I have found this most fabulous site. The Coffee Klatch is a remarkable site that interviews many top notch professionals who work in the fields of Aspergers, OCD, ADHD and many other disorders.
This afternoon, I listened to The Coffee Klatch. I heard the interview with Dr. Steve Kurtz. “Steven Kurtz, PhD, ABPP, is one of the nation’s leading clinicians in the treatment of children’s behavioral problems and disorders, particularly attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the social anxiety disorder selective mutism (SM)”
Here is a brief summary of the interview. I have a link below to click to listen to the entire interview.
What causes ADHD? ADHD is difficulty with attention, materials, staying on task. In addition, ADHD also includes, Difficulty with impulsivity not able to sit in seat. There are two categories: inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. There are differences. As a teacher and a parent, it is important understand that the child with ADHD is painfully uncomfortable sitting still. Dr. Kurtz compares a child having ADHD to wearing a straight jacket. It is uncomfortable, frustrating and painful to wear. Because ADHD causes a child to stand out, this affects the child’s self esteem. The children tend to have low self-esteem.
How do children get ADHD? According to Dr. Kurtz, ADHD is about 77% genetic. Most of the time it is passed through the genes of the parent. Other factors that can cause ADHD include, low-birth weight, and exposure to alcohol, nicotine or drugs.
Students with ADHD have low executive functioning. A recent intervention “Cog med”, http://www.cogmed.com/, is a new computer assisted program. “Cogmed” is about training your working Memory. The idea of “Cogmed”, computer assisted program, is that it retrains the brain. It is targeted for students about age 8 and up. The primary intervention is still using medication. The children who improved in executive functions had a combination of psycho-pharmacology and CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), and medications have made the most growth.
In regards to CBT, it is different from play therapy. In the interview, Dr. Kurtz discusses that CBT is about providing the “parents and teachers skills to prompt, monitor and reinforce appropriate behavior, they do significantly better.” It is important for the teacher and parent to know the behavior they are targeting. It is important to reward for the appropriate behavior in order to support the child. Dr. Kurtz said, “The child needs the adult to point out the behavior.” With older children, CBT works a little differently. According to Dr. Kurtz, the teens are taught how to be there own monitors. They teach the teen “how to organizer their world”. Basically, teaching the young adults to advocate for themselves.
As a teacher, I loved the idea about recognizing the ADHD student at least three times for something that child did well before I have that child change his/her clip (a very common behavior plan in many classrooms) for making a bad choice. This is forcing the teacher to recognize that child for making good choices. According to the interview, when teachers have the behavior plan and certain children change their clips for bad behavior, we, the teacher, are stigmatizing the child. I had never thought of it in this way.
Click here and listen to the entire interview.