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Module 1: Módulo 3: Atenção hiperatividade (TDAH)

Nota de Estudos
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Estudantes de ensino com TDAH

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Research shows that ADHD can be reduced for many students if they take certain medications, of which the most common is methylphenidate, commonly known by the name Ritalin (Wilens, 2005; Olfson, 2003). This drug and others like it act by stimulating the nervous system, which reduces symptoms by helping a student pay better attention to the choices he or she makes and to the impact of actions on others.

Unfortunately the medications do not work on all students with ADHD, especially after they reach adolescence and its long-term effects are uncertain (Breggin, 1999).

In any case Ritalin and similar drugs have certain practical problems:
1. Drugs cost money which is a problem for a family without much money to begin with, or for a family lacking medical insurance that pays for medications.
2. Drugs must be taken regularly in order to be effective, including on weekends. Keeping a regular schedule can be difficult if parents’ own schedules are irregular or simply differ from the child’s, for example because of night shifts at work or because parents are separated and share custody of the child.

In any case, since teachers are not doctors and medications are not under teachers’ control, it may be more important simply to provide an environment where a student with ADHD can organise choices and actions easily and successfully.

Strategies that a teacher can use include:
1. Providing clear rules and procedures
2. Breaking down tasks into manageable chunks
3. Modelling suitable behaviour

1. Providing clear rules and procedures
Clear rules and procedures can reduce the ‘noise’ or chaotic quality in the child’s classroom life significantly. The rules and procedures can be generated jointly with the child; they do not have to be imposed arbitrarily, as if the student were incapable of thinking about them reasonably.
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2. Breaking down tasks into manageable chunks
Sometimes the teacher can help by making lists of tasks or of steps in long tasks. It can help to divide focused work into small, short sessions rather than grouping it into single, longer sessions.

3. Modelling suitable behaviour
Sometimes a classmate can be enlisted to model slower, more reflective styles of working, but in ways that do not imply undue criticism of the student with ADHD.
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Whatever the strategies that a teacher uses, they should be consistent, predictable and generated by the student as much as possible. By having these qualities, the strategies can strengthen the student’s self-direction and ability to screen out the distractions of classroom life.

The goal for teachers, in essence, is to build the student’s metacognitive capacity, while at the same time, of course, treating the student with respect.