Educator says fun is key to help students with ADHD succeed

Fun can be the currency to help students excel in classroom

DETROIT - An educator in Bloomfield Township opens his home to high school students several nights a week.

Kevin Roberts is an Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder specialist.

He holds study sessions for high school students who have ADHD or other learning challenges after school at his home.
His goal is help these students develop study skills and strategy that will help them achieve success in high school, college and beyond.
Roberts home is a place for students to do their homework, study, learn test taking skills and to enjoy a little down time.
"I think one of the big lessons going on is we can succeed in school and still have some fun," said Roberts.
Roberts keeps the mood light.  The students and him tell jokes, create fun videos, and he even does a few different accents for laughs
However, when the students need to settle down and study, he makes sure they do.
"It's sort of free form structure and I think it works for these kids," he said. "Often times in school the skill set that is demanded is to sit still, keep quiet, and do what you're told and you know we ADHDers are not often the best at those things."
The setting might seem un-orthodox, but parents feel Roberts' methods really helps their kids excel.
"He seems to understand the kids and what their challenges are, what they're going through," said Jim Royce, whose son, Evan, attends Roberts study group.
Roberts understands because he not  only specializes in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, he has it himself.  Roberts was a teacher in a classroom but has changed his focus to helping kids with ADHD.  
ADHD is a common childhood disorder and it can continue into adulthood. Symptoms include trouble staying focused, paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior and hyperactivity or over activity.
The students in his sessions discover their strengths and overcome their weaknesses.
"We empower kids to see there are a lot of other skill sets that they excel in and we invite them to look at ways of improving," said Roberts.
Some parents can be initially skeptical of the study groups.  Marcie Wagner was a little concerned when her son Jack first started attending the study groups.
"I would let him come once a week for a while.  I would sit in a corner and watch and then I understood what it is about," said Wagner. "In here they find a more creative way of getting the job done. The job still gets done. It's just done in a way that these kids can learn from."
Wagner and Royce say the study groups are more than a place to learn, they are a place for these kids to create connections.
"Coming here and being around kids who have similar issues, it benefits his emotional side where he is not alone," said Royce.
Wagner is thrilled with how her son is doing in school now.
"When you walk in here you feel the sense of community. He feels like he belongs here," said Wagner. "His grades have switched from Cs and Ds to As and Bs and it's miraculous."
The cost for Roberts' study groups can range anywhere from $35 to $75 a session.
Roberts said for a long-term goal, he would like to train parents who have children with ADHD to create similar study groups.

For more information on Roberts' study groups click here.

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