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ADHD in the Elementary Age Student


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Title: ADHD in the Elementary Age Student

ADHD in the Elementary Age Student
  • Cyndi McCrea
  • University of Virginia

Table of Contents
  • Characteristics
  • Treatment
  • Current Trends
  • Classroom Strategies
  • Resources
  • References

Sound Familiar?
  • She seems like shes daydreaming.
  • He just cant sit still.
  • He cant seem to remember a simple direction.
  • She interrupts constantly.
  • He acts without thinking.

  • Description
  • Inattentive, impulsive or hyperactive behavior
    that is not age-appropriate and the behavior
    leads to chronic problems in daily functioning
    and the behavior is innate to the child.
  • (Reiff, 2004)

What You Might See
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Disorganized
  • Low motivation
  • Difficulty controlling emotions
  • Poor memory
  • Talkative
  • (Brown, 2005)
  • Friendship problems
  • Unfinished work
  • Messiness
  • (Adams, 2005)
  • Deficiency in inhibition
  • (Kutscher, 2005)

  • There is no single test to diagnose ADHD.
  • A comprehensive evaluation is used to rule out
    other causes or the presence of co-existing
  • The evaluation includes
  • a developmental and social history
  • medical exam
  • clinical assessment
  • symptoms checklists

  • DSM-IV Criteria for ADHD
  • Symptoms present before age 7.
  • Symptoms present in two or more settings (e.g. at
    school/work and at home).
  • Significant impairment in social, school, or work
  • The symptoms are not better accounted for by
    another mental disorder.
  • (CHADD, 2004)

  • Six or more symptoms present for at least 6
    months to a point that is disruptive and
    inappropriate for developmental level
  • Often does not give close attention to details or
    makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or
    other activities.
  • Often has trouble keeping attention on tasks or
    play activities.
  • Often does not seem to listen when spoken to
  • Often does not follow instructions and fails to
    finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the
    workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or
    failure to understand instructions).
  • Often has trouble organizing activities.
  • Often avoids, dislikes, or doesn't want to do
    things that take a lot of mental effort for a
    long period of time (such as schoolwork or
  • Often loses things needed for tasks and
    activities (e.g. toys, school assignments,
    pencils, books, or tools).
  • Is often easily distracted.
  • Is often forgetful in daily activities.
  • (CHADD, 2004)

Hyperactivity and Impulsivity
  • Six or more of the following symptoms
    present for at least 6 months to an extent that
    is disruptive and inappropriate for developmental
  • Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in
  • Often gets up from seat when remaining in seat is
  • Often runs about or climbs when and where it is
    not appropriate (adolescents or adults may feel
    very restless).
  • Often has trouble playing or enjoying leisure
    activities quietly.
  • Is often "on the go" or often acts as if "driven
    by a motor".
  • Often talks excessively.
  • Often blurts out answers before questions have
    been finished.
  • Often has trouble waiting one's turn.
  • Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g.,
    butts into conversations or games).
  • (CHADD, 2004)

Combination Type
  • Individual meets both sets of inattention and
    hyperactive/impulsive criteria.

  • School failure
  • Family stress
  • Depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Delinquency
  • Risk for accidental injuries
  • Job failure
  • Driving risks
  • Problems socializing with peers
  • (Hallahan Kauffman, 2006)

  • Multimodal approach which may include
  • parent and child education about the diagnosis
    and treatment
  • behavior management techniques
  • self-regulation training
  • medication
  • special education services

Research Issues
  • Girls with ADHD are typically diagnosed at age
    12, five years later than boys (Adams, 2007).
    Girls are more likely to be unfocused or
  • Children with both autism and ADHD are four times
    more likely to bully. These children may have
    pent up energy that needs to be properly
    channeled or they may have other underlying
    behavioral or medical issues that have not been
    addressed (University of Rochester Medical
    Center, 2007).

Research Issues
  • Public opinions about ADHD
  • 85 of those interviewed believed that doctors
    overmedicate children with ADHD and those drugs
    have long-term harm on a child's development
  • 31 believed children with ADHD would pose a
    danger and
  • 45 said rejection at school is likely if a child
    goes for treatment.
  • Marcus (2007)

Legal Considerations
  • 504
  • Faster and easier procedure (than an IEP) for
    obtaining accommodations and supports.
  • Appropriate for students with significant
  • General Curriculum and Classroom
  • Adjustments
  • Modifications
  • Accommodations
  • Typical of best teaching practices.
  • Individualized Education Program (IEP)
  • Specific legal procedures and policies.
  • More appropriate if a student has very
    significant school difficulties.
  • Requires medical diagnosis
  • Listed as Other Health Impairment (OHI) .
  • More extensive evaluation.
  • Specific goals and objectives
  • Monitoring and compliance required.
  • (Reiff, 2005)

  • Working with students with ADHD can be
  • Demoralizing,
  • Demanding,
  • Frustrating
  • Exhausting
  • It can challenge a teachers sense of competence.
  • Students with ADHD are often unaware of their
    most disturbing behaviors and
  • when they are aware, they often cant seem to
    help themselves (Pfiffner, 1996).

  • Teacher can focus on strategies for handling
    behaviors so they can enjoy the unique strengths
    of their ADHD students.

  • Secure the childs attention before giving
    direction by using direct eye contact (Wodrich,
  • Give one direction at a time
  • Check to ensure understanding of directions.
  • Monitor frequently while the student is working
    for both effort and success.
  • Provide one on one assistance as needed.
  • Post rules, daily schedules and assignments
  • Call attention to schedule changes (Jensen,
  • Assign preferential seating,
  • Use headphones to block noise,
  • Seat the child near a positive peer model

Organization and Study Skills
  • Teach how to
  • create a homework area free of distractions.
  • organize materials.
  • create and prioritize schedules and calendars.
  • take effect notes.
  • complete, check, and turn in work on time.
  • Provide tools and strategies such as charts,
    tables, graphic organizers, and calendars
  • Organize notebooks using color coded dividers,
    complete a weekly clean out, and keep a homework
  • Keep desk clear (use baskets, folders)

  • Create assignments that relate to the childs
  • Focus on their strengths and learning styles.
  • Use computerized learning materials.
  • Use visual cues.
  • Teach mnemonic devices.
  • Provide shortened assignments
  • Highlight sections or alter fonts (Wodrich,
  • Provide written outlines or notes,
  • Provide printed instructions
  • Give fewer assignments,
  • Adjust evaluation standards
  • Use a timing device.

Hyperactive or Impulsive
  • Students can be assigned helper activities such
    as running errands to the office, the counselor,
    the janitor, the library or another class.
  • Frequent and scheduled breaks.
  • Buddy to a student in a lower grade.
  • Get a drink of water.
  • Do seatwork standing up
  • Clean the board,
  • Work at the board activities
  • Moving and organizing materials (Jensen, 2004).
  • Prepare for transitions.
  • Teach them self talk (I will calm down.) that
    they can use as they come in from outside or have
    them walk a lap or two before lining up.
  • Use positive command like please walk instead
    of dont run. (Students who are impulsive often
    only hear what you dont want them to do when
    they are given a negative command and not the
    dont part of the statement.)

Either or Both!
  • Enforce rules consistently using rewards and
  • Catch them being good.
  • Teach self advocating skills such as how and when
    to ask for help.
  • Communicate regularly with the parents.
  • Use technology such email and answering machines,
  • Use student assignment books,
  • Provide suggestions for parents.
  • Use written communication such as notes or
    progress reports.
  • Provide an extra set of textbooks for the parents
    to use at home.
  • Teachers also can collaborate with other
    professional staff about the students strengths
    and needs.
  • (Council for Exceptional Children, 2007)

Resources for Parents Websites
  • -A national non-profit organization
    working to improve the lives of affected people
    through education, advocacy and support.
  • - a support community for ADHD
    with message boards, blogs, free newsletters and
    articles to help your child.
  • answers to your questions about
    ADHD, has an easy to use Young Adult section
  • http// - health
    information for parents, kids, and teens

Resources for Parents Childrens Books
  • Bright, Shiny Skylar by Valerie Tripp and Joy
  • David Goes to School by David Shannon
  • Eagle Eyes by Jeanne Gehret
  • Joey Pigza (series) by Jack Gantos
  • Learning to Slow Down and Pay Attention by
    Kathleen G. Nadeau and Ellen B. Dixon
  • Otto Learns About His Medicine by Matthew Galvin
  • Shelly the Hyperactive Turtle by Deborah Moss
  • Sometimes I Drive My Mother Crazy, But I Know
    Shes Crazy About Me by Lawrence Shapiro
  • Waiting for Mr. Goose by Laurie Lears
  • Zipper The Kid with ADHD by Caroline Janover and
    Rick Powell

Resources for Parents Books for Parents
  • ADHD A Complete and Authoritative Guide from
    the American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Making the System Work for Your Child with ADHD
    by Peter Jensen
  • ADHD What Every Parent Wants to Know by David
  • Kids in the Syndrome Mix of ADHD, LD,
    Aspergers, Tourettes, and More! By Martin
  • Great resource for teachers too!

Resources for Teachers
  • All About ADHD The Complete Practical Guide for
    Classroom Teachers by Linda Pfiffner, Ph.D.
  • Help for the Struggling Student by Mimi Gold
  • Innovative Strategies for Unlocking Difficult
    Children by R. Bowman, T. Carr, K. Cooper, R.
    Miles and T. Toner.
  • Understanding Special Education A Helpful
    Handbook for Classroom Teachers by Cynthia Stowe

  • Adams, Carley (2007). Girls and ADHD Are you
    missing the signs. Retrieved September 5, 2007
    from http//
  • Brown, T. (2005). Attention deficit disorder
    The unfocused mind in children and adults. New
    Haven Yale University Press.
  • Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperac
    tivity Disorder (CHADD) (2004). The disorder
    named AD/HD (WWK!). Retrieved September 5, 2007,
    from http//
  • Council for Exception Children (2007). Homework
    practices that support students with
    disabilities What we have learned about
    homework and students with disabilities.
    Retrieved September 5, 2007 from
    HomeCONTENTID1811 TEMPLATE/CM/ContentDisplay.c
  • Hallahan, D. Kauffman, J. (2006). Exceptional
    learners An introduction to special education
    (10th ed.). New York Pearson Education, Inc.
  • Jensen, P. (2004). Making the system work for
    your child with ADHD. New York The Guilford
  • Kutscher, M. (2005). Kids in the syndrome mix of
    ADHD, LD, Aspergers, Tourettes, Bipolar, and
    more! The one stop guide for parents, teachers,
    and other professionals. Philadelphia Jessica
    Kinsley Publishers.
  • Lehigh University (2007). Nonmedicinal treatment
    touted for preschoolers with ADHD. Retrieved
    September 5, 2007 from http//
    /releases/ 2007/08/070821143557.htm
  • Marcus, M. (2007). Public perceptions harsh of
    kids, mental health. Retrieved September 5, 2007
    from http//
  • Pfiffner, L. (1996). All about ADHD The
    complete practical guide for classroom teachers.
    New York Scholastic Professional Books.
  • Reiff, M. Tippins, S. (2004). ADHD A complete
    authoritative guide. United States of America
    American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • University of Rochester Medical Center (2007).
    Children with both autism and ADHD often bully,
    parents say Researchers caution against
    labeling. Retrieved September 5, 2007 from
  • Wodrich, D. (2000). Attention-deficit/hyperactivi
    ty disorder What every parent wants to know.
  • Baltimore Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.

This project was constructed as a part of a
course assignment. The information provided in
the materials is accurate to the best of our
ability but was not constructed by experts in the
field. On my honor as a student, I have
neither given nor received aid or assistance on
this assignment.
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