Social educator work with hyperactive children
Hyperactivity is one of the manifestations of a whole complex of violations, where the main defect is related to the lack of attention mechanisms and braking control. Therefore such disorders are more accurately classified as attention deficit syndromes.
Thus, hyperactive children have recently become an urgent problem for parents and teachers. And on the part of scientists interest to this problem does not decrease, because if 8-10 years ago there were one - two such children in the class, now - to five people or more. I.P. Bryazgunov notes that if at the end of the 50s there were about 30 publications on this topic, in 1990 their number increased to 7000.
In the USA, France, Italy, Belgium and other countries the problem of hyperactivity and attention deficit has acquired a national status.
This is a social problem, as more and more children with minimal brain dysfunction. There are already 200 thousand hyperactive children in France and 1.5 million in the USA. Let us dwell in detail on the general picture of Russia in the light of this problem, and so on December 9, 2008 at the Institute for Contemporary Development held a round table: "New methods in the treatment of hyperactivity: the prospects for non-drug therapy". The event was organized by the charity foundation "Who Else but Me?", which implements a program to help hyperactive children. The discussion was attended by psychologists, teachers, physicians and experts working on rehabilitation programmes for children with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The aim of the event was to discuss existing Russian innovative methods of treatment of ADHD and develop a common strategy for replication of successful programs. Methods in treatment of hyperactivity and the success achieved by non-medical therapy were presented.
The participants of the discussion noted that the problem of children's hyperactivity in Russia is only at the stage of discussion of the issue, which in the world practice has long been solved at the level of state authorities and if not to initiate the introduction of successful programs - the situation in this area will be hopelessly missed for several generations.
Currently, 7% of the country's children are officially diagnosed with ADHD, while in Moscow the figure is 12%, with strong symptoms, said leading specialist of the Ministry of Social Development and Health Nina Sukhotina. These children have psycho-social disorders, which lead to social deformation of personality. More attention should be paid to the problem by the state authorities, teachers, medics and social workers at school institutions. She also noted that at present there is no clear government programme aimed at solving this problem and it is becoming increasingly important to unite proven methods developed by leading Russian specialists.
The participants of the event noted that the widely existing foreign practice of medical correction of ADHD cannot be accepted as the only effective method. The problem has been studied theoretically, but in our country there is a practical component: the impossibility of assistance on the spot - in schools and in regional medical institutions, as well as lack of understanding of the problem by parents. One of the main problems is the omission of the time factor, because only pre-school and primary school-age children submit corrections, and untimely assistance of specialists leads to the transition of more than 50% of the disease symptoms in adult life. If there are 2 children diagnosed with ADHD in one class, it inevitably leads to disorganization of the whole educational process of the class, so it is necessary to train the teaching staff of schools in the organization of the lesson and working space for such children ADHD. After all, it is so important for teenagers to have a psychological understanding of the problem and this is the only core to control their social behavior.
Thus, presenting his program, Yuri Belekhov, a psychotherapist, director of the rehabilitation center for children with ADHD in Zelenograd, said that it was a comprehensive approach and developed innovative non-drug methods allowed to achieve high results in the rehabilitation of children. The society puts forward requirements to the child to comply with the norms of social behavior. And due to the peculiarities of its development, it is not ready to meet these standards. He also noted that one of the components of the comprehensive program is the training of parents and teachers, and in Zelenograd this program is being successfully implemented.
The outcome of the event was a resolution of the expert community to support the initiative of the Charity Fund "Who Else but Me?" to create a single Center for assistance to children diagnosed with ADHD and their parents, which would unite not only medical, but also neuropsychological, psychological, and educational assistance to problem children.
The charitable foundation "Who Else but Me?" runs a programme entitled "Hyperactive Child" - identification and assistance to children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)". As part of this programme, a psychological, medical and social centre, Strogino, was set up in Moscow and equipped with modern equipment. The centre's equipment was purchased in 2008 through private donations. Work under the programme: diagnosis of orphans to clarify the classification of deviations with an individual selection of corrective measures. Training of teachers, educational psychologists and social workers in modern methods of diagnosis and correction in work with orphans. Equipping psychologists' offices in orphanages with modern equipment for conducting corrective and diagnostic activities. Creation of conditions for the scientific development of new methods for the correction and diagnosis of orphans with psychoneurological disorders. Awareness-raising activities in the media on the adaptation and protection of the interests of orphans with psychoneurological disorders.
Deficiencies in attention, motor control and self-regulation hinder the process of the socialization of children diagnosed with ADHD and lead to learning difficulties and behavioural disorders.
50% of first grade pupils experience signs of school maladaptation by the end of the year. Having quite high intellectual abilities, children with mild cerebral pathology are unable to realize their potential due to existing health problems.
The educational system is not yet able to offer new pedagogical technologies for successful education of these children.
Parents diagnosed with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Deficiency often find themselves in a helpless position, as neither medical nor educational institutions can provide them with real assistance.
With no success in their studies, only negative grades and many failures in life in general, these children begin to feel worthless and incorrigible. For bad behavior teachers do not see their talents. Therefore, they often find recognition and realize themselves in an asocial environment.
Hyperactive child is constantly active, impulsive, his movements can be chaotic. He constantly fidgeting on the chair, a lot of talking, often does not bring the case to an end, forgets about assignments, hates boring and long tasks and is unable to fulfill them. It is difficult for him to be consistent and keep his attention on one thing for a long time. He interrupts the conversation, answers without listening. The child is constantly in action, unable to control his behavior. If this portrait is familiar to you, then you are dealing with a hyperactive child and you know all the difficulties faced by parents of hyperactive children.
But the child himself almost suffers more from his own characteristics. After all, the basis of hyperactive syndrome, as a rule, is minimal brain dysfunction. Therefore, one should not treat such children as naughty, capricious or stubborn. They just can't control some of their manifestations.
Attention deficit syndrome is a neurological, behavioral-age disorder that upset the mechanisms responsible for the range of attention, the ability to concentrate, the control of stimuli.
Disorder is defined as age-related because it is found in early childhood (under seven years) and is characterized by changes in the course of life, from early childhood to maturity. Thus, analysis of age dynamics has shown that the signs of the disorder are most pronounced in preschool and early school age: the highest percentage of children with the syndrome is found at 5-10 years of age, which is different from the age of 11-12 years. Thus, the syndrome peaks in the period of preparation for school and the beginning of education.
This is due to the dynamics of higher nervous activity. 5.5-7 and 9-10 years are critical periods for the formation of brain systems responsible for thought, attention and memory. By the age of 7, as D.A. Farber writes, there is a change of stages of intellectual development, and conditions for the formation of abstract thinking and arbitrary regulation of activity are formed.
At the age of 6-7, children with the syndrome are not ready for school due to slower rates of functional maturation of the cortex and subcortical structures. Systematic school loads can lead to the disruption of compensatory mechanisms of the central nervous system and the development of maladaptation school syndrome, exacerbated by learning difficulties. Therefore, the question of readiness for school for hyperactive children should be decided on a case-by-case basis by a psychologist and a doctor observing the child.
The spike of hyperactivity at the age of 12-15 in the risk group, and in the group with the syndrome at the age of 14 coincides with the period of puberty. The hormonal "boom" is reflected in the peculiarities of behavior and attitude to study. A "difficult" teenager (which is the category most children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder fall into) may decide to break up with school.
By the end of puberty, hyperactivity and emotional impulsivity practically disappear or are masked by other personal traits, self-control and regulation of behavior increases, and attention deficit persists. Attention deficit is the main symptom of the disease, so it is it that determines the further dynamics and prognosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).
Among boys 7-12 years old, symptoms of the syndrome are diagnosed 2-3 times more often than among girls. Among teenagers, this ratio is 1:1, and among 20-25-year-olds - 1:2 with a predominance of girls.
The predominance of boys is not only a consequence of the subjective opinion of respondents responding to the questionnaire. Although it is boys who are most often seen as troublemakers by teachers. The high frequency of symptoms in boys may be due to the influence of hereditary factors, as well as a higher vulnerability of the male foetus to pathogenic effects during pregnancy and childbirth. Girls have larger hemispheres of the brain that are less specialized, so they have a greater reserve of compensatory functions than boys in case of central nervous system lesions, according to A.N. Kornev's opinion.
In addition, sexual differences in structure and dynamics of behavioral disorders are noted. Boys have symptoms of hyperactivity and other behavioral disorders from the age of 3-4 years, which makes parents go to the doctor even before the child enters school.
Among girls, hyperactivity is less common and the disease is more likely to manifest itself in the form of attention disorders. In girls, behavioural disorders appear more hidden.
The main manifestations of attention deficit syndrome are attention deficit (attention deficit), signs of impulsivity and hyperactivity. If the symptoms of hyperactivity tend to decrease in themselves as the child grows up, the attention deficit is a favorable ground for neuroses and social maladaptation.
Attention disorders include, in particular, difficulty in retaining it (disassembly), reduced attention selectivity, pronounced distractiveness with rigidity, frequent case switching and forgetfulness.
Attention deficit syndrome was first described in 1902, and the first report on drug therapy with psychostimulant drugs appeared in 1937. Initially, because of the strong neurological signs, the disorder was called minimal brain damage. Later on, the concept of "minimal brain damage" included learning disabilities (difficulties and specific learning disabilities in writing, reading, counting, perception and speech). Subsequently, the static model of minimal brain damage gave way to a more dynamic and more flexible model of minimal brain dysfunction.
Since 1980, the name of the syndrome is based on the international psychiatric classification. There are three types of attention deficit syndrome:
- a mixed type (hyperactivity disorder combined with attention deficit, it is the most common form of attention deficit syndrome);
- inattentive type (attention deficit is prevalent, this type is the most difficult to diagnose);
- a hyperactive type (hyperactivity is the most common form of attention deficit disorder).
Hyperactive children are also characterised by chatter indicating a lack of internal speech development, which should control social behaviour. However, hyperactive children often have extraordinary abilities in different areas, are smart and take an active interest in others.
In 2002, 85 scientists from the USA, Australia, Canada, Israel, the Netherlands, Norway and the UK published an international statement on ADHD. It states that 'the international consortium of scientists is deeply concerned about the occasional media coverage of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder. It is a disorder that we are all familiar with and to which many of us have devoted our research, if not our entire careers. We fear that stories in the media misrepresenting ADHD as a myth, trickery, or minor condition may force thousands of those suffering from the disorder to abandon treatment. Moreover, all of this makes it appear to the public that ADHD is a far-fetched problem that does not exist at all or insignificant.
Scientists believe that the disease, which has social significance as a precursor to alcoholism, drug abuse and delinquency, should be portrayed in the media as realistically and exactly as science describes it. It is a scientifically proven disorder that describes a diverse and significant negative impact on those who suffer from it.
In April 2006, the 1st International Forum "Children's Health Protection in Russia" was held in Moscow with the conference theme "Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder". The conference was attended by leading scientists who have been working on the problem of hyperactivity for many years, in particular, Russell Barkley, a well-known American psychiatrist. The following issues were considered: ADHD as a cause of antisocial behavior, social and medico-psychological assistance to children with the syndrome and their families, ADHD in adults, legal protection of children and adults suffering from ADHD, learning difficulties of children with ADHD, methods of treatment and correction, review of pharmacological methods of treatment of ADHD abroad, drug treatment of ADHD in Russia.
Knowledge of the causes of observed behavioral disorders is very important in work with hyperactive children. Currently, the etiology and pathogenesis of attention deficit syndrome are not sufficiently clarified. But most specialists tend to recognize the interaction of many factors, including organic brain lesions (brain injury, neuroinfection), perinatal pathology (complications during pregnancy of the mother, asphyxia of the newborn), genetic factor (some data indicate that attention deficit syndrome may be of family nature), peculiarities of neurophysiology and neuroanatomy (dysfunction of activating systems of the central nervous system), food factors (high content of carbohydrates in food).
Hyperactivity is usually based on minimal brain dysfunction (MMD), which is the cause of school problems in about half of failed students.
However, the main causes of hyperactivity in children are, first of all, the pathology of pregnancy, childbirth, infection and intoxication in the first years of life of the baby, genetic condition. In 85 per cent of cases of hyperactivity, the pathology of pregnancy or childbirth is diagnosed.
"The brain is most sensitive to various adverse factors in critical periods of its development, when the most important "functional ensembles" are formed, there is an intensive differentiation of the nervous system. Adverse effects on the fruit in the period from 3 to 10 weeks of development may be the cause of the formation of gross malformations of the nervous system. In the case when the disorders occur at later stages of development, the severity of the defect may vary to varying degrees: from a gross violation of function or its complete absence to a slight delay in the pace of development. - V.M. Astapov asserts in his book "Introduction to Defectology with the Basics of Neuro- and Pathopsychology". V.M. Astapov writes that abnormalities occur in the process of intrauterine, postnatal development or as a result of hereditary factors. Depending on the causes of abnormalities and development disorders, they are divided into congenital and acquired. The first group includes pathogenic factors that cause diseases of the mother during pregnancy: toxicosis, intoxication, metabolic disorders, immunopathological conditions and a variety of obstetric pathologies. Chemicals and radioactive radiation play a role. Various embryonic brain lesions are possible due to rhesus-compatibility of mother and fetal blood. The second group of congenital disorders includes hereditary genetic lesions and causes congenital alcohol and drug abuse by parents.
Acquired disorders include various developmental disorders caused by natural and postnatal lesions of the child's body. Postnatal acquired developmental abnormalities are mainly the consequences of early childhood diseases and brain injuries. Knowledge of the causes of childhood anomalies and developmental disorders allows not only to obtain additional data on the mental state of the child, but also to reveal hidden from simple observation signs of mental disorders.
A.D. Stolyarenko in his book "Children's psychodiagnostics and career guidance" in the section "Hyperactivity" states that the basis of hyperdynamic syndrome is microorganic brain lesions resulting from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, exhausting somatic diseases of early childhood (severe diathesis, dyspepsia), physical, mental trauma. Although this syndrome is called hyperdynamic, i.e. increased motor activity syndrome, the main defect in its structure is attention defect. At present, the etiology and pathogenesis of attention deficit syndrome are not sufficiently understood. But most specialists are inclined to recognize the interaction of many factors among which:
- organic brain damage (craniocerebral injury, neuroinfection, etc.);
- perinatal pathology (complications during pregnancy of the mother, asphyxia of the newborn);
- genetic factor (some data indicate that attention deficit syndrome may be familial);
- features of neurophysiology and neuroanatomy (dysfunction of activating CNS systems);
- nutritional factors (high carbohydrate content in food leads to worsened attention deficit);
- social factors (consistency and regularity of educational influences, etc.).
On this basis, work with hyperactive children should be carried out in a comprehensive manner, with the participation of specialists in various fields and the mandatory involvement of parents, caregivers, teachers, psychologists and social workers.
In providing social pedagogical assistance to hyperactive children, work with their parents, caregivers and teachers is of crucial importance. Adults must understand that a child's actions are not intentional and that only with their help and support can he or she overcome existing difficulties.
The first signs of hyperactivity can be seen before the age of 7 years. The peaks of manifestation of this syndrome coincide with the peaks of psycho-speech development. At 1-2 years, 3 years and 6-7 years old. At 1-2 years old, speech skills are laid down, at 3 years old the vocabulary increases, and at 6-7 years old, reading and writing skills are formed. Manifestations of hyperactivity syndrome may disturb parents from the first days of the child's life: children often have increased muscle tone, are too sensitive to all stimuli (light, noise), do not sleep well, while awake are mobile and excited. At 3-4 years of age, the child is clearly unable to concentrate on anything, he can not calmly listen to a fairy tale, unable to play games that require concentration, his activities are mainly chaotic. Violations of the child's behavior are especially pronounced in situations that require organized behavior: for example, at classes and matinees in kindergarten.
Most researchers note the three main blocks of hyperactivity: attention deficit, impulsivity, hyperexcitability. R. Campbell also refers to perception disorder as a manifestation of hyperactivity. He believes that hyperactivity promotes learning difficulties and difficulties in accepting the love of others, while perception problems are manifested in inadequate perception of the environment (letters, words, etc.) and parental love.
N.N. Zavadenko notes that many children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder have speech development disorders and difficulties in forming reading, writing and numeracy skills, 66% - showed signs of dyslexia and dysgraphy, 61% - signs of dyscalculia.
A hyperdynamic child is impulsive and no one risks predicting what he or she will do the next moment. He doesn't know that himself. He acts without thinking about the consequences, although he does not intend bad things, and he himself sincerely saddens over the accident, the culprit of which becomes. He easily endures punishment, does not remember resentment, does not hold evil, quarrels with his peers by the minute and immediately reconciles. He's the noisiest kid in the team.
The biggest problem with a hyperdynamic child is his distractibility. Interested in something, he forgets about the previous and no case is not finished. He is curious, but not inquisitive, because curiosity suggests a certain consistency of interest.
In work with hyperactive children, the following areas can be distinguished: psychological and pedagogical diagnosis of hyperactivity, social and pedagogical activities to compensate for children's hyperactivity in an educational institution (activities aimed at correcting motor activity, specially selected games), systemic counselling assistance to parents on work with hyperactive children (behaviour modification programme), activities of educational significance for teachers on work with hyperactive children.
Psychological and pedagogical diagnosis of hyperactivity includes three stages. The first stage is subjective. Based on generally established diagnostic criteria, the child's behaviour is assessed. In addition, the doctor inquires parents in detail about the specifics of the course of pregnancy and childbirth, the defects the child has suffered and his or her behaviour. A detailed family history is collected.
The following methods can also be used to identify hyperactive children: determination of attention volume (R.S. Nemov), distribution, productivity, stability and attention switching (Landolt rings), determination of short-term auditory memory (R.S. Nemov), determination of short-term visual memory (R.S. Nemov), determination of verbal and logical thinking (R.S. Nemov), determination of image and logical thinking (R.S. Nemov). It is impossible to exclude observation as a method of research which will help to obtain much more information about the children under study. After all, in games, in mutual relations with others, in the course of performance of tasks at children precisely those qualities which allow to refer them to group of children with attention deficit syndrome are shown.
The second stage of psychological and pedagogical diagnostics of hyperactivity is objective or psychological. The parameters of the child's attentiveness are measured by the number of errors made by the child during special tests and by the time he or she has spent on it. Such researches can be carried out at children from five or six years of age.
In the third stage, an electroencephalographic study is conducted. Electrodes overlapping the head capture the electrical potentials of the brain and identify the corresponding transformations. This is done to objectively assess the condition of the child's brain. There are also more advanced studies using magnetic resonance imaging. These studies are safe and painless. A diagnosis is made on the basis of the cumulative results obtained.
The first symptoms of attention deficit syndrome are found before the age of seven years. Symptoms occurring at a later age are usually the result of exposure to other factors, such as a transitional age crisis, social or emotional disorders.
The manifestations of the disorder exist in at least two social situations (in an educational institution, at home, during a neuropsychological examination). The disorder is detected at least once in half a year and leads to significant disruptions in academic, social and work functions.
Specialists claim that some children diagnosed with hyperactivity syndrome have quite high compensatory capacities. However, the inclusion of compensatory mechanisms requires certain conditions. First of all, the child should develop in a favorable environment without intellectual overloads, with observance of the appropriate regime, in a smooth emotional atmosphere.
The behaviour of hyperactive children may seem similar to that of children with heightened anxiety, so it is important to know the primary differences between the behaviour of one category of children and another. A hyperactive child differs from an anxious child in that his or her behaviour is stable and impulsive. He is steadily active, the nature of his movements is feverish and disorderly. An anxious child is able to control his behavior, is active only in certain situations. The behavior of the anxious child is not socially destructive, and hyperactive is often the source of all kinds of conflicts, fights and just misunderstandings.
In order to detect a hyperactive child, it is necessary to observe him or her for a long time, to talk with parents and caregivers. It is very important to start working with such a child before he or she enters school.
General manifestations of hyperactivity can be divided into three blocks: lack of active attention, motor retardation and impulsivity. Taking into account the peculiarities of the psychomotor development of children with attention deficit syndrome, a complex, systemic correction is needed, in which cognitive and motor methods should be applied in some hierarchized complex, taking into account their complementary influence.
Influence on the sensory and motor level taking into account general laws of ontogenesis activates the development of all higher mental functions. Motor methods not only create some potential for future work, but also restore and organize interactions between different levels and aspects of mental activity.
Updating and fastening of any corporal skills assumes a demand from outside for so their mental functions, as, for example, emotions, perception, memory, processes of self-regulation. The basic precondition for full participation of these processes in mastering reading, writing, and mathematical knowledge is created. Subsequent inclusion of cognitive correction, which also contains a large number of body-oriented methods, should take into account the dynamics of individual or group work.
"Special surveys show that in recent years, about 15-20% of children entering school have various neuro-psychiatric disorders" - write M.M. Bezrukikh and S.P. Efimova in the book "Do you know your student? The authors attribute the disorders of neuro-psychiatric health to the category of so-called "borderline disorders", i.e. are on the verge of norm and disease. They are so difficult to recognize in the preschool period, however, at the slightest "push", which is the beginning of systematic schooling and the whole range of school workloads, they take a pronounced character, and the teacher is faced with this before anyone else.
Despite the fact that many specialists (pedagogues, speech therapists, speech therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists) are dealing with this problem, there is still an opinion among parents and teachers that hyperactivity is just a behavioural problem and sometimes just a "promiscuity" of the child or the result of inept education. And almost every child in the class, showing excessive mobility and restlessness, adults rank as hyperactive children. Such hastiness in drawing conclusions is not always justified, as hyperactivity disorder is a medical diagnosis, the right to which only a specialist has the right. In this case, the diagnosis is made only after a special diagnosis, and not on the basis of fixation of excessive motor activity of the child.
American psychologists P. Baker and M. Alvard proposed their scheme for detecting hyperactivity in a child.
Detection of motor activity:
- the child is constantly fidgeting, all the time in motion, even if tired;
- he shows signs of internal anxiety, drums with his fingers, knocks his feet, moves in the chair, runs;
- he runs away all the time, trying to climb, climb up;
- sleeps much less than other children;
- very talkative.
Detecting attention deficit:
- The child does not listen when they are approached (looking at the head with a wandering glance, without focusing the hearing);
- enthusiastically takes up the task, but does not finish it;
- struggles with organization;
- struggles to keep attention, inconsistencies in actions and reflections;
- easily distracted by extraneous stimuli;
- often loses things and forgets them;
- Avoids boring or mentally demanding tasks.
- the child is unable to wait his or her turn, often interfering in conversations, interrupting the conversation partner;
- often begins to answer by not listening to the question;
- does not focus well on a case;
- Can't wait for the reward if there's a pause between the action and the reward;
- Behaviour is poorly managed by the rules, and the child cannot regulate or control his/her actions;
- She behaves differently, calmly and impulsively when performing tasks;
- achievement in different subjects is often uneven, and his intellectual development can be high.
If the child constantly has more than six features from the proposed scheme, we can talk about a presumptive diagnosis. Until then, slowness, responsiveness, inability to deal with one case for a long time may be characteristics of the child's age or character.
As noted by many authors, the group of children with hyperactivity and attention deficit syndrome is significantly heterogeneous, which raises the problem of choice of therapeutic and corrective measures and, moreover, leads to contradictory results of experimental studies. Treatment and education of a hyperactive child should be carried out in a comprehensive manner, with the participation of many specialists: a neurologist, a psychologist, a teacher and others. But even in this case, assistance may not be effective without the involvement of parents.
Of course, the doctor watching the child, first of all, provides appropriate treatment. Another, no less important function is to explain to parents the causes of hyperactivity and develop an individual program of assistance to the child. Parents, as a rule, are more inclined to trust the doctor than teachers and psychologists. Therefore, it is desirable for a medical specialist to explain to them that a child's behavioural problems cannot be solved by volitional efforts. The child behaves in this way, not because he wants to annoy adults, not to spite them, but because he has physiological problems that he is unable to cope with.
In this way, the doctor educates the parents and, if possible, the teachers. To this end, the neurologist can be invited to a parent-teacher meeting at the school or sent to an individual consultation with parents.
The psychologist, together with the teacher and parents, carries out psychological correction of the child's emotional sphere and behaviour. He can work with the child either individually or in a group of hyperactive children according to a specially designed program. In addition, the psychologist conducts explanatory work with teachers and, together with them, develops a strategy and tactics for interaction with each hyperactive child and draws up an individual development programme for that child.
The main task of parents is to ensure a general emotional-neutral background for the development and education of the child. In addition, the parent monitors the effectiveness of the treatment and reports the results to the neurologist, psychologist and teachers.
The teacher, having taken into account the recommendations of specialists, carries out the process of educating the child, taking into account his or her individual characteristics of development and behavior and the family environment. Only in the case of such an integrated approach is there consistent and unanimous upbringing and training of a hyperactive child, which helps to realize the potential of the child and reduce his emotional tension.
In work with hyperactive children it is necessary to use three main directions: first, the development of deficit functions (attention, behavioral control, motor control); second, the development of specific skills of interaction with adults and peers; third, if necessary, the work with anger.
Work in these areas can be carried out in parallel or, depending on the case, a single priority can be selected. For example, the development of skills to interact with others. Let us briefly consider each direction.
When developing deficit functions, the following rules should be followed. Correction work should be carried out step by step, starting with the development of one separate function. This is due to the fact that it is difficult for a hyperactive child to be both attentive and calm at the same time, and not impulsive.
When stable positive results are achieved in the course of training, it is possible to move to training of two functions at the same time, for example, attention deficit and behavioral control. Only then can we use exercises that develop all three deficit functions at the same time.
Since children's hyperactivity and attention deficit are frontal deficits, the development of arbitrary regulation is the main direction of correction work with such children.
The individualized methodology of corrective work with hyperactive children is aimed at the formation of arbitrary regulation and provides two basic principles. On the one hand, the set of exercises is focused on the inclusion of muscle groups, which are usually used in a deployed motor act. On the other hand, corrective psychomotor exercises correspond to the stage of the child's age development and are based on compliance with the sequence of mastering motor functions typical of healthy children.
In practice, it has been proved that a child's motor development has a powerful influence on his or her general development, in particular on the formation of speech, intellect and such analytical systems as visual, auditory and tactile. Therefore, motor correction should take a central place in the overall rehabilitation program of the child.
Development of specific skills for interaction with adults and peers. Initial work with a hyperactive child should be done individually. At this stage of work, it is possible to teach the child not only to listen, but also to hear - to understand the instructions of the adult: to speak out loud, to formulate the rules of conduct during the lessons and the rules of performance of a particular task. At this stage, it is also desirable to work out, together with the child, a system of encouragement and punishment, which will help him or her later to adapt in the children's group. The next stage - involvement of the hyperactive child in group activities (in interaction with peers) - should also pass gradually. At first, it is desirable to involve a hyperactive child in work and in a game with a small subgroup of children (2-4 people), and only then it is possible to invite him or her to participate in general group games and activities. If this sequence is not followed, the child may be overexcited, which in turn leads to a loss of control of behavior, fatigue, lack of active attention.
M.M. Chistyakova notes in her book "Psychogymnastics" that psychogymnastics classes are useful for such children. It has been noticed that fine arts and music are auxiliary means of communication, which facilitate the possibility of productive contact with a hyperactive child.
Special classes held with hyperactive children are characterized by a clear, repetitive structure, constant placement of objects in the room, the introduction of a temporary limit on the performance of tasks, children's compliance with norms and rules of conduct, the introduction of a system of punishments and incentives, and compliance with the rules of the beginning and end of classes. The beginning of the lesson should include a specific group greeting, possibly listening to some melodic music, and the end of the lesson should be a group discussion, and the performance of thematic drawings.
According to psychologists, specially selected games are the most effective, and sometimes the only, method of correctional work with children of preschool and primary school age. For the first time, game therapy began to be applied by H. Freud. Developing his method, M. Klein began to use a special material for treatment of children: toys of small size, which the child could identify with family members. She argued that "in free play, a child symbolically expresses his or her unconscious hopes, fears, pleasures, concerns, and conflicts".
In addition, an adult playing with a child can discover a completely unfamiliar world for the child, establish a more trusting relationship with the child and understand what help he or she needs most. It is in the game the child reflects what happens to him in real life. Here you can immediately notice his conflicts with the world around him, the problems of contact with peers, his reactions and feelings. Playing with a hyperactive child needs a lot: at home, in an educational institution, but it is best to start with special classes in the office of a psychologist or social pedagogue, where parents together with the child learn to do it properly.
When choosing games (especially mobile) for hyperactive children, it is necessary to take into account the following features: lack of attention, impulsivity, very high activity, as well as the inability to obey group rules for a long time, listen to and follow instructions (focus on details), rapid fatigue. In the game it is difficult for them to wait for their turn and reckon with the interests of others. Therefore, it is advisable to include hyperactive children in collective work in stages: first, to play with the child individually, then to involve him/her in games in small subgroups and only then to include him/her in collective games. It is desirable to use games with clear rules that promote attention.
Nonindividual correction includes methods of behaviour modification, psychotherapy, pedagogical and neuropsychological correction. The child is recommended a gentle mode of education - the minimum number of children in the class (ideally not more than 12 people), shorter duration of classes (up to 30 minutes), the child's stay at the first desk (contact between the eyes of the teacher and the child improves the concentration of attention). It is also important from the point of view of social adaptation that the child is brought up in a targeted and long-term manner with socially encouraged norms of behaviour, since the behaviour of some children has asocial features. Psychotherapeutic work with parents is necessary so that they do not regard the child's behaviour as "hooliganism" and show more understanding and patience in their educational activities. Tiredness in the performance of tasks should also be avoided, as hyperactivity may increase. "Hyperactive" children are extremely excitable, so their participation in activities involving large numbers of people should be excluded or limited. Since the child has difficulty concentrating, only one task should be given to him or her for a certain period of time. The choice of partners for play is important - the child's friends should be balanced and calm.
Of course, it is necessary to work with parents of hyperactive children, provide them with systematic advice. Parents of hyperactive children usually have many difficulties in interacting with them. Thus, some strive to fight against the disobedience of a son or daughter, strengthen the disciplinary methods of influence, increase the workload, strictly punish for the slightest misconduct, introduce an unstoppable system of prohibitions. Others, tired of endless struggle with their child, waving their hands at everything, try not to pay attention to his behavior or, "with their hands down", give the child full freedom of action, thus depriving him of the necessary support from adults. Some parents, hearing at school and in other public places continuous reproaches and comments about their child, begin to blame only themselves for what he is, and even come into despair and fall into a state of depression (which, in turn, adversely affects the sensitive child). In all these cases, parents are often lost when choosing a line of behavior with the child. Therefore, systematic awarenessraising work should be carried out with them. Parents should explain that the child is in no way to blame, that he or she is, and that disciplinary measures of influence in the form of constant punishments, remarks, shouts, notations will not lead to improvement of behavior of the child, and in most cases even will worsen it.
In everyday interactions with hyperactive children, parents should avoid harsh prohibitions that begin with the words "no" and "can't". An overactive child, being impulsive, is likely to immediately respond to such prohibitions with disobedience or verbal aggression. In this case, firstly, it is necessary to speak calmly and discreetly with the child, even if you prohibit anything to him or her, and secondly, it is desirable not to say "no" to the child, but to give him or her a choice. For example, if the child "is carried as a vortex" on apartment, it is possible to offer it on a choice 2 or 3 other occupations: to run in a yard or to listen to reading of the adult. If the child is shouting loudly, you can sing along with him a few favorite songs of his choice. If your child throws pillows and things at you, you can offer them games with water.
Very often parents of hyperactive children say that their children are never tired, such children, of course, very tired. And it is this fatigue manifests itself as a motor anxiety, which parents often take for activity. They get tired very quickly, and this leads to a decrease in self-control and an increase in hyperactivity, which affects them, their parents, and everyone around them. Therefore, in order to prevent overexcitation, it is recommended that parents limit the presence of hyperactive children in crowded places.
If possible, the overactive child should be protected from prolonged computer lessons and from watching television programs, especially those that encourage emotional excitement.
Quite often, parents of a hyperactive child, seeking to allow their child to use up excessive energy, write it down in various sports sections. Unfortunately, this does not always help to calm the child. In addition, the adult teaching style is important. It is good when the child is engaged in, for example, swimming, horseback riding.
Useful hyperactive child and quiet walks with parents before bed, during which parents have the opportunity to frankly, privately talk with the child, learn about his problems. And fresh air and a measured step will help your child to calm down.
Enrich and diversify the emotional experience of a hyperactive child, help him to master the elementary actions of self-control and thus somewhat smooth out the manifestation of increased motor activity - it means to change the relationship with his close adults, and above all with his mother. Any actions, situations, events aimed at deepening contacts and their emotional enrichment will contribute to this.
The important task of psychologists and social pedagogues is to change the attitude of close relatives to the child. The mother and other close relatives need to explain that the improvement of the baby's condition depends not only on the prescribed special treatment, even if it is necessary, but also to a large extent on a kind, calm and consistent attitude towards the child.
When raising a hyperactive child, parents should avoid two extremes: the manifestation of excessive pity and permissiveness, on the one hand, and setting excessive demands, which he is unable to fulfill, combined with excessive cruelty, sanctions - on the other. Frequent changes in guidance and variations in parental attitudes have a much deeper negative impact on these children than on others.
Systematic counseling by a psychologist and social pedagogue in work with hyperactive children and their parents is also necessary for the teachers themselves. First of all, the psychologist and social pedagogue should provide the educator with detailed information on the nature of hyperactivity and the nature of the behaviour of hyperactive children in an educational institution. They should know that work with such children should be built on an individual basis. It is advisable to ignore defiant behaviour wherever possible and encourage good behaviour in the child.
It is important to keep distractions to a minimum during lessons. This can be facilitated, in particular, by the optimal choice of a place for a hyperactive child in the group - in the centre of the room, in front of the teacher's table, the board.
The child should be given the opportunity to quickly seek the help of the teacher in case of difficulty. The child's classes should be organized according to a clearly planned, stereotyped schedule, using a special calendar or diary.
Tasks offered in the classroom should be explained to the child separately, and in no case accompanied by ironic explanations that this is done specifically for "our special boy or girl".
Tasks are given sequentially. If a large task is to be completed, it is offered in sequential parts. And the teacher periodically monitors the progress of each of the parts, making the necessary adjustments.
During the day, opportunities for movement exercises are provided: physical labour, sports exercises.
The implementation of these recommendations makes it possible to normalize relations between the teacher and the "difficult" child and his parents, and helps the preschooler to achieve better results in the classroom.
In addition, in our opinion, it is important for the psychologist and social pedagogue to introduce the child to the definition and nature of his or her own type of attention deficit syndrome. An open, honest description of the child's specific difficulties and their relationship to attention deficit syndrome will lead to a discussion on how to overcome them in practice. By providing the child with a perspective and a sense of control, the specialists allow him or her to gather the necessary strength to overcome the obstacles.
The purpose of conversations with hyperactive children is to inform the child and help him or her to believe in themselves. Frequent, short discussions are always preferable to long lectures. Children should be encouraged to contribute their own ideas, express their concerns and ask questions. The terms and concepts presented should correspond to the level of knowledge of the child. Adults should be careful, avoid words that are perceived as judgmental and negative, such as "slow", "lazy", "unmotivated", "indifferent". Children should be helped to understand that it is not shameful to have attention deficit syndrome. Freely and openly discussing this topic with children, the psychologist and social pedagogue make them understand that they believe in their abilities.
Thus, there is no unequivocal prognosis as to the further development of such children. Many serious problems may persist in adolescence as well. But if correctional work with a hyperactive child is carried out persistently and consistently from the first years of his or her life, one can expect that with the years the manifestations of the syndrome will be overcome. Otherwise, after enrolling in school, a hyperactive child will face even more serious difficulties. Unfortunately, such a child is often considered simply disobedient and uneducated, and they try to influence him/her with severe penalties in the form of endless prohibitions and restrictions. As a result, the situation is only worsening, as the nervous system of a hyperdynamic child simply cannot cope with such loads and the breakdown follows the breakdown. Especially crushing manifestations of the syndrome begin to develop from about 13 years and older, determining the fate of an adult.
Let us once again designate recommendations when working with hyperactive children, above all this:
- Be sure to evaluate good behavior and success in learning, praise the child, if he successfully coped with even a small task.
- Reduce the workload compared to other children.
- Divide the work into shorter but more frequent periods. Use physical-minutes.
- It is desirable to have a minimum number of distractions (paintings, stands) in a class.
- Reduce the requirements for tidiness at the beginning of the work to form a feeling of success. To create a situation of success, in which the child would have the opportunity to show his or her strengths. It is necessary to teach him to better use them to compensate for the impaired functions at the expense of healthy ones. Let him or her become an excellent expert in certain areas of knowledge.
- Put the child in the class, if possible, next to the adult. The best place for a hyperactive child is in the centre of the classroom, opposite the whiteboard, and should always be in front of the teacher's eyes. He should be given the opportunity to quickly contact the teacher for help in case of difficulty.
- Use physical contact (stroking, touching) as an encouragement and relief.
- Direct the extra energy of hyperactive children in a useful way: during the lesson, ask them to help - wash the board, hand out paper, etc.
- For a certain period of time, give only one task. If there is a large amount of work to be done, it should be suggested in the form of consecutive parts, and periodically monitor the progress of each part, making the necessary adjustments.
- Give the tasks according to the work pace and abilities of the student. It is important to avoid overstating or understating the requirements.
- Teach to express your emotions.
- Agree with the child in advance about certain actions.
- Give short and clear instructions (no more than 10 words).
- Use a flexible system of encouragement and punishment.
- Encourage the child immediately, without delay.
- Provide the child with a choice when necessary.
Therefore, the main condition for success is a comprehensive approach to treatment and education, with the participation of many specialists: a neurologist, psychologist, teacher, and parents.