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Sherry Cramer I am thrilled to introduce Sherry Cramer to you. Sherry is an educational therapist with over thirty years of experience working with exceptional students. Sherry is an educational therapist after my own heart; I hope you enjoy her article as much as I do.
They prefer easier work. They give up easily. Is it due to a bad attitude? Looking at the ADHD Brain Medical technology now permits us neuro-scientists, that is to peek inside the brains of folks with ADHD, and what these scientists have learned can help the rest of us understand why kids with ADHD find it so hard to keep motivated in school.
Connections among various parts of the brain form circuits. Within the human brain are two circuits — the reward circuit and the executive circuit — that impact motivational behavior.
Brain imaging studies have found that kids with ADHD have differences in one or both of these circuits. The Reward Circuit The job of the reward circuit is to help us respond positively to rewards and look forward to the future pleasure of achieving something we value.
The Executive Circuit The job of the executive circuit is to help us sort out what we need to do in order to reach the goals we desire. These skills include sustained attention, planning, and time management. Academic Consequences of ADHD Brain Organization Due to these brain differences, kids with ADHD tend to lose sight of future goals in the distractions of the moment, and they are often unsure about how to accomplish goals they still wish to pursue.
This puts them at a disadvantage in academic settings, especially in high school and college, where goal persistence and strong executive skills are essential Is there anything we can do to help?
Point of Performance Supports: Leveling the Playing Field Point of performance supports are small changes we can make in a setting or task that can make big differences for kids with ADHD.
They can reduce the frustration and increase success for kids with ADHD. However, point of performance supports rely on others to make that success possible. The kids still have the same challenges in unsupported situations. Point of performance supports alone are not enough in the long run.
A helpful resource is Late, Lost and Unprepared: Ramping Up the Supply of Dopamine Stimulant medications have been found to increase the availability of dopamine in the reward circuits of kids with ADHD.
In the school setting, kids with ADHD tend to improve academic performance when taking appropriate medications. Many studies have found ADHD medications to be safe and effective,14 yet medications are not a panacea.
Some kids do not respond well to ADHD medications. Others may find that effectiveness of the medication changes over time. Parents often struggle with decisions about medication.
Credible sources of information are critical. The Complete Authoritative Guide for Parents. Their need for immediate payoffs makes behavior modification—the carefully planned use of rewards and consequences — a powerful intervention for kids with ADHD.
However, the motivation created by behavior modification may only last as long as rewards are provided. Rewards and consequences are not really effective in helping kids with ADHD develop the kind of long-term, internal motivation that is needed for real academic success. Are there any interventions that promote long term motivation?
Learning to Become Your Own Boss While still providing adult support, self-management shifts more responsibility to kids. Self-management rests on helping kids with ADHD work toward goals by learning to accurately monitor notice their own behavior. He may also reward himself — if that is part of the plan — for accurately recording his own behavior and showing improvement.
Well-designed self-management programs give kids a say in planning all aspects of the program. More information on designing self-management self-monitoring programs can be found in How to:An Education World Online Course for Professional Development Gamification in the Classroom Price: $59 What is Gamification?
"The gamification of learning is an educational approach to motivate students to learn by borrowing the best parts of video and board games and applying them to lessons and activities.".
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