The development of a comprehensive ADHD program for elementary school educators

Angie Lee Echoles, University of Southern Mississippi

Abstract

On average, teachers will teach at least one student with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in any given school year without receiving any instructions at all on ADHD. ADHD affects 3% to 7% of school-age students and one in every twenty children (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2010). It is classified as one of the most common mental health disorders affecting school-age students. The American Psychiatric Association (APA, 2013) defines ADHD as a hereditary, non-curable, common childhood disorder. A triad of symptoms is associated with this disorder: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, which all have a major impact on the child's behavior in the classroom setting. Appropriate ADHD interventions can promote healthy development and success in the classroom for students diagnosed with ADHD. Research shows that school personnel do not effectively understand ADHD and the behaviors associated with this disorder resulting in multiple school suspensions, expulsion, office referrals, and excessive hospital readmissions. The purpose of this project was to work with principals and provide consultation on development and implementation an elementary school wide ADHD program. This project had two components. The first component was a consultant component, and the second component was a program development component. The first component was delivered through the utilization of a consultant process geared toward school principals. The second component provided school principals guidance on the development of a school wide ADHD program. The program was evaluated utilizing a survey of satisfaction. All participants unanimously agreed that ADHD programs are needed and that the training was beneficial.