ADHD In The Classroom: The Teacher’s Role

    A smiling teacher in front of a chalkboard with a piece of chalk in her hand(BlackDoctor.org) — As parents, it’s sometimes hard to accept that your children are not perfect. So when a call or note comes from your child’s teacher, suggesting your child may have symptoms of ADHD, you may feel shock and disbelief.

    But more and more parents are getting that call. By most estimates, the number of kids with ADHD ranges from 3% to 5% of American children. It is the leading childhood disorder in the world and the number one reason a child takes medication. And many experts believe that ADHD is on the rise.

    The Three Forms of ADHD

    While ADHD is considered a single condition, there are three forms of the disorder:

    •    Hyperactivity-Impulsivity ADHD.Children with this type of ADHD are extremely active and fidgety. They may seem driven by a motor — constantly moving, unable to sit still. At school, they may interrupt others, blurt out answers without raising their hands, get up from their seats during class, or push and shove classmates in the lunch line.

    •    Inattention ADHD.Kids with this form of the disorder have difficulty sustaining attention. They struggle with following directions and following through on them. They are not able to pay close attention to details. They make careless errors and tend to be disorganized. They daydream in class and miss homework assignments simply because they forget to take their books home, forget to do the work, or forget to turn it in.

    •    Combined ADHD. For children with the combined form, ADHD is characterized by symptoms of both the hyperactivity-impulsivity and inattention forms of the disorder.
    Diagnosing ADHD in Children: The Teacher’s Role

    Teachers are often the first ones to recognize or suspect ADHD in children. That’s because ADHD symptoms can affect school performance — and in some cases, disrupt the rest of the class — and because teachers are with children day in and day out. Since teachers work with many different children, they also come to know how students typically behave in classroom situations requiring concentration and self-control. Therefore, when they notice something outside the norm, they may speak with the school psychologist or contact the parents about their concerns.

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