A Special Education Success Story With Add and ADHD

The Problem

In our rapidly moving culture, special education students, diagnosed with ADD or ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) are an ever-increasing challenge for teachers. Having taught in some capacity for nearly 40 years and being a parent of an active little boy, I have studied these conditions with immediate personal interest.

Holding Their Attention?

Early in my work with the attentionally challenged, I observed that if the learning activity were engaging enough, many of these students could hold attention for long periods. Special Education students diagnosed with ADD or ADHD often have the ability to attend for long periods working with computers or video games. I wondered, could the problem lie more in the pace of the learning activity?

Give Them What They Need

Subsequently, I began to provide activities in my classroom that had some of the same qualities of the immediate response achieved in those computerized attention-holders. One of the most successful of these was the excavation of fossils.

The Setup

Fossil excavation was a 6-week class - more of a club, really