ADHD expert helps teachers reach out to students with disorder

Teachers at Carleton Middle School in Warren get lesson on how to work with students who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

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WARREN, Mich. - Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can face different challenges  learning in a traditional classroom setting, but a local expert is trying to help.

More than five million children in the US have ADHD.  The disorder affects an estimated ten percent of school-age children, and boys are about three times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with it.

Kevin Roberts is an ADHD expert, author and former educator.  He works with students who have ADHD, holding study groups to help them with their school work.  He also travels around the country helping teachers better reach out to children with ADHD.

Local 4 spoke with him during a recent seminar with teachers at Carleton Middle School in Warren.

"An ADHD student will often feel something is wrong with me, I'm not good enough, I'm stupid," said Roberts.

Kids with ADHD can act without thinking, are hyperactive, and have trouble focusing.

"Drumming, with the pencil drum or just outbursting or getting out of the seat," said Rick Palo a school counselor at Carleton Middle School.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is not caused by poor teaching, or poor parenting. It has biological origins, but it can be hard not to take the disruptive behavior personally.

"A lot times you can get drawn in and see these behaviors as negative or see these behaviors as disruptions or distractions, you know to try to deal with it in a positive way, try to understand it better, has really helped a lot with me," said Carleton Middle School science teacher Jason Kuszpit.

Roberts said teachers can reach children with ADHD in a way that the students will respond.

"Making activities that have humor, hands-on learning experiences, project-oriented experiences," said Roberts.

"I try to get out of the classroom, maybe go to the computer lab or working in groups, doing stations just so they're not just constantly sitting in their seat listening to me talk the whole time," Natalie Basilico, a teacher at Carleton Middle School.

Roberts said  with proper treatment, kids with ADHD learn to successfully manage their symptoms and what happens in the classroom can go a long way toward that success.

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