Sie sind auf Seite 1von 48

Running head: ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM

ADHD in the Classroom:


How Can Educators Better Support
Students with the Characteristics of ADHD?

Honors Project
Micaela Mara Young
St. Bonaventure University School of Education
4/19/16

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM



Abstract
This project is focused on researching classroom strategies that will help students with
characteristics of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) succeed in
classrooms. The information from this research was provided to St. Bonaventure
University teacher candidates, the School of Education faculty, current educators,
parents, and administrators in the form of an online resource and interactive workshop.

The goal of the workshop was to help participants have a greater impact on the success of
students with the characteristics of ADHD in the classroom. The teacher candidates at St.
Bonaventure University participated in a survey that indicated specific informational
needs regarding ADHD in the classroom. The literature used for this project includes
research-based strategies for teaching students with the characteristics of ADHD, and was
found in databased electronic academic journals and print texts.
Keywords: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), pre-service teachers,
professional development

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


Contents
Abstract ....................................................................................................................................... 2
Background ............................................................................................................................... 4
Definition ............................................................................................................................................. 4
History .................................................................................................................................................. 4
Incidence .............................................................................................................................................. 5
Characteristics ................................................................................................................................... 6
Causes ................................................................................................................................................... 7

Impact on Learning ................................................................................................................. 8


Academic learning. ......................................................................................................................................... 9
Learning mathematics. ........................................................................................................................................... 10
Learning language arts. .......................................................................................................................................... 10
Socio-emotional learning. ......................................................................................................................... 11
Effective Strategies ........................................................................................................................ 13
Academic strategies. ................................................................................................................................... 14
Strategies for mathematics. .................................................................................................................................. 14
Strategies for language arts. ................................................................................................................................. 15
Socio-emotional strategies. ...................................................................................................................... 16

Survey ....................................................................................................................................... 18
Survey Results ................................................................................................................................. 18
Discussion and Analysis of Survey Responses ..................................................................... 20

Workshop ADHD in the Classroom .............................................................................. 21


Results ................................................................................................................................................ 22

Conclusion ............................................................................................................................... 24
References .............................................................................................................................. 26
Appendix A .............................................................................................................................. 30
Appendix B .............................................................................................................................. 32
Appendix C .............................................................................................................................. 34
Appendix D ............................................................................................................................. 35
Appendix E .............................................................................................................................. 39
Appendix F .............................................................................................................................. 40
Appendix G .............................................................................................................................. 47
Appendix H ............................................................................................................................. 48

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM



Background
Definition
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a chronic mental health
disorder demonstrated by difficulty maintaining attention, as well as hyperactivity and
impulsive behavior (Mayo Clinic, 2013). According to the National Institute of Mental
Health, ADHD is a brain disorder that is common in childhood and can remain through
adolescence and adulthood (2012). There are currently no cures for the disorder.
However, there are many treatments available that can relieve the symptoms in order to

better allow people to be successful in school and in their careers (NIH, 2012). Although
this is a medical disorder, it is also an educational impairment. For the purpose of this
research, the focus will be on the academic and socio-emotional aspects of ADHD and
how they affect learning in the classroom. The characteristics of ADHD include
hyperactivity, impulsivity, and distractibility. People diagnosed with ADHD do not
necessarily embody all three characteristics, but can be more strongly affected by one or
two of the characteristics. Learning disabilities often contain comorbidity; therefore many
students with the characteristics of ADHD can also display the characteristics of other
learning disabilities that are not connected to ADHD itself. This research focuses on the
three characteristics of ADHD: hyperactivity, impulsivity, and distractibility.
History
The first diagnosis of a disorder that was similar to the modern definition of
ADHD was by a Scottish physician, Sir Alexander Crichton (1763-1856) in 1798 (Lange,
Reichl, Lange, Tucha,& Tucha, 2010). The idea that children grew out of their ADHD
symptoms was very popular until the 1990s; however, recent studies have shown that

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


approximately 50% of children retain the symptoms of ADHD into adulthood (Lange, et.
al., 2010). In 1845, Heinrich Hoffmann wrote childrens stories to explain the
consequences of improper behaviors (Smith & Tyler, 2010). Hoffmann wrote The Story
of Fidgety Philip, which is said to portray the symptoms of a child with ADHD, so that
students would understand how to behave properly rather than succumbing to the
symptoms (Smith & Tyler, 2010).
ADHD was not recognized as a disability until 1997. The Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 04 made ADHD a disability under the category of
other health impairments, which still does not give the disability its own category of
recognition (Smith & Tyler, 2010). Under IDEA 04, students with ADHD are not
automatically protected. They are not guaranteed eligibility to special education services,
are not in a specific category; however, they may be eligible for services under other
categories. Students may receive special education services if their symptoms require
specialized instruction (Smith & Tyler, 2010). Students are, however, protected under
section 504 of the Americans with Disabilities Act. If diagnosed with ADHD, the student
can be provided appropriate accommodations whether or not that student qualifies for
special education services under IDEA. Examples of services that could be provided
through a 504 plan include extra time on assessments and assignments, alternate locations
for assessment, access to counseling, or use of assistive technologies.
Incidence
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 9.5% of American
children ages 317 years old are diagnosed with ADHD (2012). It is important for
educators to understand ADHD because it accounts for high proportions of referrals to

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


school mental health professionals and is the most commonly diagnosed childhood
mental disorder (Schultz, Storer, Watabe, Sadler, & Evans, 2011).
Characteristics
The three major symptoms or characteristics of ADHD are inattention,
hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Inattention may include being easily distracted,
forgetfulness, having difficulties processing information accurately and quickly, and
struggling to follow directions (NIH, 2012). Hyperactivity may include fidgeting and
squirming, taking nonstop, having trouble sitting still, being constantly in motion, and
having difficulty performing quiet tasks or activities (NIH, 2012). Children who show
symptoms of impulsivity may be very impatient, blurt out inappropriate comments, speak
at inappropriate times, show emotions without restraint, act without regard to
consequences, have difficulty waiting for their turn, and often interrupt conversations or
activities (NIH, 2012).
These characteristics impact student learning as attention is crucial in the
movement of information from working memory to stored memory. Without focus on
instruction, students do not retain all of the information needed to succeed. These
behaviors also impact the learning behaviors of students, so it is imperative that educators
understand how to differentiate instruction to all of the students learning needs. It is
critical to realize that students do not need to be diagnosed with ADHD in order to
exhibit these behaviors and learning needs, so teachers must implement supports in the
classroom for all students with the characteristics of ADHD, diagnosed or not.
Children with the symptoms or characteristics of ADHD may be mistaken for
having other disorders since all children do not behave the same way, according to the

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


National Institute for Mental Health. Students who have the inattentive type of ADHD
may be looked over because they are less likely to act out, and students who have the
hyperactive or impulsive types of ADHD may be mistaken for a child who has poor
social skills due to disciplinary issues (NIH, 2012).
Causes
According to the National Institute for Mental Health, scientists are unsure of the
exact cause of ADHD, although many studies imply that genetics plays a big role. Like
many other illnesses, ADHD probably results from a combination of factors (NIH, 2012).
Studies of twins with ADHD demonstrate that ADHD often runs in families (NIH, 2012).
There may be some environmental factors that may play a role in people having ADHD.
Some studies have shown that there may be a potential link between smoking cigarettes
and consuming alcohol during pregnancy and ADHD (NIH, 2012). Only a small
percentage of children have had a traumatic brain injury; however, there is a theory that
some behaviors similar to those of ADHD may be shown in a child who has suffered a
brain injury (NIH, 2012). Two popular theories are that excess sugar and food additives
play a role in the symptoms of ADHD. According to the National Institute of Mental
Health, there is more research that disputes the theory that sugar causes ADHD or
worsens the symptoms than research that supports this relationship. There is currently no
research that supports the theory that food additives cause ADHD, although there are
some children with ADHD who are sensitive to food additives (NIH, 2012).
Research shows that school-based interventions, which are often recommended
for children with the characteristics of ADHD, have equal to or higher success rates than
clinic-based interventions (Schultz, Storer, Watabe, Sadler, & Evans, 2011). Research

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


also indicates that in the past two decades, changes to federal regulations have increased
the likelihood that school-based interventions are a part of the treatment regimen for
ADHD, even though the disorder does not necessarily entitle students to classroom
accommodations or special education (Schultz et. al., 2011, p. 1).

Impact on Learning
Studies regarding the outcome of ADHD found that a substantial proportion of
children with this disorder were recognized as having special educational needs and
required additional support in school including tutoring, remedial pull-out classes, afterschool programs, and special accommodations (Awan, Junejo, Jabeen, & Perveen, 2015,
p. 1). Children who show the characteristics of ADHD oftentimes have difficulty with
tasks that are associated with attention and executive functioning skills. Students who
face these difficulties often struggle both academically and behaviorally, or socioemotionally (DuPaul, Weyandt, & Janusis, 2011). Studies have shown that children who
show symptoms of psychiatric disorders, like ADHD, but do not meet all of the
diagnostic criteria for a specific disorder are equally compromised in terms of
psychosocial functioning as children with a diagnosis (Whlstedt, Thorell, & Bohlin,
2008). This shows that any student that displays the characteristics of ADHD, diagnosed
or not, may have learning difficulties due to the symptoms and may benefit from learning
strategies associated with ADHD (Whlstedt et. al., 2008).
Difficulties in school are prevalent for students with the characteristics of ADHD,
and these academic and behavioral issues begin early in a childs life (Awan et. al.,
2015). Behaviors associated with ADHD, such as inattention, impulsivity, and
hyperactivity, are noticeable in classrooms because school settings require children to

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


behave in ways that are at odds with the symptoms of the disorder (Anderson, Watt,
Noble, & Shanley, 2012, p. 1).
Teachers play a large role both academically and behaviorally with their students,
and especially students who have the characteristics of ADHD. Teachers observe the
childs functioning while he or she participates in task-oriented and social situations.
Those observations are used in classification and treatment decisions, as well as in
reporting symptoms to medical personnel and parents, speak with and advising parents to
seek assessment, and assisting students with the characteristics of ADHD in their
academic and social success in the classroom (Anderson et. al., 2012). Teachers also set
the tone for the classroom and promote rapport between the students. Their support is
imperative in the success of students.
Academic learning. Difficulties with academic learning play a large role in the
life of a child who shows the characteristics of ADHD. Students with ADHD are more
likely to have poorer grades, lower scores on standardized tests, greater likelihood of
identification for special education, and an increased use of school-based services,
compared to peers without the disorder (DePaul et. al., 2011, p. 2). These students also
have a higher absence rate, a three times higher chance to be retained during elementary
school, and have a higher risk for dropping out of high school than those students without
the characteristics of ADHD (DePaul et. al., 2011). Those students with ADHD who do
graduate from high school are less likely than their peers to pursue a post-secondary
education (DePaul et. al., 2011, p. 2).
According to studies, there are significantly lower scores on tests of reading,
mathematics, and written language for children with ADHD versus controls, but mixed

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


10

results for children with ADHD versus referred children without ADHD (McConaughy,
Volpe, Antshel, Gordon, & Eiraldi, 2011, p. 3). This shows that students with the
characteristics of ADHD have academic difficulties in both mathematics and the English
Language Arts.
Learning mathematics. Students who exhibit the characteristics of ADHD may
have difficulties with numerical processing and computing skills. It has been found that
students with ADHD symptoms are at a significantly higher risk to have difficulties in
mathematics compared to students who do not show the same symptoms (Czamara,
Tiesler, Kohlbck, Berdel, Hoffmann, Bauer & Heinrich, 2013). During timed
arithmetic word problem-solving and mental calculation tasks, it was found that the
students with ADHD demonstrated not only significantly lower problem-solving ability
and conceptual understanding, but they were also significantly slower on computation
(Colomer, Re, Miranda, & Lucangeli, 2013, p. 3). When observing students with the
characteristics of ADHD perform mathematic equations, research findings show less
mature math procedures involving finger counting; slower retrieval speed and greater
variability across grade levels; and reduced accuracy of calculations up to middle school,
especially regarding time on task and on multiplication facts and addition and subtraction
facts with negative numbers and borrowing (Colomer et. al., 2013, p. 3). The
characteristics of ADHD play a large role in the mathematical achievement of the
students who express those symptoms.
Learning language arts. Similar to the performance in mathematics, students
with the symptoms of ADHD have lower performance in reading and spelling. According
to research, children with ADHD symptoms showed a significantly higher risk for

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


11

reading/spelling difficulties (Czamara et. al., 2013, p. 3). Also, children who express the
characteristics of ADHD may be at risk for troubles with written expression (Reid &
Lienemann, 2006). It has been found that estimated rates of ADHD among children
with literacy difficulties vary between 10% and 50% (Rietz, Hasselhorn, & Labuhn,
2012, p. 2). Students with ADHD are likely to experience difficulties with all aspects
of the writing process; including problems with prerequisite skills, transcription and
spelling; using language to express thoughts or produce coherent narrative; planning and
organizing compositions; and using a deliberate, planful, and organized approach to
attack a task, which is a complex mental ability considered to be a component of
executive function (Lienemann & Reid, 2008, p. 2). Studies also show that students with
the characteristics of ADHD have poor handwriting skills, and perform significantly
below their nondisabled peers on letter formation, alignment, and neatness (Reid &
Lienemann, 2006, p. 2). One study found that the children with ADHD were
significantly below controls in terms of word complexity, written language, productivity,
and general writing ability, and from that study concluded that many children with
ADHD are limited in their composition skills, and are at a distinct disadvantage for
successfully mastering writing skills, which suggests that written expression is a
problem among children with ADHD (Reid & Lienemann, 2006, p. 2-3).
Socio-emotional learning. The characteristics of ADHD -- such as impulsivity,
hyperactivity, and inattention -- are prevalent in early-childhood age students due to their
level of development. However, it is possible that some students show high levels of
these characteristics. Those children who show high levels of these behaviors during the
preschool age not only tend to show continuing problems in this domain, but also

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


12

problems with other aspects of socio-emotional development, such as poor social


competence, conduct problems, internalizing problems and dysfunctional emotion
regulation (Whlstedt et. al., 2008, p. 2). It is important to guide children with the
characteristics of ADHD who have socio-emotional problems and behavioral challenges
at an early-childhood age, as it can affect their behavioral and socio-emotional
development in future years.
52%82% of children with the characteristics of ADHD have been reported to
have social difficulties by doctors, teachers, peers, and parents from as young as the
preschool years (Staikova, Gomes, Tartter, McCabe, & Halperin, 2013). Social
impairments associated with ADHD include, but are not limited to, positive and
negative peer ratings, parent and teacher ratings of childrens social competence and
social skills, number and quality of peer friendships, and measures of childrens selfcontrol and problem-solving skills (McConaughy et. al., 2011, p. 3). Children with the
characteristics of ADHD are rated lower on social preference, have fewer reciprocated
friendships, and are more often disliked by their peers, as soon as the first day or even
within 20 min of the social interaction (Staikova et. al., 2013, p. 1).
These social issues are associated with negative long-term outcomes including
substance abuse, school dropout, delinquency, academic problems, and higher rates of
psychopathology (Staikova et. al., 2013, p. 1). Rejection limits students chances to
practice social skills and worsens social problems in the future, even into adulthood with
frequent job loss and increased divorce rates in adults with ADHD (Staikova et. al.,
2013, p. 1). Impulsivity and inattention are two main causes of social skill deficits in
people with ADHD due to interrupting, changing the topic of conversation, or being

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


13

inattentive to the situation.


Effective Strategies
The characteristics of ADHD are often masked by the implementation of
interventions for students that include psychotropic medication and behavioral strategies
implemented in home and school settings (DePaul et. al., 2011, p. 2). However,
pharmacological treatment rarely is sufficient in addressing the multiple, chronic
difficulties faced by students with ADHD, though medication is often used to reduce the
symptoms of ADHD (DePaul et. al., 2011, p. 2). The strategies included in the remainder
of this paper are not associated with medication, but are classroom strategies that can be
used to assist any child who shows any characteristic of ADHD.
It is important for teachers to be involved directly with their students who display
the characteristics of ADHD. Teachers knowledge and attitudes regarding ADHD are
likely to influence their roles and the subsequent behavioral and learning outcomes for
children (Anderson et. al., 2012, p. 1). It has been suggested that teachers who lack
knowledge about ADHD may overlook behaviors signifying a child in need of assistance,
and their attitudes about ADHD may influence their selection of a teaching approach,
willingness to implement interventions, their chosen behavioral management strategies,
and classmates perception of the child with ADHD (Anderson et. al., 2012, p. 2).
Effective classroom interventions for students with the characteristics of ADHD include
modifications to academic instruction, changes in the classroom environment, behavioral
interventions, and communication between the parents and the school.
Self-regulation theories are also popular in assisting students with ADHD succeed
in the classroom both behaviorally and academically, and have demonstrated

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


14

effectiveness with children with ADHD (Lienemann & Reid, 2008, p. 13). These
strategies include the addition of self-regulation skills like self-instruction, selfreinforcement, goal setting, and self-monitoring, and these skills assist students with
ADHD as current conceptualizations of ADHD suggest that ADHD is the result of a
deficit in self-regulation (Lienemann & Reid, 2008, p. 12-13).
Academic strategies. Given the high rate of academic impairment, school-based
interventions for children with ADHD are studied and recommended as much or even
more than clinic-based interventions (Schultz et. al., 2011, p. 1). There are many
academic strategies to support students who experience the characteristics of ADHD.
Whether it is in the form of including movement, adding music, or using the sense of
touch, stimulation plays a key role in assisting students with ADHD in the classroom.
Students can participate in peer mentoring or tutoring in order to enhance task
engagement and test performance for all students, not just those with ADHD (DePaul et.
al., 2011, p. 4). Home-to-school communication systems can also benefit the student with
ADHD succeed academically, as it gives the parents and teacher an opportunity to
provide supports both at home and in the classroom (DePaul et. al., 2011). Collaboration
between the teacher and other school officials is also important in assisting students with
ADHD in the classroom and can improve academic achievement and functioning
outcomes at school (DePaul et. al., 2011).
Strategies for mathematics. Stimulation is the key word for assisting students
with the characteristics of ADHD in mathematics. The optimal stimulation theory,
developed by Sydney Zentall in 1975, suggests that levels of stimulation caused by the
environment have a direct influence on hyperactive behavior, and children with ADHD

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


15

have a high threshold for stimulation, which is why students with ADHD display
hyperactive behaviors to low levels of stimulation (Greenop & Kann, 2007). According
to this theory, children with ADHD show distracted behaviors because they are seeking
extra stimulation to accommodate for under-arousal from monotonous or uninteresting
tasks (Greenop & Kann, 2007). The optimal stimulation theory suggests the use of more
stimulating tasks paired with academic instruction will be more beneficial for students
with ADHD (Greenop & Kann, 2007).
Studies show that stimulation increases the academic achievement of students
with ADHD, specifically in mathematics. It has been found that participating in fine
motor activities before or during mathematics instruction increases math achievement of
students with ADHD, and students participated in fewer off-task behaviors throughout
the instruction (Kercood, Grskovic, Lee, & Emmert, 2007). Lee and Zentall found in their
studies that students with ADHD increased the number of mathematics problems
attempted and completed correctly when within-task visual stimulation was added, as
well as reduced the amount of off-task behaviors while completing the problems (2002).
Another study found that when musical stimulation was added to the classroom while
students were answering mathematics problems, students with ADHD had more correct
answers compared to the number correct without musical stimulation (Greenop & Kann,
2007).
Strategies for language arts. Students with the characteristics of ADHD can be
assisted in Language Arts classrooms through both self-regulation and stimulation
strategies. One study found that it took students with ADHD less time to complete the
tasks and had improved performance accuracy during both the intervention activities, and

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


16

were the effects of adding physical activities, gross motor (sitting on exercise ball) versus
fine motor (doodling), during listening comprehension task (Kercood & Banda, 2012).
This suggests that the use of the optimal stimulation theory can be successful across
multiple subject areas.
Studies show that self-regulation strategies can benefit the writing achievement of
students with ADHD. A study found that when students self-monitor academic
performance, specifically for writing, they were able to stay on-task and presented higher
levels of academic work (Lienemann & Reid, 2008). Students in this study also used goal
setting alongside self-monitoring in order to follow progress, recognize goal
achievement, and complete the tasks at hand (Lienemann & Reid, 2008). In a previous
study, Reid and Liennamann found that self-regulation strategies assisted students with
ADHD increasing the overall quality of their writing by decreasing variability in the
work created and increasing the length of the writing (2006). These studies show the
importance of implementing self-regulation strategies in the classroom in order to benefit
students who show the characteristics of ADHD.
Socio-emotional strategies. Many of the strategies that have been mentioned
above can be modified and used to assist students with the characteristics of ADHD
behave appropriately in the classroom. Self-regulation strategies are key in helping
students stay on-task academically and behaviorally. Self-management (or selfregulation) interventions encourage students with ADHD to monitor, evaluate, and/or
reinforce their own behaviors, often in conjunction with or following the successful
application of teacher-mediated behavioral approaches (DePaul et. al., 2011, p. 3).
Giving students with the characteristics of ADHD the skills to self-regulate their

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


17

behaviors will increase their socio-emotional skills. Some examples of self-regulation


techniques are setting and reaching goals, graphing progress, creating signals between the
teacher and the student, and creating intervention plans in conjunction with the student.
Positive reinforcement for behaviors can also help students with ADHD (Geng,
2011). In a study performed with students with ADHD, the teacher used both verbal and
nonverbal cues to help the students stay on task. Among the teachers negative
responses observed, ignoring and yelling were found not to produce any positive
responses from students at any time (Geng, 2011, p. 10). This study also found that
behavioral strategies must be tailored specifically to the student in order for the strategy
to be fully effective (Geng, 2011).
Social learning theory can be used with students who express the characteristics
of ADHD in order to expose them to role models who display an interest in academic
achievement, appropriate behavior, and motivation in the classroom (Zambo, 2006, p.
4). A strategy that can assist students with ADHD meet behavioral goals and learn
through Social learning theory is to use well-chosen picture books in read-aloud sessions
adapted specifically for students with ADHD (Zambo, 2006, p. 5). Reading these books
can give students behavioral and social cues without zeroing out the student specifically.
For example, the book David Goes to School by David Shannon (1999) can be used to
help students with ADHD vicariously experience the rewards and consequences of
displaying certain behaviors at school (Zambo, 2006, p. 7). The most important strategy
that can assist students with ADHD in the classroom is fostering a positive learning
environment, creating open communication between the teacher and student, and a
having teacher that advocates for the students needs (Anderson et. al, 2012).

18

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM



Survey
A needs-assessment was conducted by surveying current St. Bonaventure

University education students about their knowledge of the characteristics of ADHD and
questions they have about it. The survey included questions about specific aspects of
ADHD. It also included questions about what they already knew about ADHD and
classroom strategies, and what information they were interested in learning. The survey
was sent electronically to about 300 graduate and undergraduate candidates enrolled in
teacher education programs at St. Bonaventure University. The data collected from this
survey provided a guideline of what should be included in the on-campus workshop
regarding classroom strategies for ADHD characteristics. The survey was IRB approved
prior to the study. See Appendix A for the survey questions, Appendix B for the consent
form, Appendix C for the debriefing form, and Appendix D for survey questions as seen
by the participant.
Survey Results
The survey resulted in 50 responses for a response rate of 13%. Not every
question from the survey was answered in the submitted responses. Of the respondents,
55% (26) of the participants are elementary education majors, 26% (12) participants are
enrolled in the literacy graduate program, and 19% (9) participants are enrolled in the
differentiated instruction graduate program. There were no responses from teacher
candidates enrolled in the physical education undergraduate program or the adolescent
education graduate program.
Of the participants, 17% (8) are set to graduate from their program in 2015, 43%
(20) in 2016, 20% (9) in 2017, and 20% (9) in 2018. The participants are working toward

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


19

certification is several different areas of education, including 57% (26) in childhood


education (grades 1-6), 59% (27) in early childhood education (birth grade 2), 57% (26)
in childhood students with disabilities (grades 1-6), 24% (11) in early childhood students
with disabilities (birth grade 2), 13% (6) in generalist students with disabilities (grades
7-12), 22% (10) in childhood literacy, 9% (4) in adolescent education, and 15% (7) in a
gifted education extension (kindergarten grade 12). 17 participants already hold teacher
certification, and one more has certification in business and marketing.
Participants were asked to define ADHD in an open-ended question, and
responded in a text box. Many participants responded using key words including,
hyperactivity, impulsivity, and poor attention. A few other responses stated the
words of the acronym (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Others stated that
students with ADHD have difficulties concentrating, are unable to control their
behavior, and are full of energy. Although these last statements may sometimes be the
case in specific children, it may not be true for all cases of ADHD.
Participants in the survey were asked to list the characteristics of ADHD. The
three most typical characteristics of hyperactivity, impulsivity, and poor attention were
included. Some other examples of characteristics given were inability to meet ageappropriate expectations for attention span, poor grades, behavioral
problems/issues, day-dreamer, both disorganized and organized, slow learners,
low ability, not easy to communicate, and lack of eye contact.
On a scale of 1-5 the mean of 38 responses regarding preparedness to work with
students with ADHD in the area of classroom management was 3.71, in the area of
academics was 3.47, in the area of social skills was 3.84, in the area of behavioral

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


20

instruction was 3.50, and in terms of communicating with parents and families was a
mean of 3.82. This shows that there is room for improvement when it comes to the
preparation of teacher candidates in the subject of ADHD.
Of the 19 total responses, on a scale of 1-5, the mean interest in participating in a
workshop that focuses on classroom strategies to help students who exhibit the
characteristics of ADHD succeed was 4.43. This is a relatively high number; however,
there were only a few responses to this question.
Discussion and Analysis of Survey Responses
Based on the data received from this survey and the questions about ADHD in the
classroom that the participants listed at the end of the survey, it was determined that the
workshop should include information regarding how to provide supports for students
with the characteristics in the classroom in order to help them succeed, as well as to
provide students with their own techniques for personal success. Some specific questions
that guided the planning are, How can I keep students engaged throughout a lesson?,
How can I help students overcome the symptoms and limitations of ADHD?, and
How can I effectively manage a classroom with students who display the characteristics
of ADHD? The answers to these questions were included in the information provided
during the workshop, and were answered using the research above. Several of these
characteristics listed in the first response are not associated with ADHD in general, but
could be found in specific cases of ADHD. These misconceptions will be included in the
workshop in order to discuss the importance of not categorizing the characteristics of
ADHD, with other non-associated labels.

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


21

Although questions from participants included information about medication, I


did not go into depth on this topic, but did mention some treatments the workshop,
including stimulants, non-stimulants, antidepressants, and blood pressure medicines
(Quinn, 2014). I shared some examples of these treatments and the side effects that are
linked to specific treatments in the workshop; however, I did not include that information
in the research, as this project is specifically geared towards the characteristics of ADHD
and not the diagnosis and treatment. I emphasized in the presentation that the purpose of
this workshop is to help teachers be successful for all students. Not all students with
ADHD are diagnosed or treated medically, and not all students who display the
characteristics of ADHD (hyperactivity, impulsivity, and distraction) have been or could
be diagnosed with ADHD. The workshop provided information to teacher candidates
regarding effective strategies to use in the classroom to support all learners; especially
those who display any of the characteristics associated with ADHD. The workshop
defined those characteristics specifically as hyperactivity, impulsivity, and distractedness
or poor attention.

Workshop ADHD in the Classroom


The workshop was held on Monday, January 25, 2015 at 5:00 PM in the St.
Bonaventure University Doyle Trustee Room. The workshop was based on the research
above and the information gathered from the survey. Teacher candidates at St.
Bonaventure University were invited to attend this free workshop that help to prepare
them to work with students who have the characteristics of ADHD when they are
working in the field. Attendees brought their laptops or tablets, and a pair of head phones
to participate in the workshop. This professional development opportunity culminated

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


22

with a certificate of completion, and participants were given these certificates for their
professional portfolios. The workshop outline can be found in Appendix E, and the slides
from the presentation can be found in Appendix F.
Results
The workshop was a success. There were 27 attendees at the event. Attendees
included undergraduate education majors, current teachers, current administrators,
professors both within and outside of the School of Education, retired teachers, and
parents of children with ADHD. The workshop lasted about 1.5 hours.
The participants showed some increase of knowledge on the first seven multiplechoice questions on the quiz based on the average percentage. These questions include
information regarding the common misconceptions found in the original survey sent out
to St. Bonaventure University teacher candidates. When comparing the results of the preand post- assessments, they demonstrate that the scores increased for four out of seven
questions, remained the same for two out of seven questions, and decreased for one
question of seven. The assessment questions can be found in Appendix G and the results
of the assessments can be found in Appendix F, Tables 1 and 2.
The results of the pre- and post-assessments demonstrated an increase of scores
by about 1 point on a 4-point scale on the self-assessment portion of the quiz. On
questions 8-10, the attendees rated themselves 1-5 on their comfort level with ADHD in
the area of classroom management, academics, and communication with families.
According to the results of the assessment, the average attendee experienced an increase
in comfort level with the characteristics of ADHD and educational strategies from the

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


23

beginning to end of the workshop. These results can be found in Appendix F, Tables 3
and 4.
According to the workshop evaluation forms, most attendees agreed or
strongly agreed with the statements presented to them.
1) The workshop was useful for me as a teacher/educator.
2) The workshop confirmed my prior knowledge of educational strategies for the
characteristics of ADHD.
3) The workshop increased my understanding of educational strategies for the
characteristics of ADHD.
There was one attendee that selected neutral for the third statement listed above. Two
attendees selected strongly disagree for the statements listed; however, they included
positive statements on the bottom of the paper. I spoke to one of the attendees that did so,
and she responded that it was a mistake, and that she meant to circle strongly agree on
the form. It may have been that the other attendee made a similar mistake.
On the bottom of the workshop evaluation form, there was an open-ended
question that asked, What were some of the strengths of the presentation? Some of the
responses to that question include:

Passionate presenter. Validate all suggestions.

Excellent overview of research. Good at giving specific ideas.

Great job very in depth and useful information. Should be part of a


required course.

Well organized. Nice integration of technology. Interactive. Solid


feedback.

24

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


New information. Ideas I can use in my classroom practical.

I liked the hands-on exercises, breakdown of ADHD traits, and


discussion of specific tactics to address with students.

Overall, the workshop was a success. All of the materials and resources are
available to the attendees and others online, on my website, www.readysetfocusadhd.weebly.com. This website will also include this research paper to provide educators
with the specific research used throughout the presentation and workshop. It also includes
suggested texts for educators, the presentation from the workshop, and a place to include
any further questions they may have regarding the topic.

Conclusion
The idea for this project developed because I am a student and educator with
ADHD, and I know first-hand the importance of educational supports for students with
the characteristics of ADHD. I have also experienced the need for supports in many of
the classrooms that I have worked in throughout my time as a teacher candidate at St.
Bonaventure University. My goal with this project was to develop a resource that
educators, teacher candidates, parents, and the SBU campus community could use to
increase their knowledge and awareness of the characteristics of ADHD, and identify
strategies that can me implemented to assist children with these characteristics in the
classroom.
As a result of the professional development workshop held on campus, I was
provided the opportunity to present my research at an elementary teachers faculty
meeting at Panama Central School. The principal of the elementary school, Mrs. Fran
Frey, attended my workshop held on campus and asked me to present to her faculty. The

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


25

teachers who spoke to me after the event expressed gratitude for presenting important
information regarding the characteristics of ADHD in the classroom. Teachers also
expressed that they enjoyed the hands-on activity, the ADHD simulator developed by
PBS.
In the future, I hope to continue presenting my professional development
workshop, ADHD in the Classroom: Educational Strategies for Students with the
Characteristics of ADHD, for school districts and for the St. Bonaventure University
campus community. The information from this project can be used in the future help
prepare teacher candidates within the School of Education to assist students with the
characteristics of ADHD in the classroom.
This research has helped me become an educator who is more aware of my
students needs, and has provided me with several strategies that I will implement in my
own classroom. It has also helped me grow as a person who lives with ADHD, and
provided me strategies to help me in my own career and personal life. I hope that the
information shared within this project will make a difference in the lives of students who
display the characteristics of ADHD, and provide them with an opportunity to succeed
academically, behaviorally, and socio-emotionally in and outside of the classroom.

26

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM



References
Anderson, D. L., Watt, S. E., Noble, W., & Shanley, D. C. (2012). Knowledge of
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and attitudes toward teaching
children with ADHD: The role of teaching experience. Psychology In The
Schools, 49(6), 511-525. doi:10.1002/pits.21617
Awan, I., Junejo, J., Jabeen, S., & Perveen, A. (2015). Children Attention Deficit
Hyperactivity Disorder; Functional Impairment in the Domain of School and

Learning Among School Going Age. Professional Medical Journal, 22(4), 490494.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2013, December). Summary Health
Statistics for U.S. Children: National Health Interview Survey, 2012.
www.cdc.gov. Retrieved October 18, 2014, from
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_10/sr10_258.pdf
Colomer, C., Re, A. M., Miranda, A., & Lucangeli, D. (2013). Numerical and Calculation
Abilities in Children with ADHD. Learning Disabilities -- A Contemporary
Journal, 11(2), 1-15.
Czamara, D., Tiesler, C. T., Kohlbck, G., Berdel, D., Hoffmann, B., Bauer, C., & ...
Heinrich, J. (2013). Children with ADHD Symptoms Have a Higher Risk for
Reading, Spelling and Math Difficulties in the GINIplus and LISAplus Cohort
Studies. Plos ONE, 8(5), 1-7. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0063859
DuPaul, G. J., Weyandt, L. L., & Janusis, G. M. (2011). ADHD in the Classroom:
Effective Intervention Strategies. Theory Into Practice, 50(1), 35-42.
doi:10.1080/00405841.2011.534935

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


27

Geng, G. (2011). Investigation of Teachers' Verbal and Non-Verbal Strategies for


Managing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Students'
Behaviours within a Classroom Environment. Australian Journal Of Teacher
Education, 36(7), 17-30.
Greenop, K., & Kann, L. (2007). Extra-task stimulation on mathematics performance in
children with and without ADHD. South African Journal Of Psychology, 37(2),
330-344.
Kercood, S., & Banda, D. R. (2012). The Effects of Added Physical Activity on
Performance during a Listening Comprehension Task for Students with and
without Attention Problems. International Journal Of Applied Educational
Studies, 13(1), 19-32.
Kercood, S., Grskovic, J., Lee, D., & Emmert, S. (2007). The effects of fine motor
movement and tactile stimulation on the math problem solving of students with
attention problems. Journal Of Behavioral Education, 16(4), 303-310.
doi:10.1007/s10864-007-9042-1
Lange, K., Reichl, S., Lange, K., Tucha, L., & Tucha, O. (2010, November 30). The
history of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Retrieved July 13, 2015, from
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3000907/
Lee, David L., & Zentall, S. S. (2002). The effects of visual stimulation on the
mathematics performance of children with attention deficit disorder/hyperactivity
disorder. Behavioral Disorders, 27(3), 272. Retrieved from
http://search.proquest.com/docview/219674861?accountid=45220.

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


28

Lienemann, T. O., & Reid, R. (2008). Using Self-Regulated Strategy Development to


Improve Expository Writing With Students With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
Disorder. Exceptional Children, 74(4), 471-486.
Mayo Clinic. (2013, March 5). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in
children. Retrieved July 13, 2015, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseasesconditions/adhd/basics/definition/con-20023647
McConaughy, S. H., Volpe, R. J., Antshel, K. M., Gordon, M., & Eiraldi, R. B. (2011).
Academic and Social Impairments of Elementary School Children With Attention
Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. School Psychology Review, 40(2), 200-225.
National Institutes of Health (NIH). (2012). Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Retrieved July 13, 2015, from
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/attention-deficit-hyperactivitydisorder/index.shtml
Quinn, M.D., P. (2014, May 10). ADHD Medication Chart: Compare Drugs for ADD and
ADHD. Retrieved December 7, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/addadhd/guide/adhd-medication-chart
Reid, R., & Lienemann, T. O. (2006). Self-Regulated Strategy Development for Written
Expression with Students with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.
Exceptional Children, 73(1), 53.
Rietz, C. S., Hasselhorn, M., & Labuhn, A. S. (2012). Are externalizing and internalizing
difficulties of young children with spelling impairment related to their ADHD
symptoms?. Dyslexia: An International Journal Of Research And Practice, 18(3),
174-185. doi:10.1002/dys.1442

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


29

Schultz, B. K., Storer, J., Watabe, Y., Sadler, J., & Evans, S. W. (2011). School-based
treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Psychology in the Schools,
48(3), 254-262.
Smith, D. D., & Tyler, N. C. (2010). Attention deficit hyperactive disorder. In
Introduction to special education: Making a difference (Seventh ed. pp. 196-223).
Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.
Staikova, E., Gomes, H., Tartter, V., McCabe, A., & Halperin, J. M. (2013). Pragmatic
Deficits and Social Impairment in Children with ADHD. Journal Of Child
Psychology And Psychiatry, 54(12), 1275-1283.
Whlstedt, C., Thorell, L. B., & Bohlin, G. (2008). ADHD Symptoms and Executive
Function Impairment: Early Predictors of Later Behavioral Problems.
Developmental Neuropsychology, 33(2), 160-178.
doi:10.1080/87565640701884253
WGBH Educational Foundation. (2002). Misunderstood Minds: Attention. Retrieved
December 7, 2015, from
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/misunderstoodminds/attention.html
Zambo, D. M. (2006). Learning from Picture Book Characters in Readaloud Sessions for
Students with ADHD. TEACHING Exceptional Children Plus, 2(4).

30

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM



Appendix A
Survey Questions
The questions provided in the survey were as follows:
1) Consent Statement The Consent Form will be provided to the survey
participant at the beginning of the survey. If the participant selects I
agree, the survey will begin. If the participant clicks I disagree, the
survey will end immediately. (Attached in Appendix B.)

2) Which program are you currently enrolled in within the St. Bonaventure
School of Education?
3) Which year are you set to graduate from your current program?
4) What certifications are you seeking within your program?
5) If applicable, which certifications do you already hold?
6) How many years have you been employed as a teacher?
7) How do you define ADHD?
8) List as many characteristics associated with ADHD as you can.
9) On a scale of 1-5 (5=strong), how prepared do you feel you are to work
with students who display characteristics of ADHD
a. in the area of classroom management
b. in the area of academics
c. in terms of communicating with their families
10) On a scale of 1-5 (5=strong), how interested would you be in participating
in a workshop that would focus on classroom strategies to help students
who exhibit the characteristics of ADHD succeed?
11) What would you be interested in learning more about regarding ADHD?

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


31

12) Debriefing Question The Debriefing Statement will be shown to the


survey participant at the completion of the survey. (Attached in Appendix
C.)

32

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


Appendix B
Consent Form
ADHD in the Classroom: How Can Educators Better Support Students with ADHD?
The purpose of this form is to provide you, as a potential participant, information to
help you decide whether or not to participate in this research and to record the
consent of those who agree to participate in the study.
This study is being conducted by Micaela Young of St. Bonaventure University. Her
research adviser is Dr. Nancy Casey.
We are interested in conducting a needs-based assessment of your knowledge of the
characteristics of ADHD and strategies to support children who exhibit these
characteristics. The final product of this project will be a workshop and an online
resource. The data collected from this survey will provide a guideline of what should be
included in the workshop.
Participating in this research will involve responding to a short survey with questions
about your experience with and understanding of the characteristics of ADHD and
classroom strategies geared toward students with those characteristics. It is anticipated
that most participants will take approximately 10 minutes to complete the survey.
There are no perceived risks for you as a result of your participation.
A research participant may benefit from participating in this research project by
expressing their own knowledge of the characteristics ADHD and classroom strategies
for students who exhibit those characteristics, and therefore tailoring a workshop to the
research participants specific needs.
Participation in this research is voluntary therefore you may choose not to participate or
withdraw from the research at any time once you have begun the survey. There is no
penalty for not participating in this research or withdrawing from participation.
There is no compensation for participating in this research.
Participants are not asked to include their names or other means of identification on any
forms. Therefore your responses are anonymous and the responses you provide are
confidential. Consent forms and data will be in a secure online environment and will be
kept for a period of 3 years and then deleted.

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


33

If you have any questions regarding this research please contact Micaela Young at
youngmm12@bonavenutre.edu or her faculty adviser, Dr. Nancy Casey at
ncasey@sbu.edu or 716-375-2141.
If you have any questions regarding your rights as a research participant please contact
St. Bonaventure Universitys Ombudsman Mr. Gary Ostrower at 716-375-2553; if there
is no answer, please call 607-871-2999 or you may email Mr. Ostrower at
GOstrower@sbu.edu.
Participant Statement: This form explains the nature, demands, benefits and any risks
associated with this research. I am at least 18 years of age, have read the informed
consent form, had all my questions answered to my satisfaction and I voluntarily
agree to participate in this research study.
By continuing with this survey, you consent to participation in the study.

34

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM



Appendix C
Debriefing Form

Study Title: ADHD in the Classroom: How Can Educators Better Support Students with
ADHD?
Principal Investigator: Micaela Young
Advisor: Dr. Nancy Casey
Sponsor: St. Bonaventure University Honors Department
Thank you for participating in this study. This form describes the background and
purpose of this investigation in more detail. This is an ongoing project so please do not
share this information with others who may participate in the future.
This research will be used for Micaela Youngs honors project. This project consists of
qualitative research about the characteristics of ADHD and strategies to support children
who exhibit these characteristics. The final product of this project will be a workshop and
online resource. The data collected from this survey will provide me with a guideline of
what should be included in the workshop.
If you have any additional questions about the study or if you would like to receive a
copy of the results from this study when they become available, please contact Micaela
Young at youngmm12@bonaventure.edu or her faculty adviser, Dr. Nancy Casey at
ncasey@sbu.edu or 716-375-2141.
If you have any questions regarding your rights as a research participant please contact
St. Bonaventure Universitys Ombudsman Mr. Gary Ostrower at 716-375-2553; if there
is no answer, please call 607-871-2999 or you may email Mr. Ostrower at
GOstrower@sbu.edu.
There are resources on campus that can help if any of these questions raised issues that
you want discuss with a mental health professional. SBU Counseling Services, located in
Doyle Hall, can be reached at 716-375-2310. Counseling services are available upon
appointment from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM, Monday through Friday, and 5 to 8:30 on
Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
If you wish to speak to someone off campus, please contact your primary physician for a
recommendation.
We appreciate that you took the time to participate in this study. You are invited to attend
a workshop during the Fall 2015 semester to see the results of this research. You will
receive information regarding the ADHD workshop early in the fall semester.
Thank you again for your participation!

35

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM



Appendix D
Screen-shots of Survey

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


36

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


37

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


38

39

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM



Appendix E
Workshop Outline
1) Open with mini quiz on socrative.com that will include some of the

misconceptions mentioned in the Qualtrics survey, as well as question number


9 a-c from the Qualtrics survey.
2) Provide students with the link to the PBS ADHD simulator:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/misunderstoodminds/attention.html. Have attendees
do the visual simulator and the auditory simulator, then short discussion.
3) PowerPoint about ADHD and the characteristics associated with it.
Demonstrates information and strategies that are included in the research
above for Math and ELA, and socio-emotional learning. (Handout for
attendees to follow along and keep information.)
4) Pass out situation cards attendees work in pairs to come up with strategies
for the students in the situations
5) Introduce online resource provide attendees short time to explore websites,
and allow short time to share
6) Same quiz from the beginning of the workshop to show growth
7) Open the floor for questions
8) Present certificates of completion
9) Pass out exit survey about the workshop

40

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM



Appendix F
Slides from Workshop PowerPoint Presentation

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


41

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


42

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


43

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


44

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


45

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM


46

47

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM



Appendix G
Quiz from Workshop

Name: __________________________________________ Date: _______________
Quiz name: ADHD In the Classroom
1. What are the characteristics of ADHD? (Select all that apply.)
A Hyperactivity
B Impulsivity
C Distractibility
D Inability to Control Behavior
E Slow learning

2. ADHD is a chronic mental health disorder demonstrated by difficulty maintaining attention, as well as
hyperactivity and impulsive behavior.
A True
B False
3. Students with ADHD are not automatically protected under IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act) 2004.
A True
B False
4. Which of the following are classroom strategies to use with students who display the characteristics of
ADHD? (Select all that apply.)
A Self-management/Self-regulation
B Positive reinforcement
C Physical, musical, and visual stimulation during learning
D Social Learning Theory (Exposing students to role models who display an interest in academic
achievement, appropriate behavior, and motivation for learning)
E Sending the student to the hall
5. Teachers are responsible for diagnosing students with ADHD.
A True
B False
6. Students must be diagnosed with ADHD in order to display the characteristics?
A True
B False
7. Supports for students with ADHD will only benefit the students who display the characteristics.
A True
B False
8.On a scale of 1-5 (5=strong), how prepared do you feel you are to work with students who display
characteristics of ADHD in the area of classroom management?
9.On a scale of 1-5 (5=strong), how prepared do you feel you are to work with students who display
characteristics of ADHD in the area of academics?
10.On a scale of 1-5 (5=strong), how prepared do you feel you are to work with students who display
characteristics of ADHD in terms of communicating with their families?

48

ADHD IN THE CLASSROOM



Appendix H
Table 1:
Percentage Correct
Q1
Q2
Q3
Q4
Q5
Q6
Q7

Pre
63%
89%
74%
100%
96%
100%
96%

Post
96%
100%
79%
96%
100%
100%
96%

Table 2:

Difference in Results Between the Pre- and


Post- Assessments (Questions 1-7)
120%
100%
80%

Pre

60%

Post

40%
20%
0%
Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q5

Q6

Q7

Table 3:
Areas
Class Management
Academics
Communication with Families

Pre3.48
3.44
3.33

Post4.39
4.33
4.45

Difference
0.91
0.89
1.12

Table 4:

Difference in Results Between the Pre- and


Post- Assessments (Questions 8-10)
6
4

Pre

Post

0
Class Management

Academics

Communication with Families