EdcG 630 Course Web

Online Session - ADHD - November 15th

Download the Online Assignment in .PDF format

Download the Case Study Students

Download the Case Study Worksheet

Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder:
Welcome to the online session about students with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.  While ADHD is a relatively recent disability category, that "wiggly, constantly-moving student has been noticed with other descriptive titles for a long time.  Most recently the "ADHD adult" has been the topic of TV talk shows, and popular literature.  The business world appears to be using the term to describe folks who are constantly working, "multi-tasking" as we used to label that behavior in the past.  Now it's "ADHDish."

Fads aside, the struggle for the student with ADHD, and his or her teacher, is at times overwhelming.  Theories suggest that this student's brain is craving stimulation, and perhaps less able to organize the stimulation that appears constantly within our environment.  Remember the term "visual figure ground" that refers to the ability to find the relevant image in a very busy picture?  Some of us are more able to do so than others.  Perhaps the student with ADHD lacks the "stimulation figure ground" or the ability to select the most important aspect of the environment--be it the teacher at the whiteboard diagramming a sentence or a cell--and lives in a state of confusion about what to focus on and what to block out at any given moment.

During this online session, you will have multiple opportunities to become more acquainted with the student who has ADHD--some of the theories behind the disability, some of the resources available online to support parents, and some of the pressing questions for educators who serve students with ADHD daily.

We'll begin with a brief description of ADHD from Dr. Richard Lavoie, a noted local educator with a knack for using analogies and stories to convey the subtleties of this disability (and others). Next, I'll send you to view two streaming videos—one about students with ADHD and the other about the role of medication. Then, onto the Internet to search for answers to key questions about ADHD, and then out again to the web to create a Webliography of resources for families with a member who has ADHD.  Finally, you will be asked to examine the lives of 2 "case study" students with ADHD as we have done in class before, and apply what you have learned to their particular stories.
Now let's begin by reading what Dr. Lavoie shares with us about ADHD:
Richard Lavoie on ADHD

Taken from
Beyond F.A.T. City: A look Back, A Look Ahead
Presented by Richard Lavoie
PBS Video BFCY101

“The most exciting research that has been done since the video (FAT CITY) was produced is in the area of Attention Deficit Disorder.  We know so much about this disability; it’s been estimated that about 90% of what we know about this disability, we’ve learned since the year 2000.  There’s been an explosion of research in this field.  I talk about the fact that many people don’t understand the difference between attention span and distractibility.  There is a tremendous difference. 

We use the two terms interchangeably,

‘The child is very distractible, he has no attention span’;
‘he has no attention span; he’s very distractible.’

What we realized then and realize more now is that they are two very different kids. 

The child with no attention span pays attention to nothing.

The child who is distractible pays attention to everything.
The big difference between those two kids…

The distractible kid: It’s sort of like looking at the world through a wide angle lens.
If I put a wide-angle lens on my camera and try to take a picture of the person in the front row, no matter how much I try to focus on that person- I get everybody else in the picture, as well. That’s the way it is for our kids. They’re in constant need of stimulation.A good analogy for attention deficit disorder is those little single-celled animals you used to look at in the eighth grade. What we learned about those little paramecium and amoeba was they- 24/7- were constantly searching for food. They never slept; they were just constantly searching for nutrition. That’s what it is like for people with attention deficit disorder, except, they’re not looking for food.  They’re looking for stimulation. They need to be stimulated all the time.  They need stimulation to the same degree that I need oxygen.  If you try to cut off my oxygen supply, I would act against it.  I would fight against it.  That’s what happens when you take a child who needs stimulation and you put him in a non- stimulating environment.  So, the teacher’s in front of the class talking about the War of 1812 and suddenly this 11 year-old with Attention Deficit Disorder pushes the kid next to him off onto the floor. Why?? The lecture wasn’t stimulating enough. He needed more stimulation so he actually created stimulation. What we’re finding is if you take these kids and put them in a non-stimulating environment they will actually create stimulation. But, the most exciting thing that we’re finding out about ADD now, thanks to the good work of a number of people, is that the biggest problem that the kid

….it’s actually that lack of organization and inability to plan that really catches up with them by the time they get to high school.

Three Assignments

DUE Monday, November 22nd

Record answers to the Key “Quiz” Questions for a class discussion and a Quiz in class on Monday, November 15th. The Key “Quiz” Questions and some sources of information you might use to answer some of the questions are located below.

Your answers to the Key “Quiz” Questions may be handwritten, with your name, and brought to class on November 15th.

Create a Webliography of 3 resources you have identified electronically that might be useful to families with a member who has ADHD. A Webliography is an annotated bibliography containing the URL (website address), contact information, and a description of the information contained on the site. Each annotation will most likely be about half a page of information. Please email this typed document (Arial 12 Point Font) to me electronically by Monday, November 22nd, so that I can compile it for you.

Case Study students. Please select 2 case study students from the list of 4, and answer the questions on the case study chart. You will find the ADHD Case Study Student descriptions, and the chart with questions to answer, through the (Online Session 1-ADHD) link on the website homepage. You may submit your responses electronically, or in class on Monday, November 22nd.

Assignment: Key Questions
Key “Quiz” Questions:  ADHD

(Take notes on these questions.  Be prepared to take a brief quiz (or just submit your responses to the Key “Quiz” questions in class) and to join a discussion in class on 11/22.)

1.   A number of terms have been used to describe the children whom we study this week:  
     ADD, ADHD, AD/HD.  What characteristics does each describe and how, in your own words, how do you feel they differ?

2.  What are some challenges that the child with AD/HD brings to the family?  Briefly describe three different strategies that allow the child to successfully participate as a family member.

3.  If parents are totally opposed to having their child take medication for ADHD, what would you do?

Possible sources for you. (Copy them and paste them in your own Browser if they will not link directly from below.)


These two videos linked below will help you to think about the key quiz questions.

ADHD Streaming Videos
To view this video, be sure that you have a video player program on your computer. Three possibilities available free that should work just fine are:

After you have installed one of the video player programs onto your computer IF you do not already have one, then either just click the video link below and view them,
OR open up your video player program on your own computer and enter the URL.

If you have difficulties viewing either of these videos on your own computers, you may use the computers on campus. Contact the Graduate and Research computing lab on the 5th floor of the Healey Library ( 617.287.5272), or the computer labs on the Upper Level of Healey Library for hours of operation.

The first link listed below will take you to a streaming video about the myths and realities of ADHD that is about 27 minutes long. 
SPEG621 Encoded Videos from The Dr. Paul Warren series “Marching to the beat of a different drum”

RT: 27:05

The second link is to a website containing a video about the use of medication for students with ADHD.  You will also need the video player installed on your own computer to view it.

Remember, after you view the video clips and the readings in the textbook; complete the three assignments for this online class session:

Enjoy the online experience, and email me if you are experiencing any difficulties.


The Magic Bus

Syllabus |Schedule |eReserves |Rubrics |Home