hey, this is one of my fave topics, working as i do with adhd teens (amongst other diagnoses), and also as i feel i have a medium dose of add in my
i dont have much time tonight, so i have not fully digested the thread but wanted to comment on my own experiences about what helps while i had a
as a bit of back ground, i work in steiner/waldorf ed at a specialist "last chance" college for age 16+ students with aspergers, add/adhd, ocd, odd,
edb and other acronyms, as well as those that have suffered abuse and neglect, we have a fairly wide range of abilities, but basicly we deal with mid
to high functioning, as long as our students can communicate reasonably well one way or another... i know this is in a way quite different to
mainstream ed, but regular schools could learn a lot from what we do and how we do it, and our advice and methods are increasingly sought out and
our basic curriculum revolves around an apprenticeship model with a focus on arts and crafts and land work, and is therapeutic in it's intent, many
students are residential with us as this allows a 24 hour curriculum and strong role modelling, as well as the availability of people who are not as
emotionally attatched (or drained!) as their families are. general daytime lessons included things from various glass crafts, blacksmithing. woodland
skills and management and a wide range of farming activites, interspersed with therapies, life skills, communication, literacy and vocation and
independence/self reliance oriented training.
one of the keys to our success is the ability to give a lot of time and attention to students (3 to a class! a luxury compared to schools, i know), as
well as strategy meetings and regular focuses on how to help individuals - we find that tailoring our communication and activities to each student's
needs pays massive dividends, as well as ensuring that our students understand why they are doing things and how it will pay off for them.
students have bursts of focussed activity with regular time outs (as neeed) as well as places they can go to cool off when they get tired/irate/hyper
etc, and plenty of people to mentor them, explain situations and allow them to sound off without annoying or aggravating each other too much
with the adhd students in particular, the physical activities and opportunities to make things with their hands and follow projects through that they
can be justifiably proud of draws them away from distraction and allows them to develop their ability to focus for longer and longer periods, as well
as facing the challenges of breaking/screwing up prohects and developing the will to keep going and try again without entering a rage everytime.. the
sense of purpose they develop as their skills grow is another key to continued development.
i fond that not paying to much attention to horseplay really helps too, let them get it out of their system as appropriately as possible while not
getting visibly annoyed, enjoying what makes them all unique and letting them feel valued..
i have kinda rambled a bit i know, but its a big subject and having spent a lot of time doing this it's impossible to get it in to one post, but i
guess more may come out as the thread develops
best of luck with what you do, i would be happy to provide a sounding board top bounce ideas off, or be ranted at when the pressure gets a bit much,
believe me, i know how hard it can be!
ETA: i agree on it's over diagnosis btw, sadly there seem to be quite a few lazy or uninformed dr's/social workers w/e out ther, and rather than
tackling bad parenting in it's many guises or the ills of society, out comes the add/adhd diagnosis
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many typos, so little time!
2nd ETA: i like what you said about dancing - some of our students benefit from a trip over the road to a park, to go on the swings, see-saws or just
walking along walls to engage their balance - and we could be talikin about 18 yr old "tough" teens - it pays real dividends on bringing them back to
focus and engagement
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