ADHD - a teacher rant

Sorry guys I'm going to get serious for a second. I just have to get something off my chest.

Will people PLEASE stop saying

"this kid or that kid has ADHD and is therefore a pain in the arse"

I'm sorry that is just not true. Kids with or without ADHD can be a pain in the arse. They are people and all people can be a pain in the arse.

Now the thing is that I suspect I have ADHD. I can't concentrate for any length of time on anything at all, and I like to get up and wander around. I also write a hell of a lot and take an unnatural number of photographs. I'm endlessly curious about everything and, having a very short attention span, I'm able to apply myself almost immediately to anything at all and solve problems really quickly before they bore the shit out of me.

My school report in primary school read "A complete pain except if you give him a maths book. He will run around all day long but if you give him a maths book he will sit and quietly solve problems completely absorbed on his own and nothing can distract him"

Thing is that the difference between me and a kid that is a pain in the arse is that I'm NOT AN ARSEHOLE. If something interests me I will make damn sure I solve it and quickly. As a hyperactive kid and adult, I love nothing more than finding things out, but I find that life happens far too slowly around me.

Other people think and do things too slowly for my liking, the world seems to happen at a snails pace. I can't REALLY get my head around how slowly things happen around me and YES I do find it bloody frustrating.


The thing is that if I were to take out my frustration on others and make myself a pain in the arse a few things would cross my mind.

  1. It would be rude and disrespectful
  2. It would be a poor reflection on me. Just because the world doesn't go as fast as me it's not their fault and I should slow down and wait up for them

The fact is that sometimes teachers plan without understanding the nature of this condition and react to it badly. Society at large, moving tortoise-like through time does not really grasp the speeed of thought that the ADHD kid moves at and so generally things move much slower than we want them to.

But that is no excuse. If a kid has ADHD and behaves badly they deserved to be punished and shown the meaning of manners like everyone else. The fact is that we all inhabit this world together and if you move at a different pace then school is a place to learn that in some instances we need to accomodate others and it is the teacher's job to teach this understanding.

It is not for us to stand by and blame a condition that we don't understand, this Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, for the fact that a kid is out of line.

The fact that a kid is out of line is the issue, disorder or no and we need to have the courage to stand up and address this issue regardless. Too many teachers let kids get away with all sorts of crap in the name of ADHD these days and it's bollocks.

For me ADHD has been a godsend. The difference between me and a kid who is a pain in the arse is a firm hand and good teachers.

Let's not shy away from the issues. A pain in the arse is a pain in the arse and should be dealt with appropriately. Don't bury your heads in the sand.

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I've just posted this up on the TES Staffroom board under my Watchmen pseudonym.
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