- Teach your students about ADHD and help them understand it. By sensitizing them to it, they will be able to include their ADHD classmates instead of excluding them from activities.
For teachers who are interested in knowing more about ADHD, you can check out the following websites.