Learning to Teach Students With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Training Experiences for Teachers

Learning to Teach Students With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Training Experiences for Teachers

Daniela-Maria Cretu (University “Lucian Blaga” of Sibiu, Romania)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5085-3.ch015

Abstract

The presence of special needs students in regular classrooms makes it difficult for teachers to manage the situation, especially since in Romania the initial teacher-training curriculum doesn't include a class addressing the issue. This chapter talks about the teaching, learning, and evaluation experiences offered by an instructional unit on the subject of ADHD for over 700 primary and secondary school teachers from all areas of expertise. The purpose of this unit was to increase the teachers' knowledge and understanding of students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in an educational frame. This chapter presents content elements, learning, and assessment activities that the participants proposed and implemented during the work sessions: both face to face and online. The authors mention that this training experience was part of a larger project called “e-Mentor: Developing ITC Skills and Educational Mentor-ship of Disabled Persons, for Teachers” implemented by “Lucian Blaga” University of Sibiu.
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Background

Affecting three to five percent of the population, ADHD is one of the most common neuro-behavioral disorders in childhood, which can also persist into adult life. ADHD is described as a “persistent” or on-going pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that gets in the way of daily life or typical development. ADHD affects the individual’s capacity to focus on work tasks (distraction), to control the level of activity (hyper-active behavior), and to inhibit impulsive behavior (impulsiveness).

ADHD is a disorder of self-control development that interferes with normal development and affects all aspects of the person's social life, including family relationships, at school, and at play. The dysfunction that causes ADHD is believed to be due to an imbalance of chemical neurotransmitters in the brain. This imbalance is found especially in those parts of the brain that are responsible for self-monitoring and defeating inappropriate behaviors, that is, in the frontal lobes area (Green & Chee, 2009). Most current models of ADHD emphasize the deficiences in the executive function skills of behavioral inhibation and self-regulation (Barkley, 2006).

ADHD begins in childhood and may persist into adulthood. The incidence of cases is higher for males. The rate of boys diagnosed with ADHD is at least three times higher than for girls. One reason why girls have a lower frequency of ADHD is because they are rarely diagnosed. Boys with ADHD exhibit executive deficiencies, hyperactivity, aggression, and antisocial behaviors more often than girls, who often experience inattention (Rosan, 2015). ADHD is not a disorder related to intelligence. Very intelligent or less intelligent children may experience ADHD.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Self-Esteem: The way in which a person perceives themselves.

Special Needs Children: Refers to individuals who require assistance with disabilities that may be medical, mental, or psychological.

Inclusive Education: It means that different and diverse students learn side by side in the same classroom.

Impulsivity: It means doing things without thinking about the results.

Executive Functions: They are a set of cognitive processes that are necessary for the cognitive control of behavior; they help us plan, focus, remember instructions, and multi-task or switch between tasks.

Inattention: Failure to pay attention.

ADHD: Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is disorder of the neurodevelopmental type; the diagnostic is used to describe individuals who display developmentally inappropriate levels of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity.

Educational Interventions: Measures delivered in an educational setting that provide students with the support needed to acquire the skills being taught by the educational system.

Comorbidities: Additional conditions or disorders that exists alongside ADHD.

Hyperactivity: Is a state of being unusually or abnormally active.

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