When an alleged killer's diagnosis of ADHD was brought up in a Melbourne court this week, we were contacted about how this might negatively change the public's perception of the condition.
Enter Judie Gade.
This energetic woman from country Victoria discovered she had ADHD as an adult and mum, but this has not stopped her from following her dreams, studying the condition, completing multiple qualifications and helping countless others with ADHD complete their university studies.
And here is a snippet of Judie's work that has been used in schools across the world...
Sit at front of class preferably with a good role model. Keep away from noisier students.
Have the student be the child you use for errands. This enables them to be constructive, give confidence and move about & burn off energy!
Make sure you have eye contact & their attention before an instruction is given. Have them repeat it back. Write instructions down as well. Do not rely on the child's memory.
Pair up student with a buddy that they can check with in regards to directions & for clarification. This fosters peer relationship building as well as taking some of the onus off the teacher.
Keep instructions short & to the point.
Allow student extra time with assignments and exams (15 minutes per hour is permissible). Place in a quiet area free of distractions during exams.
If child is having difficulty with homework, reduce the amount. Also if homework is broken down into 15 minute sessions with a 5 minute break, this can help to stay on task.
If there is a fan in the room, place near student as this creates white noise and helps to filter out distracting noises. Ceiling fans during winter can have the blades switched so the fan does not blow on work.
"Don't sweat the small stuff". If you can, let something minor slide, let it. Try to reduce negative responses to student where possible. Only punish major disruptions, that is disruptions that you have handled correctly.
Always apologise to the child if you incorrectly blame him/her for something. This helps with their perception of right and wrong as well. Often this perception is lacking.
If a child lashes out, find out the CAUSE before assigning blame. Often they are being relentlessly bullied by other children and 'go off' when they can take it no more. Sometimes they have misread a situation and need to have it clarified; in this situation you can use it as a learning experience but let it be known that next time there will be consequences that you BOTH agree to.
NEVER presume a child has done something wrong when you can find no-one else to blame just because they are more likely to have done it.
Utilise simple aids such as ear plugs, a desk that a student can stand up at (great for fidgeters), a stress ball for fidgeting with (or something else that makes no noise & cannot be smashed!)
Try to stick to a good routine. Write daily on the blackboard/whiteboard.
Try to give as much one on one attention as is possible. Enlist classmates to help. Ask for parent volunteers (preferably not the parent of the child) to assist with target children.
Praise, praise, praise! This does not need to be verbal. A quiet touch, a wink, nod and smile is sometimes all that is needed without disrupting class. Talk to the parents to keep a score card with points that can be "cashed in" at home.
Reward whole class for the target child's positive behaviour. "I am really pleased with the class's work this morning…… especially you Jason!"
Find what the child is good at, or passionate about, & give activities that can incorporate this.
Provide extra time on the class computer.
Do not worry too much about the neatness of the work as long as it gets done.
Make sure that discipline is understood and clear. Start from scratch each week.
If you have any doubt about behaviour, do not punish it. Overused punishments become ineffective & damage self esteem if you are incorrect about your assumptions.
DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES PUT DOWN OR BE NEGATIVE ABOUT A CHILD IN FRONT OF THE CLASS! Actually NEVER do this at all if you consider yourself a professional. If you do this then YOU are responsible for the child's ensuing action.
RETAIN A SENSE OF HUMOUR AT ALL TIMES!
Watch this video all the way through. It might just bring a tear to your eye...