Dealing with ADHD in United States Classrooms

(An Interactive Approach to Awareness Creation)


Grace Nwosu


In a classroom there are different students from diverse cultures, backgrounds, abilities and behaviors, and they all need to be reached.

            Ron is a bright 6 year-old boy. He has trouble sitting still when teaching is going on. He paces about the classroom a lot. Frequently going to our basket of snacks. He often fails to pay attention to detailed instructions and makes careless mistakes. He skips from one uncompleted activity to another. He makes some silly sounds. It does not matter to him what is going on in the classroom, he sings to the distraction of other students. The teacher-spent time discussing Ron’s behavior and non-cooperation in terms of classroom works with his mother.  His mother answered that Ron’s twin brother does the same thing, and that their father acted that way too.  It appeared to be genetic issue.

            It was literacy time in our classroom.  Every kindergarten student was paying attention. Ron rolled himself on the floor.

Teacher: Ron, get up, sit down and stop distracting others.


Ron: Got up and sat.


Teacher: Continued teaching.


Ron: (Began to sing while other children were all quite listening to the teacher).


Teacher: Ron! Stop singing.


Ron: (Stopped).


Teacher: (Continued teaching).


Ron: (Began to shut in the air. Shu--------------t, shu------------t).


Teacher: Ron go to your seat.


Ron: (Got up, went to his seat only to close his eyes, move his head around and began to make “Uuuuuuuhhhh” sound like and air plane).

Teacher: Ron what is the problem?

Ron: (Swinging his hands, put both hands at his back fixed, moved his body in swinging form and answered) “I don’t know”

Teacher: Don’t you like reading and writing?


Ron: Yes


Teacher: What do you like to do?


Ron: Play centers and go for lunch


Teacher: Ron! In school, there is time for everything.


Time to read and write, play centers, go to lunch, do math and other activities. That is why it is called a school where people come to learn how to do different things. We cannot play centers all day. Don’t you think you will get tired of centers?

Ron: No


Teacher: You have to always make better choices in the classroom. Be responsible, respectful and cooperative.

Ron: What is responsible and cooperative?

Teacher: (She explains): “Responsible” means basically accepting that you do the one doing what you are doing.

“Reliable” means that you will do what you are expected to do.


“Respectful” means to consider other peoples feelings


“Cooperative” means to be willing to work with other people, and help your classmates and teachers.

Ron: Okay.


Teacher:  Since you agree with me, go back to your spot and pay attention to the lesson.


Ron: (went back to his seat and complied)


Strategies for the control of the above problem

            There may be several strategies, for example medication. My main concern is for classroom control and management.

            According to online article written by Tom Daly, he suggested the following solutions:

1.      Find out what the interest of the child is and figure out a way to involve that in his school day.

2.      Listen to his misbehavior. This may not be an annoying disruption but a secret message saying, “Reach Me.”

3.      Try to win the respect of the student in such a likeable way that he becomes comfortable in letting his guard down.

4.      Stop controlling and start coaching. This simply means, change from controlling (student need to follow me and do what I say) mode to something like a trainer. A trainer works better with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder child. The Control format can work better with regular students.


Tom Daly, 2003. Del Caso La Jolla. Smarty Pants Publications. Online source:



Suzanne H.  1997. Adjustments in classroom Management.  Online source.



Abbeduto, L. Stephen, E  1998. Guide to Human Development for Future Educators.

Boston: McGraw Hill

Nation Institute for Mental Health, The (NIMH). 2003 Components of the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. Online source. Available: