School really hurt me.
Some teachers sincerely tried to help me,
others decided to leave me as I am, demanding
little, expecting even less and hoping for my good
behavior in the classroom. All my childhood
heard the same thing from them: “Yan, calm down” or
“Remember, Jan, you’re only making things worse for yourself.”
The teachers didn’t understand what I never wanted to do
worse, but did not know how to calm down.
From the memories of a hyperactive child
Almost all hyperactive children face similar problems. No one can cope with them: neither parents, nor teachers, nor themselves. Often they are called restless “difficult children”, “a real nightmare.” And this is partly true, because such children cannot sit in one place, they are inattentive and dispersed, they are in constant agitation and cannot calm down. In addition, often hyperactive children have increased aggressiveness, irascibility, obsession, emotional instability, which greatly complicates the normal entry of such children into society. There is an obvious need to help children with such disorders: they need support from parents, teachers and other adults. How can you help a hyperactive child?
Before answering this question, I will give a brief description of the main symptoms of hyperactivity. The fact is that hyperactive disorders are often accompanied by a whole range of attention disorders, which is why this condition is called attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
ADHD is one of the most common disorders of childhood: the frequency of occurrence according to some sources reaches 25%. Typical manifestations of this syndrome are attention deficit, impulsivity and hyperactivity proper. In medicine, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is defined as a dysfunction of the central nervous system, manifested by difficulties in concentrating and maintaining attention, learning and memory disorders, as well as difficulties in processing exogenous and endogenous information and stimuli .
The main diagnostic criteria for ADHD include the following symptoms :
Often fails to pay close attention to details. Such children often make mistakes due to inattention in school assignments, for example, when copying text from a book.
Often does not listen to what they say to him, as if he misses everything. Hyperactive children often have to repeat what has been said several times in order for them to fully absorb the information.
Often does not follow instructions or fails to complete schoolwork: it is difficult for them to both keep the instruction in mind and control the action they are performing.
Often finds difficulties with the organization of work and activities: children cannot optimally plan an action plan and distribute attention properly.
Often loses things that have just been used, such as toys, school supplies, pencils, books, etc.
Often distracted by external stimuli. Their attention is extremely distracted. Any thing seen immediately attracts the attention of the child, despite the fact that before that he could do something important.
I. Hyperactivity. “A child with ADHD may resemble a football player running erratically around the field” :
Children with ADHD are not able to sit still during the whole lesson. They often fidget or move their arms and legs when they sit; often get up from their seats in the classroom.
Such children cannot play or spend their leisure time quietly: they can run around the classroom, grabbing everything in sight, screaming and making noise in all sorts of ways.
Often performs his actions “on the go” or “as a windup.” The activities of these children are excessively energetic, intense, inadequate and aimless. They are extremely active, but unlike other children with a high level of energy, they do not strive to complete their actions.
Often hyperactive children are very talkative: they talk too much and cannot stop.
II. The impulsivity of children with ADHD is expressed in the following:
It is very difficult for children to adjust their behavior in accordance with the requirements of the situation or the wishes of others. Because of this, many incidents and ridiculous statements occur in their lives.
Impulsive children are unable to contain their immediate reactions or think before they act.
Often the child cannot listen to the end of the question and begins to answer, often giving erroneous answers.
It is difficult for such children to wait for their turn: they react either too quickly or too often.
As a consequence, children often interrupt or interfere with others. They interrupt someone else’s conversation, interfere in someone else’s game.
They have a problem with delaying the satisfaction of their own needs and desires: children cannot resist temptations or refuse pleasures.
These are the main symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. They are most pronounced in children of senior preschool and primary school age. The problem is that it is during this period that an important change occurs – the transition to educational activity as a leading one.
When a child goes to school, all his features begin to turn into a real problem for him. At school, intellectual loads are significantly increased, requiring concentration of attention for a long time, a clear understanding of instructions, etc. In addition, the child has to sit almost motionless in his place for forty minutes and listen to the teacher. Of course, for children with ADHD, such requirements are unbearable. As a result, such children, as a rule, have low academic performance against the background of sufficiently high intellectual abilities and developed curiosity.
Another problem of teaching hyperactive children is their unstable performance . It is a mistake to think that hyperactive children never get tired, that they are always full of energy. Of course, these children get tired and very tired. The fact is that their fatigue, which occurs rather quickly, often manifests itself in the form of motor restlessness, which can be mistaken for activity . When tired, they have a decrease in self-control and, as a result, an increase in the number of errors in the performance of educational tasks. Among other things, children with ADHD may have difficulty learning to read and write, which may also be associated with insufficient development of motor coordination, visual perception and speech activity.
How can you help these children? How to alleviate the suffering of the child and the adults around him? How to adapt it to society?
First, it is important to remember that successful work with ADHD requires an integrated approach that involves the participation of various specialists: doctors, psychologists, educators, and, of course, parents. Initially, the doctor makes a diagnosis and prescribes medication (in addition, the task of the doctor is to inform parents and teachers about the characteristics of each individual child), then psychologists and teachers carry out corrective work with the child. At each stage, the support of parents and their correct attitude to the characteristics of the child is important. In my work, I will pay the most attention to psychological and pedagogical work with a child with ADHD.
The main task of psychologists and teachers is to correct the emotional sphere and behavior of the child, taking into account his individual characteristics and characteristics. To do this, it is necessary, together with parents, to choose the optimal work strategy, adapted specifically for a particular child. Three main directions are used in working with hyperactive children [2; 5]:
Work on the development of deficit functions (attention, behavior control, motor control);
Work on developing specific skills of interaction with adults and peers;
Increasing learning motivation.
Let’s examine each of these areas in more detail.
The development of deficient functions must be carried out in stages, consistently developing first one function, then another. And only when certain successes are achieved in the development of attention, control, and calmness, one can proceed to the simultaneous training of all three functions.
To increase the level of attention, Monina suggests using, for example, the exercises “Find the mistake” (checking your own work: finding mistakes and analyzing them) and “Check yourself and your neighbor” (after completing any task, students first check their work, then the work of a neighbor, which requires them to concentrate and develop self-control).
In addition, in order to increase the attention of hyperactive students to educational material, it is recommended to use more visual and tactile supports in obtaining information that are most necessary for children. There are also a number of practical techniques that allow you to attract the maximum attention of a child with ADHD to the lesson material. It is possible, for example, to limit extraneous stimulation as far as possible: it is better to put such a child in the center of the class, opposite the blackboard; The classroom door must be closed during the lesson. If the child begins to lose attention, then you should give him some kind of task, for example, read aloud or answer at the blackboard.
To reduce impulsivity, you can use the following techniques. For example, to call to the board the one who raised his hand last, which will force the restless student to make attempts to restrain his own impulses. Monina proposes the “Quiet Answer” task, which consists in the fact that the teacher formulates a question to which the students answer in writing, and then passes around the class, and the students whisper their answer to him.
Reducing destructive motor activity is of great importance for the child, so it should be carried out with great care. First, hyperactive kids need a play space that most schools don’t have. The educator should create a space where the child with ADHD can feel comfortable playing in the way they want. Exercises aimed at developing motor control usually include elements that require the child to maintain a posture for a certain time. For example, the exercises “Freeze”, “Waves”, etc. You can also satisfy the motor needs of the child by giving him various tasks, for example, fulfilling the instructions of the teacher that require physical activity; duty in the classroom (wiping boards, floors, etc.)
The development of specific skills of interaction with adults and peers can occur in the following ways :
Practicing the skills to express anger in an acceptable way. Many children with ADHD are overly aggressive and quick-tempered, which leads to the fact that their dissatisfaction with something can be expressed in an inadequate form: strong screaming, fighting, etc. It is necessary to show the child that such behavior is erroneous and to demonstrate to him an adequate model of behavior.
Teaching constructive ways to resolve conflicts in the classroom: developing methods for resolving conflicts together with the teacher and students.
Development of skills of self-control in behavior. It is necessary that the child understands that, for example, it is not good to interrupt others and that one must wait one’s turn.
Widespread use of praise: The child should be praised even for small successes, supporting behavioral changes in the right direction.
It is important to note that at first, such work with a child should be carried out individually, practicing various skills of effective interaction with society. Then you can organize some collective exercises in a small group of students. Large groups are best avoided at first, as overwork and destruction of activity can quickly set in.
An increase in learning motivation occurs through the use of a special system of rewards and punishments, developed jointly with children. It is important to use non-traditional forms of work, for example, providing freedom in choosing homework, unusual organization of lessons, assignments for teaching younger children. So that the child does not lose interest in learning, one should not punish him with grades or sharp criticism, and for a hyperactive child, categorical prohibitions must be avoided.
So, we have described the main methods and directions of correctional work with children suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. ADHD is a serious hindrance to the normal development, learning, and communication of a child. That is why it is necessary to pay special attention to such children. The whole environment of the child should make efforts to adapt it. After all, only the joint work of specialists, parents, peers will allow a hyperactive child to feel strong, necessary and capable of overcoming their “shortcomings”. So the main “weapon” for the “fight” with hyperactivity is understanding, patience and love …