A Special Education Success Story With ADD and ADHD}



The Problem

In our quickly moving culture, special education trainees, diagnosed with ADD or ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) are an ever-increasing difficulty for instructors. Having taught in some capacity for nearly 40 years and being a parent of an active little kid, I have actually studied these conditions with immediate individual interest.

Holding Their Attention?

Early in my work with the attentionally challenged, I observed that if the learning activity were engaging enough, many of these students could hold attention for long durations. Special Education students diagnosed with ADD or ADHD often have the ability to attend for long durations working with computers or video games.
Consequently, I began to supply activities in my class that had a few of the same qualities of the immediate action attained in those computerized attention-holders. Among the most effective of these was the excavation of fossils.

The Setup

Fossil excavation was a 6-week class - more of a club, actually-- in which students excavated a real fossil fish from a soft rock matrix. This time the class was made up of numerous unique education trainees with various discovering difficulties, especially ADHD.
We started with a sort of thinking game including fossils hidden in velour bags and moved quickly into specific excavation of the fossils. Within minutes, my work was done; the students worked individually for the remainder of the two-hour class.
The only tools needed for this activity were little screw drivers-the sort that are offered from any hardware store in a set of increasing sizes starting with an eye-glass tool. I also offered magnifiers of differing types. The most sought after were the dissecting microscopic lens, which gave the private the very best view of the delicate fossil. Much of the work might be easily accomplished utilizing the naked eye or a magnifier in a stand, just to leave the hands totally free.

Then There Are the Behavioral Challenges

I was presented with a new difficulty about halfway into the 2nd class: a behaviorally disruptive trainee who discover here had actually been gotten rid of from another class. I did exactly what I could to introduce him to our work and a knockout post bring him up to speed.
A terrific thing took place. Another kid, a challenging special education student who normally had little academic success, started to teach. You see, this kid was enthralled with digging out the fossil and he was having unbelievable success. He solitarily took over and my work was done.

Students Give Rave Reviews, Almost

The final recommendation came at completion of our 6-week class. Throughout the duration, I had actually seldom interrupted their work, but I had revealed a few videos to provide the students some extra information about fossil conservation and excavation, geologic history and so on. At the last class, I asked the students to verbally evaluate the class. When I asked how I might improve the class, all concurred: Only reveal the videos if we can continue excavating our fossils throughout it!

This is a real story of success. In this six-week task middle school children detected with ADD and ADHD and getting special education services took pleasure in the very same success, if not more than, the other trainees.

Even the most absorbing tool, the TV, was low on these students' list of significant work. As an instructor, I felt I had been offered a fantastic present of learning about the best ways to support these special trainees. I motivate you to try it!

Early in my work with the attentionally challenged, I observed that if the learning activity were engaging enough, many of these trainees could hold attention for long durations. Special Education trainees diagnosed with ADD or ADHD frequently have the capability to go to for long durations working with computers or video games. Within minutes, my work was done; the trainees worked independently for the remainder of the two-hour class. Throughout the period, I had hardly ever disrupted their work, but I had shown a couple of videos to provide the trainees some additional information about fossil preservation and excavation, geologic history and so on. Even the most absorbing tool, the TELEVISION, was not high on these trainees' list of significant work.

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