I just finished reading Classroom Success for the LD and ADHD Child by Suzanne Stevens. While this book was published in 1997, any teacher or parent of students with LD/ADHD could greatly benefit from reading this book. Stevens gives suggestions for teaching these students as well as examples of students to help better understand what it is like to live with LD/ADHD. One of my favorite parts of the book is at the end when she is discussing how we can look at students with learning disabilities as "disabled" or as "right-brain thinkers." She argues that schools expect these students to conform to left brain teaching and when they can not, we label them as disabled. I took away many strategies and ideas that I hope will help me teach more to the right brain thinker than see these students as a child with a disability.
Here are my major takeaways from Classroom Success for the LD and ADHD Child
-There are many ways to recognize the LD/ADHD such as noticing a poor concept of time, ability to observe their surrounding through a wide-angle lens and poor organization skills.
-LD/ADHD children often are unmotivated because teachers give up on ways to help them succeed. Teaching the LD/ADHD can take a lot of planning and work to design a classroom that works for them but when modifying correctly these students will want to learn.
-Lecturing does no good. These students have heard scolding from so many people around them that they will just learn to tune you out. The fewer words the better.
-When students see the teacher constantly scolding the LD/ADHD, they will start treating him the same way. View these students as vital participants of your classroom and their peers will do the same.
-These students usually will struggle with writing throughout their lifetime. Don't have them copy everything from the board. Provide alternates to writing assignments such as typing or saying their responses into a tape recorder. Accept illustrations or demonstrations instead of content area essays.
-Get rid of the idea that all students should be treated equally. LD/ADHD will not succeed if they are given the same expectations as all other students. Accept alternate assignments for grading, give work with few problems than others, whatever it takes to set these students up for success.
-Homework for LD/ADHD should be limited to what you know they are able to work on independently. Only assign around 10 minutes of homework per subject so that students do not become overly frustrated.
-Understand that LD/ADHD students are "right brain thinkers" and need plenty of opportunities to show their strengths in spatial skills.
Click the picture of the book below to take you to amazon where you can purchase it. I would put this at the top of my list for PD books for working with students with special needs.