The term attention deficit disorder is used to describe a syndrome involving difficulty focusing on a task, easy distractibility, motor restlessness, and impulsivity. The person who has a strong need to move around all the time or who demonstrates a lot of impulsive behavior like climbing on tables inappropriately, or shouting out answers is considered ADHD. The "day dreamer" or the one who is inattentive or reacts to everything at once is termed ADD. Inability to organize belongings, activities or thoughts, poor time awareness, tendency to jump from one task or one subject to another, or generally poor executive function are other manifestations.
ADD and ADHD do not represent intentional behaviors but most likely neurological in origin, which is why stimulant medications such as Ritalin, Adderall, etc., which stimulate the brain's inhibitory centers are effective. These medications help the person sort out stimuli rather than react to all.
ADD/ADHD has implications for education because a student who attends to everything at once and can't sit still or concentrate on a task for long is likely to have difficulty learning and maintaining control in a classroom. When I work with students with ADD, I break tasks into smaller parts, allow the student to move around between tasks so as not to have to sit still and focus for more than brief periods, and eliminate extraneous stimuli. Most of these students do better in a predictable and structured situation with "work" periods being kept short. If a student manifests ADHD symptoms, behavior modification may be needed to help the student become aware of the way he/she is functioning and develop techniques to correct it.
I have worked with students diagnosed as having Aspergers or high functioning level of autism. Generally the problem is not inability to learn, but receptive or expressive communication. The manifest weakness in social skills does not need to interfere with the learning-teaching process. I am able to teach students with sensory integration problems such as those with Aspergers.
Dyslexia is a learning disability which is neurological in origin and is often genetically acquired. Dyslexia may involve auditory or visual perception deficits so that the person may have trouble with auditory or visual processing such as sequencing,discrimination of patterns or symbol-sound associations. As dyslexia is a processing disorder, recall of information may also be a problem and the person may have difficulty decoding or blending in reading or difficulty with fluency. The problem may also manifest as dysgraphia or problems working with numbers.
It is important to realize that dyslexia is a processing disorder and not a deficiency in intelligence. Those who are dyslexic can therefore be taught by methods which allow them to compensate for the problem by creating new neurological pathways, particularly crossing the mid-brain area and reinforcing established pathways.
I employ the multi-sensory approach to teaching/learning when working with dylexics in order to involve all the senses, kinesthetic, tactile, visual, auditory, smell, etc. so that various parts of the brain become involved rather than one focci. I also use a phonics approach, having the student identify each phoneme to achieve decoding and blending, and encourage letter substitutions (i.e. "if this is AT, then this is BAT, pull down the letter to make the word SAT ETC), chunking, learning spelling via patterns and lots of repetition. Auditory discrimination practice is provided at all levels as well as visualization games and practice. Teaching may involve fluency exercises, use of sand or rice to obtain tactile reinforcement, body movements, rhythm, art.
I am an experienced K-6 teacher who initially was certified in New Jersey. I taught for 4 years in the public schools, one year in a private school and 3 years as a Title I teacher, at which time I taught groups of 8 at-risk children at various schools. In addition, I have been teaching children ages 8 to 13 at supplementary religious schools for 25 years. I am trained in multi-sensory techniques for teaching reading and math.
I have taught English as a second language to children and adults and have taught within the public schools, at an adult center for literacy and as a literacy volunteer. I am about to complete my
TESOL certification in this area. I teach English in English, not the learners first language.
When teaching those who have had little or no experience with English, I use a lot of pictures, demonstrations by body movement, labeling, and short dialogues using practical vocabulary such as "My name is..., I am from...., what is your name...I am glad to meet you....etc. Some beginners need to learn the names of the English letters and their sounds, colors, numbers, and names of common foods and household items. I use a lot of active listening exercises and repetition for beginners. With elementary school children, I use play, i.e., with a doll house, picture books, and lots of visuals to help them learn the names of objects, colors, etc. I read to them for short periods of time so that they get the feel for the language and can interpret what they hear through the pictures.
For more advanced students reading, writing and grammar are introduced and well as direct teaching of vocabulary. Advanced students respond well to discussion topics of interest to them which allow them to gain confidence in spoken language, practice of vocabulary through games, and visual presentations to stimulate and encourage use of language.
I can informally test private students to determine language level or, in an institutional setting, use the Cases or TABE.
I have been a religious school teacher for over 20 years. I am experienced at teaching beginning Hebrew through bar and bat mitzvah. My strength is teaching reading, not conversational Hebrew.
I use a multisensory approach using manipulatives, touch and movement and emphasize auditory and visual recognition of beginning and end consonants and vowel sounds. The student is taught decoding and blending skills along with other means of word recognition.
I am a retired teacher who has taught children and adults with special needs as a tutor and within the context of the classroom. These special needs include learning difficulties, ADD and ADHD and Aspergers, as well as those with mild developmental delay. I approach the child in a gentle but firm manner and teach what the child can learn in the manner he/she learns best. I am extremely patient as use multi-modality approaches.