Ferrari Engines, Bicycle Brakes

23 Oct

Educational Leadership:Students Who Challenge Us:Ferrari Engines, Bicycle Brakes.

Click the link above for a powerful article about supporting children with ADHD in our schools.  The article was written by Edward Hallowell, a psychiatrist and writer diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia, in our schools.  He provides an important perspective about the power of a teacher and the vulnerability of some of our students and a series of classroom strategies teachers can use to help those often misunderstood learners.


Diagnosing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurobiological condition characterized by high levels of distractibility, impulsivity, and restlessness as compared to one’s peers. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies show small but measurable differences in brain size in several regions of the brain—the prefrontal cortex, the corpus callosum, the caudate nucleus, and the vermis of the cerebellum—that correlate with the symptoms observed in the condition.

A diagnosis of ADHD is based on the individual’s history, supplemented with teacher comments and neuropsychological testing. The symptoms must cause underachievement or some other form of impairment and be present in at least two settings—for example, home and school. The so-called “inattentive type” of ADHD, which is more common in girls than boys but can be present in either, is often missed because the child is not at all disruptive—indeed is often quiet and serene. However, he or she is underachieving because of inconsistent and frequently wandering attention.

ADHD is among the most heritable of all conditions in the behavioral sciences. If one parent has ADHD, the odds are about 1:3 that a given child will also have it. If both parents have it, the odds increase to 2:3.


2 Responses to “Ferrari Engines, Bicycle Brakes”

  1. Annie October 29, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

    Loved this article. If we truly are here for our students, then being in their corner will happen everyday.

  2. Mary Lou Donahoe October 23, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    Thank you, Drew for this posting. As a matter fact I just received this article from ASCD Smartbrief as well. How true his comment about the importance of our response to students’ behavior. I liked when the author points out learning can be scary for children as well, particularly when presented with a lot of information at once. His recommendation to break information in chunks to help students understand is one to seriously consider. Good article.

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