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Tutoring Students with ADHD. Rebecca Daly Cofer & Carol Scott Texas Tech University. Agenda. About ADHD Stats Characteristics Myth vs. Truth Challenges of Tutoring Benefits of Tutoring Training During the Session Tips Helpful Technology Contact Info. About ADHD .
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Tutoring Students with ADHD Rebecca Daly Cofer& Carol Scott Texas Tech University
Agenda • About ADHD • Stats • Characteristics • Myth vs. Truth • Challenges of Tutoring • Benefits of Tutoring • Training • During the Session • Tips • Helpful Technology • Contact Info
About ADHD • According to the DSM IV-TR, “the essential feature of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that is more frequently displayed and more severe than is typically observed in individuals at a comparable level of development.”
About ADHD • May be sub typed as • Predominately Inattentive • Predominately Hyperactive • Combined Type
Statistics • AD/HD is present in 4-6% of the population • AD/HD is more frequent in males than females • 60% of children with AD/HD will have symptoms in adulthood • Changes in diagnostic criteria have increased diagnosis of AD/HD
Statistics at Texas Tech • TTU has an estimated student enrollment of 28,000. • 804 students are currently enrolled with Student Disability Services (SDS). • 74% of our overall SDS population is diagnosed as either LD or AD/HD. • Students are enrolled in all 10 undergraduate colleges as well as the graduate and law schools.
Characteristics • Students with ADHD may show significant difficulties in the following: • Listening skills • Concentration • Memory • Reading speed and comprehension • Starting, organizing, and completing tasks • Students may suffer from depression and/or low self-esteem.
Myth vs. Truth - ADHD Myth Truth • Students are lazy and unmotivated • Students do less work for the same credit • Most faculty/staff will not come into contact with students with ADHD • All ADHD students are hyperactive • These characteristics may be true of any student • Accommodations cannot alter the integrity of the course • ADHD effects 3-7% of the population • Some are only inattentive
Myth vs. Truth - Tutoring Myth Truth • Students are “slow” • Tutors need to do everything for the student • Students will always be unorganized • Students will forget upcoming deadlines • Students have the same IQ as the university population • Students are responsible for their own work • This is not a weakness for everyone • Some students are excellent at time management
Challenges of tutoring this population • Students may need one-on-one tutoring instead of group sessions. • Sessions may need to be kept short (one hour or less). • Sessions may need to be structured by tutor – not the student. • Students may need more assistance with time management and organization than course content. • Students may be ashamed to admit they are struggling.
Benefits of tutoring this population • Add a new aspect of diversity to your center. • Tutors learn to appreciate strengths rather than seeing weaknesses. • Skills used in working with this population may be applied with other students as well. • Helps tutors “think outside the box”. • Rewarding experience for tutors to see the difference they make.
Training your tutors • Include ADHD content in your tutor training – regardless of your learning center’s focus. • Provide relevant ADHD information in tutor binder/manual. • Prep tutors on how to spot ADHD characteristics in students. • Incorporate simulations/activities to give tutors a better understanding of ADHD.
Training your tutors • Allow tutors to ask questions specific to this population during training. • Start off assertive – it can be hard to be tough later in the semester. • Stay professional – tutors are paid employees of the center and not “study buddies”. • Invite a guest speaker to share his/her story as a student with ADHD.
Sample scenario • Tutor trainer reads a sample passage aloud (in a normal speaking voice) and asks tutors to take notes and be prepared to answer a short quiz. • While the passage is being read, other trainers try to create as many distractions as possible (talking loudly, making noise, playing with objects in the room, etc.).
During the session • Tutor may want to spend time helping the student with organization and time-management (planners, syllabi, alarms, binders, etc.). • A set, regular session is helpful (same day and time each week). • It may be helpful for students to meet with the same tutor each session. • Students may need to take a break in the middle of the session if they are losing focus.
During the session • Tutors may wish to assign short, specific homework assignments. • Tutors will want to hold students accountable to their goals and preparation for upcoming sessions. • Tutors may serve as readers and/or scribes during the session.
Tips for tutors • Smaller, quieter rooms may be best • Student should face away from windows and doors • Student may focus better if he/she can play with stress balls during the session • Use of large dry erase boards may help engage the student • Stay positive and motivating
Advice from our tutors • “You are not their teacher. Your job is only to an aid in their studying and preparation for courses.” • “Set deadlines.” • “Calendars are a godsend.” • “Assertiveness is not the same as meanness, so don’t feel bad about it.”
Advice from our tutors • “Sometimes my students focus better if they can play with a stressball.” • “When my student has taken his medication, I can’t even tell he has ADHD.” • “One guy I work with gets grouchy the day he takes his Adderall.” • “It’s okay to disagree with your students about tutoring techniques – as long as you find another way to help them.”
Helpful technology • Although some technology is not designed for ADHD, these programs may help students stay engaged and focus during a tutoring session. • Inspiration: helps in creating mind-maps and paper outlines; helps students focus their ideas and express them creatively. • Text readers: these programs help across various learning styles; students can take in information visually and auditorally at the same time.
Questions? Contact us at: Rebecca.Daly@ttu.edu Carol.Scott@ttu.edu