Teaching Children with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) - Part I

Attention Deficit Disorder is a chronic disorder that can begin in infancy and extend into adulthood. It's conservatively estimated that 5-10% of our school-aged children are affected by ADD. Significant numbers of educators have expressed concern about the negative effects ADD can have on a student's academic life, home life, and within their community. Additionally, students with ADD may frequently disrupt classroom operation, thereby disturbing their classmates and teacher. Teachers can help their students by establishing a learning environment most suited for ADD children.

Promoting a Positive Classroom Environment

Most teachers and school administrators have, at some time, wondered how to motivate their students into behaving in an acceptable manner. As the psycho-educational literature states: "...activities by the teacher which promotes appropriate student behavior and eliminates inappropriate student behavior, develops good interpersonal relationships and a positive socio-emotional climate in the classroom, and establishes and maintains an effective and productive classroom organization."

Depression: Warning Signs and Associated School Functioning

Childhood and adolescent depression has increased dramatically in the past fifty years. The onset of depression is occurring at a younger age. During primary and middle school years, the number of boys and girls affected is almost equal. During secondary school years, twice as many girls as boys are diagnosed with depression. Well over half of depressed adolescents have a recurrence within seven years.

Helping Students Manage Peer Pressure

As we remember from our childhood and adolescence, peer influence plays an important role in our understanding of who we are. This self-evaluation of our worth is the primary foundation of our self-esteem. Self-esteem is the central component of personality and identity; it is the evaluation of a person's self-acceptance. During elementary and middle school years, healthy self-esteem is built through a positive relationship with parents, educators, and peers. Support and encouragement are central needs for growing students. During adolescence, changes in identity become more noticeable. Many adolescents find themselves questioning and asking why things are a certain way, what the meaning of existence is, why is the person on this earth, what is their purpose?

Coping With Anxiety During Exams

As all educators can attest, many students experience heightened anxiety, fear, and nervousness, when taking exams. These stressful emotions often arise from the recognition that exams present negative situations that need to be dealt with. Exam taking does not begin as a negative experience. As students mature, they become aware of what exams are, what it means to earn grades, and what the consequences may be if they do not perform well. This knowledge can lead to negative emotional and physiological responses such as anxiety, fear, heart palpitations, damp palms, feeling faint, rapid heartbeat, nausea, stomach pains, and headaches. Through repeated experiences, students learn to associate exams with distress and fear.