Monday, May 23, 2005

MY LETTER < MUST SENT IT BEFORE MAY 30TH > TO STUDY THE ISSUE OF INCLUSION IN NEW BRUNSWICK!!

I have to send this letter by May 30th to Halifax!!! Does anyone have anything to add to my views of the way kids with ADHD should be teated in the classrooms?

Please leave your comment on this very important issue inside this blog! This is what I wrote-

Many MLA's believe that your mandate also includes the issue of Ritalin, but this is not the case. I am aware your mandate is to review the Inclusive Education Programs and Services in New Brunswick. The following are my views on inclusive education with regards to students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD).

Inclusion to me is every student with a Special Need will receive the best education that this province will allow. Of course, we must separate the rights of the child to be in a typical class, and concentrate on the need that would be most optimal for the special need student to learn. Therefore, enhancing the opportunity for the student to have a better quality of life for themselves and society.

The typical New Brunswick classroom often has a combination of students with more than one type of mental disorder. For example: ADHD, Autism, or Cerebral Palsy(CP).

For students with ADHD, often the classroom composition is disruptive commonly with increased noise levels, which impedes learning of the student with ADHD.

Students with ADHD are often labelled as "idiots" or "stupid" by their peers because they are on Ritalin. Conversely, the reality is these students with ADHD are often quite intelligent.

There are many great individuals with ADHD who have become global leaders with different expertise. For example: Bill Gates of Microsoft, Past-President Bill Clinton, Vince McMahon from the WWE( he told millions of viewers on 60 Minutes he has ADHD). Only an ADHD mind could develop a soap opera in the world of wrestling.

In the classroom, once the student with ADHD completes their assigned work the teacher should tell the student to go outside and run around. This is not realistic, but it bears reminding that the student with ADHD may require extra activities to keep him/her busy and mind occupied.

By implementing this strategy there is a reduced opportunity for the student with ADHD to act or get into trouble.

If circumstances are such that the ADHD student works outside the classroom, assurances must be in place that he/she will receive the same grade level curriculum as his/her peers, or higher if indicated.

Educators must hone in on the interests of the ADHD student, foster the interest to assist him/her to go on to lead a productive life. They must not be forgotten in the classroom.

To enhance learning in the classroom, a suggestion would be to have access to an FM System. The teacher will be speaking into a microphone and the student will be wearing an earphone. This permits the ADHD student to filter out background noise, and focus on what the teacher is saying.
You must understand students with ADHD are easily distracted, and today's classrooms are noisy.

Smaller classrooms are a must, and the teachers must be educated on ADD/ADHD, and be trained to implement effective strategies to teach them.

One word I truly despise is the word Special Assistant. I understand that the teacher needs help, but if a special assistant is always offering help to a student with ADHD, it could lower their self-esteem. Other students notice this kind of thing, and they can be very degrading to the ADHD student. Often leading to the ADHD student to be called "idiot" or "stupid". Truth is children can be cruel.

Of course, the atmosphere at home must be taken into consideration. Parents and teachers must be open to communicate with each other. If both parents are working, on many occasions, the time is not made available to help the student with ADHD to do homework or study properly.

The other issue I have is about Ritalin, however, I realize this is not your mandate to study this issue. The percentage of students taking Ritalin is at an all time high in New Brunswick schools. Therefore, these highly intelligent students must be treated with dignity by the Department of Education, School Districts, Schools and their Administrators.

Remember one thing. If we continue to degrade these students with ADHD, we can be preventing some of them from developing into our future leaders of the province or country.



Respectfully submitted,

Charles Leblanc
Adult living with ADHD
ADHD Activist

Ritalin



6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello Charles, I agree that there needs to be more education on treating our children with ADHD.
This needs to go hand in hand with medication. Along with the parents being educated on how to best support there child through the learning process of life.

Now you may think I am full of shit on this, but my daughter is ADHD, who was medicated with Ritalin. She also has a Conduct Disorder which she was medicated for. From my experience, medication, school, parents, support group and councelling go hand in hand with helping our children develope into productive adults. Now four years later, she is going on her own steam. No medication! Now if you ask me, would I do it differently with no medication? The answer would be "no". The medication is needed to give the child some stability. Some focus. But if the other area's are not covered (support system) then the medication is ineffective. If you ask me what you should be going for with your letter, it would be to demand that all educators be taught how to teach children with disorders.

Believe it or not, you could put alot of the disorders in one classification with one set teaching method and be successful. In a large classroom with "REGULAR" students if one method was used, everyone would learn. Our children with disorders, need high visual stimulation and exact directions. Consistant and predictable insturctions. This of course would require that ALL teachers be re-educated themselves.

I strongly believe that all classrooms should be equipped with qualified teacher assistants. This to ensure that any child who is falling behind or requires extra prompting can get it quietly without being called out by the teacher. This would also divert some behavioural outburst.

So Charles this is my two cents, this from a mother of an ADHD/ODD child with a success story with Ritalin.

p.s. don't pay attention to my spelling or grammar..it sucks and I know it!!!

Anonymous said...

Very good letter and presentation and you do not have to read it with French accent. Good luck

Charles LeBlanc said...

lol...hey? I'm going to take credit for this one??..lol...I had a good friend helping me on this one. This is a very serious issue and the outfit who's going the study is from Halifax. So therefore I don't believe they would take me seriously if I sent them my view on this very emotional issue with a French accent. I wrote the rough copy and my good friend helped me out! It's called teamwork at its best. Now if there's so issue that I miss? Please let me know?

Anonymous said...

The government has figured out how to legalize dope,Just put it under a different name.(Ritalin)
The doctors make a tidy prophet off of the prescriptions and the teachers go on doing their job without hyper kids within the wall of the education system.

Anonymous said...

Charles,

I think you realize Ritalin is extremely beneficial for some kids in some circumstances. You think it's over-prescribed, but you don't think it should be banned. I think.

What do you think of people, like the one who wrote the comment before mine, that take a more extreme view? Personally, my own experience is that Ritalin has been a life-saver. I'm prepared to believe it's not for everyone, and some (many?) kids are getting it who ought to do without. But still, I know it's good, really good, for at least some kids. It pisses me off when people call it "dope" or "kiddie cocaine" and say it should be banned. I don't see why these people can't say "I don't want it for me, or my kid, but if it works for someone else, well good for them." How do you feel when people go to such extremes?

Charles LeBlanc said...

I never once said that it should be banned!!! There's no question about it! Ritalin did help many kids but they're labelled by society as Idiots and stupid! As s? By the decision by those racists members of the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission that s with ADHD taking Ritalin are close to mental Retardation!!!This decision was made behind close doors and the public don't know what was said. This is the problem that I have taking Ritalin. Go ahead? Go read my Human Rights Complaint on the front blog?