Monday, April 1, 2013

Increase in the Numbers of ADD and ADHD Children

The New York Times has an article here reporting the increase in the diagnosis of ADD or ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder with or without Hyperactivity) in children.  The new numbers suggest a 53 percent rise in the last decade.  About two-thirds of these children and teenagers are put on medication.

As a teacher for 37 years who had many, many ADD--or ADHD--kids in my classroom, I have two suggestions for classroom management that lessens, or takes away, the need for medication:

Allow your students to have significant choice over what they are doing.  In my English classes my students got to choose most of their reading, and many of their writing assignments.  I saw this change help all of my students, but particularly the ADD ones, who could concentrate much better.

The other thing that really helped is that I would give my ADD students an "escape."  I'd sign a blank hall pass and give it to them.  I would tell them that if they got so restless they couldn't stay, then they could fill out the pass and take a walk, or go to the cafe and get a drink.  While some used this pass, for most students just having it in their pocket enabled them to stay and work.  This also works well for students with a school phobia.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, you are too sensible! Instead, let's force them to do tasks they find difficult and pointless, and punish and medicate them if they have trouble...