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The Problem:

Michael is first grade student who has recently been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. This “label” has been given to him by his teacher who observed him acting out in various ways including playing with objects during instruction, not remaining seated, and not participating in classroom activities and discussions. A clinical definition of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder states that ADHD is a group of chronic disorders that begin in the childhood years and sometimes lead into adulthood. Many times individuals diagnosed with this disorder show symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. These problems can easily affect every aspect of an individual’s thinking process and daily activities Although it may appear that there is only one view of Michael’s situation, in actuality there are various perspectives. The other individuals involved in this situation include his classroom teacher, ESOL teacher, school counselor, his parents, and the school principal. Each of the individuals involved, have their own perspectives and insights to the situation. The following are the various perspectives of each participant.

Observed hyperactivity traits in Michael’s behavior such as:
• Playing with objects in and around his desk
• Not remaining seated
• Not participating in classroom activities
• Often out of his desk
The classroom teacher has the idea that he should be placed on medication to help with his hyperactivity.
The classroom teacher had a conference with the ESOL teacher and asked her to observe Michael’s behavior while he was in her class.

The ESOL teacher noted the following while working with Michael in his home language:
• Michel is well behaved and attentive
• He remains seated through instruction
• Enjoys participating in activities
• Contributes to discussions

The school counselor met with Michael and developed a plan of action. The counselor administered a test that has been developed to diagnose ADD. The test is called Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Test. This test is not inclusive, but does show valid results for the following skills: verbal, non verbal, fin/gross motor, memory/intention skills. This data can be useful in determining the disability or ability level of the student.
The results from the test led the counselor to believe that Michael may display behaviors of ADHD in the classroom setting due to the fact he is having difficulty understanding the language. With this information in mind, the counselor also concluded that Michael may be well adjusted in the ESOL classroom because he is in a comfortable learning environment.MICHAEL’S PARENTS:
With this information brought to the attention of Michael’s parents they were concerned due to the fact he displays none of these traits within the home setting. They request that the least intervention possible be implemented. Along with avoiding all ESE classrooms, the parents also made it known that their child would receive equal opportunities for his education or they would seek outside legal advice. Michael’s parents also stated that under no circumstances would their child be placed on medication.

When this matter was brought to the attention of the school principal he stated the following:
• The school would be willing to work with the parents to insure the success of their child.
• Michael’s teacher will give him every opportunity within the classroom setting to learn English as his second language.
• Together, Michael’s classroom teacher, EOSL teacher, school counselor, principal and parents will come to agree on a course of action that will be most beneficial for Michael to insure his success.

The school counselor talks with Michael and receives the following information from him:
• The other children in class make fun of me because I do not speak English well.
• I can not do the work in school because it is too hard and I don not understand it.
• I like my ESOL class because I understand what is going on.

Flick, L.G. (1996). Power parenting for children with ADD/ADHD. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.


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