"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"...no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish enlarge, or affect their civil capacities." – Thomas Jefferson

Monday, May 7, 2007


JA is one of my students.

He is the "poster-child" for ADHD at our school. He is completely incapable of controlling the speed of his movements, his impulses, the focus of his attention or his vocal output.

A typical session in my room includes JA doing the following types of things:

- falling off his chair
- standing up, sitting down, moving or more precisely, rolling his chair around with his legs, or hands
- grabbing things off my desk or table to look at them
- taking things and going somewhere else in the room (e.g. picking up a pencil which is not being used and going to sharpen it)
- tearing a book while reading it because of constant movement
- inability to write legibly because of the inability to stop moving long enough to write a legible letter
- constant chatter usually unrelated to what we were supposed to be doing
- frequent interruptions

The writing is the most interesting. When he writes he pauses before each letter, then moves at the paper like a frog's tongue shooting out to snatch a fly. When the tip of the pencil hits the paper the letter is formed virtually instantaneously, and then he pulls it back. Sometimes he can write a few letters or even a word before he pulls his hand away for another attack. The only way he can write slowly and relatively neatly is if he uses a pencil grip and holds the pencil with a grip strong enough to break a bone.

If I mention something in my room, he is up and at it before my sentence is ended. On Tuesday, for example, I mentioned that my book bag was heavy, since he had been talking about how heavy his was. Before I could stop him, he ran behind my desk, dragging my book bag out into the room and saying something like "You mean this book bag?"

His parents are of the "I'm not going to give my kids any drugs" type. Not that medications are the answer to every problem, but they can help him slow down enough to learn.

I can't really fathom how his classroom teacher survives the day with him, though I know I did it when I had kids like him in my class.

I must be getting old. By the time he goes back to his room I am exhausted.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey, I had him! That brings back such memories... please excuse me while I drink a fifth of bourbon (ha ha).