ADHD is characterized by poor attention spans, being fidgety and restless, heightened variability of task performance, impulsiveness, distinctly observable hyperactivity and inability to exhibit compliance with rule-governed behavior. Such children are easily identifiable and the usual reporting party is either the parents or the teachers’ at the primary level of education of such children (Shapiro et al, 1998). Unless special strategies and instructional adaptations are made for such children at the right stages of their life, they run the risk of being school dropouts and slipping into an abyss of psychological disorders in their adult life.
The primary focus of a teacher should therefore be to be well equipped to identify behaviors associated with ADHD in the classroom environment. The classroom has been adjudged as the best environment where such students’ can be recognized (Lauth et al, 2006). Ready availability of children for developmental comparisons in the classroom and special demands placed on them for attention, learning and self-control elucidate the differences between them, if any (Lauth, 2006). Multiple criteria for diagnosis of such children are described in the American Psychiatrist Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual and a well trained and informed teacher is the best candidate to identify such children due to the close proximity, consistent contact and direct observation/evaluation of task handling abilities by them (Lauth et al, 2006). The primary observational markers identified as representative of a child afflicted with ADHD include negative vocalizations, general level of activity, gross motor movements and inappropriate attention seeking behavior (Lauth et al, 2006). ...
The primary observational markers identified as representative of a child afflicted with ADHD include negative vocalizations, general level of activity, gross motor movements and inappropriate attention seeking behavior (Lauth et al, 2006). However opinion is not consistent regarding this as a teacher's individual psyche and bias might influence their observational capabilities. Munich Observation of Attention Inventory (MAI) is a recognized method for identifying children with ADHD and correlates well with teacher’s observational interpretation and reporting of the disorder (Lauth et al, 2006). Training for identification of students’ with ADHD might be inherent or imparted to the teachers, but the problem gets compounded in a school or classroom environment where children from diverse social, economic and ethnic backgrounds study together. The teacher’s observational diagnostic capabilities are likely to suffer in such situations. It has been observed that students’ already receiving special educational services due to their demographic characteristics might be more difficult to diagnose for ADHD (Schnoes et al, 2006). A national survey conducted by the authors’ suggested that students of minority ethnic representations within the United States were likely to be under diagnosed for the malady as compared to the majority Caucasian population of students’ in such schools resulting in disproportionate representation (Schnoes et al, 2006). Treatment approaches for ADHD include behavioral interventions, classroom modifications and pharmacotherapy (Schnoes et al, 2006). Classroom interventions necessary for handling children with ADHD include strategic seating, modified