When a prevalence of ADD and ADHD permeates a classroom setting, it places a massive burden on teachers and administrators who must then re-establish focus and deal with the disruptions caused by affected students. This requires taking advantage of the right ADHD classroom tools, starting with a positive attitude, that could help a child with ADHD improve his or her focus in the classroom.
The Prevalence of ADHD in the Classroom…and the Challenges Teachers Face
According to statistical studies, there are, on average, one to three children who suffer from ADHD in every classroom of 30 students, with three to six more boys diagnosed with the learning disability than girls. The rate of emotional development for children with ADHD remains 30-percent slower than their non-ADHD peers – in other words, a 10-year-old with ADHD operates at the maturity level of a seven-year-old while a 16-year-old utilizes the decision-making abilities of an 11-year-old. If that isn’t alarming enough, some 65-percent of children with ADHD report problems with defiance, non-compliance and other issues involving authority figures…all of which encompass verbal hostility and the “throwing” of temper tantrums.
Making matters even more challenging for teachers, educators and administrators is the fact that approximately one-third of these students show signs of one or more of the following:
- Language deficits – i.e. poor listening comprehension, verbal expression and/or reading comprehension
- Poor organizational skills
- Substandard memory abilities
- Lack of fine motor skills
Teachers seasoned in the signs of ADHD know these kids intimately: The one who stares out the window, concentrating on the arc of a bird in flight somewhere in the distance instead of his or her math lesson…the one who refuses to keep his or her derriere in the chair even if the use of Krazy Glue was authorized…the one who answers the question “Who can tell me what the Sixth Amendment guarantees?” with something completely unrelated.
Students with ADD/ADHD constantly present these challenges for educators:
- The demand of attention by talking out of turn or moving about the classroom
- The difficulty of following instructions, notably when they’re presented in list form
- Forgetting to write down homework assignments, do them and bring the completed work back to school
- The lack of fine motor control, making note-taking super difficult and handwriting quite a challenge to read
- Trouble with activities that require ordered steps, such as solving equations or long division
- Problems with long-term projects that lack direct supervision for one reason or another
- The lack of “pulling their own weight” during group work, sometimes preventing a group from accomplishing its task
Some “Fidget Tools” Teachers Can Utilize to Combat ADHD in the Classroom
Educators are always on the lookout for interesting (and mainly handheld) objects – known as “fidgets” – to boost their kids’ focus at school. However, not any old fidget will work, and some of the best have been reported to be:
- Silent – In this way, the child won’t get punished for disturbing the class.
- Unobtrusive – Because ADD/ADHD children don’t relish attention drawn to themselves, fidgets should fit in the fist.
- Tactile (Non-Visual) – Fidgets should not draw restless, wandering eyes away from the teacher.
- Safe – Because kids can choke on small items, some stretchy fidgets sting when they snap.
- Tools, Not Toys – For example: Balls shouldn’t bounce because they’re too distracting.
- Inexpensive – After all, these fidgets are likely to be lost.
- Teacher-Approved – Fidgets such as sand-filled balloons, Fidgeting Finger Springs and FiddleLinks Fidgeter are effective
C8 Sciences’ ACTIVATE: Amongst the Most Powerful ADHD Classroom Tools a School Can Implement
Are you an educator looking to dramatically improve your ADHD students’ cognitive abilities? ACTIVATE™ from C8 Sciences represents a quantum leap forward in this area, boasting a sophisticated synergy of computer and physical exercises to activate and strengthen the brain systems. Put succinctly, ACTIVATE™ is a content-independent brain-based cognitive training system that directly strengthens key systems in the brain that contribute to student attention.
In repeated case studies, students who have used ACTIVATE™ have displayed measurable improvements in sustained attention and self-control, measured by the National Institutes of Health’s Cognitive Toolbox tests.
As an example of this extraordinary improvement, Brooklyn’s Elijah Stroud Elementary School – PS 316 – began implementing the program in March of 2012, with all students in grades K through two, and administrators reported a whopping year’s growth in reading within just a few months. According to Olga Maluf, the school’s principal, by the beginning of the 2012 school year language proficiency had risen to 52-percent and math to 76-percent, bringing PS 316 from the bottom third to the top third in school performance in all of New York.
Additionally, the teachers noted a difference in classroom behavior and academic achievement utilizing the ACTIVATE Education platform.