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ADD/ADHD Students Part 1

by Hawke Robinson published Jun 20, 2015 05:05 PM, last modified Feb 05, 2023 12:22 PM
I am currently taking an elective course in Teaching Youth & Teens with ADD / ADHD & Executive Function (EF) Deficits. Basically how to understand and provide appropriate adaptations when teaching this population group. Part of the course includes online discussions. I thought I would save for discussion outside of the classroom, my postings of related topics. I welcome feedback from others...





Regarding pairing students modification:

I agree that paired learning has many benefits to many, in many areas. Especially if there is a good connection between the students, they can really help each other through various challenges. This becomes problematic when there is an unevent investment in effort though. For example, my youngest (of 3) son, frequently comments with frustrating on how in paired or small group assignments, he sometimes gets paired up with a "slacker", who won't contribute much (if any), and the work burden falls entirely upon him, else their grade is mutually poor. Most of the time the pairings are very effective, but sometimes when that happens it can be very frustrating. In the public school, the teachers often don't have time to address this effectively. So, my son has over the years, when confronted with such challenges, either ended up doing all the work himself, and resenting the other kid for getting a good grade without doing anything to earn it, or after not getting any help from the teacher, thrown his hands up in the air and just let the assignment fail. Again, fortunately these are rare exception, but happen several times per semester.

Also, from a more personal side, I just simply can NOT do math with someone else. I have been writing software since 1979. When I can work on learning and applying math by myself, I do well. The moment I have been put into paired or group settings, the math side of my brain shuts down completely. I have tried many varied experiments (on myself) related to this, and whether it is a right-brain / left-brain, lack of sufficient corpus collusum connections, or what, I do not know, but it is also something to take into account that sometimes students need more distraction free time with math, which is can be a very different process than other subjects.

What do people think about the above two examples? How would you handle those scenarios?






Regarding using music and song as an instructional modification:

There is also a lot of research about how many benefits music can have to the learning process. In some very extreme examples of disorders, for example brain injury so severely impairing the speech centers, that the participants cannot speak at all (though retaining comprehension just fine). This is one of the reasons for my studying Music Therapy in addition to Recreation Therapy, etc.

A few years ago I saw some documentary on an instructor/therapist working with this population teaching them to sing. It turns out that the singing and speech centers are in different areas, so damage to one may not necessarily impair the other. Then over time slowly had them reduce their sing-song singing until it sounded like speech, but they were actually using the singing center of their brain!

It would be interesting to see if for those students with ADD/ADHD having speech/language impairments, if a similar approach wouldn't help? Thing how many examples there have been of using songs to help memorize long "rote" material.

What do you think?

A quick web search found this article, I think it is related: "Singing 'rewires' damaged brain" BBC News: (Links to an external site.)





I also posted a lengthy, nearly essay, regarding my concerns about the recommendations for gamification, especially competitive versus cooperative. I am going to post that as a separate article, since it is so long. It should be on the RPG Research Project website Blog shortly:

I look forward to everyone's comments.

Happy Gaming!