Experimental training of children with attention deficit ... training of children with attention deficit/hyperactivity ... extraneous stimulus prevents ... children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder 20

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<ul><li><p>Aug. 2009, Volume 6, No.8 (Serial No.57) US-China Education Review, ISSN 1548-6613, USA </p><p>17 </p><p>Experimental training of children with attention </p><p>deficit/hyperactivity disorder </p><p>Viktorija Piscalkiene (Faculty of Health Care, Kaunas College, Kaunas 50468, Lithuania) </p><p>Abstract: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) negativelly affects the cognitive and psychomotoric spheres of the pupils social behavior and social adaptation. The review of many studies states that pupils with AD/HD achieve worse learning results because of insufficiently functioning cognitive processess, such as attention, (work) memory, thinking, problem solving, language, small- and large- scale motorics. Behavioral features, exhibited with AD/HD, include low-frustration tolerance, temper problems, persistence, emotional liability, depression, peer rejection, poor self-concept and poor self-esteem. Because of insufficiency of the cognitive processes, the difficulties of social behavior and social adaptation, pupils with AD/HD more often have a dysfunction of pupils role that manifests by learning difficulties and behavior problems. The manifestation of the disorder in the younger school age in the context of childrens school activities and roles actualizes the exceptional interest of the educational science in the analyzed phenomenon. The search and construction of effective means of socio-educational help for AD/HD primary class pupils should be associated with coordination and adaptation of different effective educational methodologies of different conceptual origin. In order to develop cognitive, psycho-motoric abilities and social behavior of the group of primary class pupils with AD/HD (N=22), activities of supplementary education were organized after classes (their duration was 6 months). During the forming experiment, original methodologies were constructed and national and foreign researchers educational methodologies were adapted and tested in new, specific conditions (methods of fairy-tales, correction of cognitive behavior, graphical-logical tasks, games in the sport hall). Even by relatively rare activities of supplementary education in a homogeneous group of children suffering from AD/HD positive changes of cognitive, psychomotoric sphere, social behavior and social adaptation were achieved. </p><p>Key words: AD/HD; fairy tales; cognitive behavioural training </p><p>1. Introduction </p><p>Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) negatively affects the cognitive and psychomotoric spheres of the pupils social behavior and social adaptation. Any extraneous stimulus prevents from concentrating, receiving information, carrying out tasks, inconveniences appear to memorize information, carry out the tasks requiring deep thinking operations and problem solving (Willcutt &amp; Pennington, 2000; Teeter, 1998; Rennie, 2003; Zentall, 2005; Junod, et al., 2006). Children with AD/HD differ from the so-called normally active children by their movements that are less purposeful and possible difficulties of small-scale motorics (Barkley, 1995; DuPaul &amp; Stoner, 2003). </p><p>Children with AD/HD are often impulsive, their behavior provokes dangerous and awkward situations among </p><p> Viktorija Piscalkiene, Ph.D., Faculty of Health Care, Kaunas College; research fields: education assesment, educational training of </p><p>child with AD/HD. </p></li><li><p>Experimental training of children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder </p><p> 18</p><p>themselves and their contemporaries, parents, teachers. Social adaptation problems usually arise because children with disorder have weaker communication skills, and they are inclined to low self-assessment, and lack of self-confidence. These children are more aggressive, have improper social behavior, and more often feel themselves in unfavorable psychological conditions: fear, anxiety, depression, etc. (Barkley, 1998; Stormont, 2001; Demaray &amp; Elliott, 2001; Greene, et al., 2002; Armstrong &amp; Drabman, 2004; Lauth, et al., 2006; Leskauskas, et al., 2004; Bagwel, et al., 2006). </p><p>Research shows that globally about 7-10% of children suffer from AD/HD. This disorder manifests itself by sexual specificity, as this disorder happens 2-3 times more often among boys than girls (Teeter, 1998; Selby, 2006). </p><p>AD/HD often upstarts at the school age and manifests itself in the context of childrens school activities. This factor explains the exceptional interest of educational science in the analyzed disorder and elimination of consequences. This disorder may develop and continue in later age causing psychological, social, physical problems. Therefore, early identification, evaluation of this disorder and urgent socio-educational help are very important. </p><p>AD/HD is considered to belong to neuro-biological disorders. Therefore, its clinical manifestation in different cultures should be identical1. Nevertheless, social and educational consequences of this disorder are rather specific, as they depend upon cultural environment: public values, social, economical situation, educational traditions at school, family and community. </p><p>1.1 Aim of the research The research is to prepare and test by natural experiment (by organizing supplementary education in </p><p>homogeneous groups) integral educational correctional methods that would help to develop primary class pupils with AD/HD cognitive and psycho-motoric abilities and social behavior. </p><p>1.2 Research process (1) Stage 1 (pre-test): Assessment of primary class pupils with AD/HD cognitive, psycho-motoric sphere and </p><p>social behavior was assessed; (2) Stage 2: Quasi-experiment (two groups of primary class pupils with AD/HD); (3) Stage 3 (re-test): After the educational experiment, the effectiveness of supplementary education was </p><p>assessed before choosing the research instruments applied before the experimental training. 1.3 Research methods (1) Testingthe research on pupils attention and spatial thinking (original, i.e. prepared by the author of the </p><p>article). The test consists of 72 primary features joined into 12 dimensions. (2) Written questionnaire surveyassessment of learning and social behavior based on teachers opinion </p><p>(adapted according to Janowski, Fittkau, Rauer2). The questionnaire consists of 132 primary features joined into 16 dimensions. </p><p>(3) Oral questionnaire surveythe research on behavior and personality peculiarities based on pupils self-assessment (adapted according to Wagner, Baumgartel3). The questionnaire consists of 129 primary features joined into 6 dimensions4. </p><p> 1 The criteria of AD/HD diagnostics exist globally: DSM-IV (American Psychiatric Association, APA, 2000), ICD-X (International classification of diseases), TLK-10 (international classification of 10 diseases, 1997). 2 Testzentrale. Retrieved from http://www.testzentrale.de/?mod=detail&amp;id=133. 3 Test catalogueTestzentrale. Retrieved 2007, from http://www.testzentrale.de/?mod=detail&amp;id=293. 4 The psycho-metric quality of the mentioned research instruments was tested din the normative base. The total number of the primary class pupils participating in the research is 361 (N=361). Sub-groups primary class pupils with AD/HD and the children of the same age mixed population: Nmixed population=0.339, NAD/HD=22. The psycho-metric quality of the research instruments was high (in the scale level Cronbach reached from 0.52 to 0.96). </p></li><li><p>Experimental training of children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder </p><p> 19</p><p>These tests allowed to measure 333 features (joined into 34 scales): (1) Creative task applying the elements of project methodologyfairy-tale creation based on a visual </p><p>stimulus (original, i.e. prepared by the author of the article). The fairy-tales created by the children were assessed according to 44 features that belong to 3 dimensions. </p><p>(2) Quasi-experiment. </p><p>2. Primary class pupils with AD/HD experimental education by supplementary activities </p><p>2.1 Possibilities for fairy-tale practical application for reduction of AD/HD Looking for the methods of the reduction of AD/HD or at least its compensation by psycho-pedagogical </p><p>means, the scientific heritage of L. S. Vygotsky and his colleagues is of great significance. Here we mean the cultural historical tradition and the original experimental methodcausalgenetic method. The most important role here is played by the concept of intermediate stimulation, the treatment of the relationship between higher psychical function phylogenesis and ontogenesis, the concept of higher psychical functions systematic origin as well as the mentioned theories for teaching about interiorization, the closest development zone and the main activity at a certain age5 (Lompscher, 1996; Merkys, 1996). These ideas make us realize that fairy-tale creation and role playing games are especially important for pre-school and younger school age children. </p><p>By actively participating (playing games) children will create fairy-talessuch actions ground L. S. Vygotskys (1978) ideas that: One of the most important presumptions for higher psychic functions is childs active performance at the limit of his abilities. The higher psychic functions can be developed indirectly. This role of mediation is played by cultural features: signs, symbols, language, teachers help. Traditionally, children only listen to fairy-tales (fairy tellerlisteners). With the teachers help (providing the initial stimulus), children should actively create themselves. By this the learners independent creative activity is actualized. In the process of fairy-tale creation, the role of mediators would be played by the characters, and created by the children themselves, the process of individual childs creation, collegial creative games. When creating a fairy-tale for a child, a cognitive challenge arises to create the plot of the fairy-tale, to empower the characters and manage this plot till the meaningful end. Actually, the means of artistic manifestation used by children in fairy-tales stimulate their symbolic and metaphoric thinking, evoke the intensive relationship of intellectual activity and emotions, and implement social roles, values, the models of moral behavior. Therefore, active fairy-tale creation is effective and a meaningful educational instrument from the point of view of culturalhistorical theory. By educational means, it allows at the same time to actively form cognitive abilities, emotional value sphere and social behavior. </p><p>The exceptional educational potential of fairy-tale is emphasized by many authors (klender, 1997; Herm, 2004; Braziene, 2004, 2006), who do not associate directly their theoretical statements and hypotheses with the culturalhistorical theory. According to them, fairy-tale telling develops an ability to concentrate, and the listening to the problems of the heroes of the fairy-tale; fairy-tale creation helps a child to unclose, outlive his problems; fairy-tale analysis and interpretation develops divergent thinking and motivates to see the causal behavior relations not only of the fairy-tale heroes but those happening in real life. Fairy-tale performances not only develop imagination and metaphoric thinking, but also uphold the ability to feel another person and realize what is going on around. The ability to concentrate attention is also developed; children learn to adequately express their feelings. </p><p>Generalizing the thoughts of Lithuanian and foreign scientists about the influence of fairy-tales on childs 5 Here the method of the experimental formation of higher psychic functions is meant. </p></li><li><p>Experimental training of children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder </p><p> 20</p><p>personality, it is possible to state that they: (1) activate attention, as fairy-tales consist of subject lines that should be followed to meaningfully understand the essence of the fairy-tales; (2) develop memory, as fairy-tales stimulate memorization of prior events of the plot and associate them with the new ones; (3) develop thinking and decision making abilitywith the help of language of symbols, fairy-tales manifest particular life problems. Therefore, by the personal experience, a child is stimulated to look for the best way of problem solution; (4) fairy-tales creation helps to develop verbal abilities, e.g. language fluency, number of words and sentences, complexity; (5) help to develop communication abilities, as the situation provided in the fairy-tales makes not only to listen but also to empathize with the problems of fairy-tale heroes. Fairy-tales also help to disclose what values and moral norms help to expect the happy end; (6) help to disclose the consequences of spontaneous and even aggressive behavior fairy-tales show that angry behavior, a wish to harm comes to the end, as the one who wanted to harm another will suffer or even disappear from the fairy-tales; only moral and kind heroes will remain; (7) enhance self-esteem and motivation, as fairy-tales stimulate childs self-confidence, make him feel safe, show that a hero does not loose control meeting difficulties, but goes on and wins with the help of his spiritual powers. Fairy-tales also help to understand that in difficult situations it is necessary to concentrate and look for ones own powers (Braziene, 2004; Kerbelyte, 1997; Fisher, 2001; Arad, 2004; Zinkevic-Jevstignejeva, 1998). </p><p>Therefore, it is possible to state that application of fairy-tales is a well-directed method with the unity of cognitive sphere, social adaptation and social behavior development. These arguments ground the possibilities of the fairy-tale methods when developing childrens with AD/HD cognitive sphere and social behavior. </p><p>2.2 Possibilities of cognitive behavioral training when reducing AD/HD Cognitive behavioral training or cognitive-behavioral techniques6 are socio-educational means applied both </p><p>in the school environment and at home. At school cognitive behavioral training is applied by teachers, whereas at home it is used by parents who have acquired knowledge how to perform it (Abrikoff, 1991; Teeter, 1998; Kirk, Gallagher &amp; Anastasiow, 2000; Cooper &amp;Bilton, 2002; Messurier, 2004). </p><p>Consistently applied cognitive behavioral training exercises help to soften social and educational consequences. This method of pedagogical intervention stimulates to look for consecution, purposefulness in ones own behavior, develop self-control and help to improve problem salvation skills (Gardill &amp; DuPaul, 1996). </p><p>Cognitive behavioral training is for the learners with the problems of cognitive activity and behavior. Children with AD/HD also belong to this group (Teeter, 1998; Messurier, 2004; Zentall, 2005). The main goal of cognitive behavioral training is to develop cognitive abilities and social behavior. This educational means is grounded by positive environment maintenance, application of means and method...</p></li></ul>

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