ADD/ADHD Students Can Be Successful In School
What type of ADD does your student have? Through being a para and working with Junior High and High School students, I have learned that even though a student might have appropriately labeled diagnosis or an IEP that “label” can manifest itself differently per individual. Throughout the years, the majority of my students that I work with have a form of ADD/ADHD and these disorders act very differently in each of my students. By observing this, it made me want to look into how their brains are working, why they work that way and what can I do to help them to be successful students.
There are ways to help students have a successful experience each school day by finding out what kind of ADD they are affected by, knowing what kind of treatment plans will best help them and by knowing what treatments can be used when they are in the school environment. Through reading, I found out that most ADD and ADHD is due to how the brain connects or transfers information around in the brain or the neurotransmitters. The main chemicals that are involved in these disorders are dopamine, serotonin, and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid or amino acids). Now, as a para I can’t do a lot about the way my student's brains work but being able to understand what it’s like to be them, helps me to be more patient with my students and well educated to assist them efficiently.
The Classic ADD/ADHD (Kessler), is the easiest to spot. Typically they have inattentiveness, distractibility, hyperactivity, disorganization, and impulsivity. They have the hardest time when they are, expected to “ CONCENTRATE,” which usually involves sitting still in a quiet environment and having to zone in on one thing. When they have to do this, they have a decreased blood flow to a part of the brain, which makes the dopamine levels go down, so they have to try to work against themselves.This makes concentration almost impossible for the fact that they don’t have mental control of how their brain is functioning. Poor kiddos, no wonder they can’t “pay attention.”
A way to help these students have successful school days is to raise their dopamine levels. There are different ways that this can be achieved and possibly a combination of them also. The parents can provide prescription meds prescribed by the student's doctor or some natural sources like green tea, amino acids, fish oil, and ginseng. For the para’s, during school hours, exercise is our best bet when we can tell it’s time for a dopamine level to rise.
The Inattentive ADD (Kessler), is very similar to Classic but they typically don’t have the hyperactivity or impulsivity. Sometimes this kind is a little harder to determine right away and can easily be labeled as “lazy” or “not making effort.” I’ve read that it seems to be more prevalent in girls than in boys. Recommended treatment is the same as for classic. They also say that it’s best for this student to have a high protein and low-carbohydrate...