Part Two: Inattentive ADD Classroom Strategy Differences

Part Two: Inattentive ADD Classroom Strategy Differences

This is the third in a series of post that I am writing about the differences between Inattentive ADD and the more common type of ADHD, combined type ADHD (ADHD-C). In the last post I started to outline how classroom interventions for Inattentive ADD are different. This is part two of that post.

You remember that in the last post we described how positive statements by a teacher that were specific to the child with Inattentive ADD made a huge difference in "on task" time in the classroom.  In the last post I promised that I would explain why psychologists believe this matters.  There are several reasons why a teacher's positive attention might make all the difference in the success of an inattentive student.  The two most likely reasons that this type of teacher interaction helps is that we all perform better and more consistently when we:

1. Perceive ourselves to be part of a group.

People with Inattentive ADD in a classroom can socially distant themselves from the teacher and the rest of the students. Kids with Inattentive ADD can be introverted as well and this type of simple positive teacher attention can bring kids with ADHD-I into the social group. Studies have shown that a phenomena known as social facilitation or the act of being part of a group increases our arousal levels, improves the accuracy of tasks performed and also improves the speed of task performed.

2. Think we are being watched.

Psychologists have demonstrated that being observed changes our behavior for the better. Thomas Jefferson knew this. He is quoted as having said, “Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.” An interesting study found that even a big poster with pair of eyes improved peoples behavior. Being watched is known to put us all on our best behavior and this likely applies to inattentive kids in a classroom as well.

The famous ADHD psychologist Russell Barkley has stated that emotional control problems, impulsive acts and problems with an executive function known as "inner dialogue" that allows people to consider the consequence of their own actions is NOT a part of Inattentive ADD. People with ADHD-I often have a very rich inner dialogue and sometimes over think the consequence of their own actions. Teachers need to understand these differences and use the positive benefits of having a rich capacity for inner dialogue, a positive response to belonging to a group, and a positive response to the perception of being watched in their classrooms.

I would love to hear what you think.  Write to me or leave a comment!!

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