Part 1: Introducing and Considering the Child
The focus child in this study is a 4-year old girl who has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). She is from El Salvador. She has also been placed under the Individualized Educational Program (IEP) at her current school. Her familys educational background runs as high as the 9th grade. The family only speaks Spanish. Based on the above-mentioned condition, the focus child in this study suffers from a learning disability that is occasioned by the ADHD condition. Having worked closely with her parents, teachers and caregivers, it is undisputable that the condition affects the childs learning capabilities. From a point of information regarding the condition, her learning capabilities are grossly affected by the levels of inattentiveness and hyperactivity reported by her teachers during class sessions. The overall effect of ADHD lies in its impact on the manner by which the patient gains understanding to academic activities through reading and comprehension. In essence, the condition limits the childs ability to grasp the academic content taught in class; thereby, preventing her from gaining any knowledge that allows her to grow both intellectually and academically (Jiang, Jia, Mikami & Johnston, 2015). Considering there are currently no special methods of administering learning in order to incorporate her into the process of intellectual growth and development, the girls academic progress becomes stunted. She is left out of the learning process, an aspect that greatly injures her academic advancement. This condition in effect presents the girls learning difference, especially when compared to other students in her class.
Although the focus child in this study suffers from a condition that greatly impedes her academic growth, the subject has also shown a variety of strengths and abilities alongside her areas of needs. One of the abilities pertains to the easy, accurate and fluent recital of academic content acquired through consistent academic assistance by her teachers. This particular aspect indicates that the girls memorization capability is greater than that of her age mates. She also portrays a great sense of courage and an undying attitude. These two aspects could be utilized to ensure that she seeks assistance in instances when the process of understanding or comprehending academic materials becomes difficult. Being a determined young girl, she inspires a great sense of motivation in her educators and colleagues. When properly utilized, these strengths could make the difference between the girls limited learning capabilities and her robust intellectual growth. In the same vein, the girls areas of need were also noted. She tends to be inattentive, especially when not closely monitored. She becomes easily distracted and tends to lose focus of the activity at hand. Based on my observation, one of her foremost interests lies in her high levels of curiosity and interest in visual materials. She easily notices prints on clothing, books and charts, and often tend bugs her parents with inquiries regarding images displayed on posters, for instance, when travelling. She was very inquisitive about an animation print on my t-shirt. Her curiosity proves that she has a lot of interest in visual materials.
Following the focus childs particular interests, strengths and areas of need, the most effective learning environment for her would mainly incorporate visual learning materials. These materials would draw her attention, curiosity and interest, and most importantly, maintain her focus on the academic work or activity at hand. Introducing visual materials in her learning environment would be a prudent move in ensuring that she is not left out during class or other academic sessions. Additionally, limiting the levels of distractive elements in such an environment would also be of importance (Jiang, Jia, Mikami & Johnston, 2015). Closing the door to the classroom, for instance, and placing her at a position where it would be difficult to follow the events taking place outside the learning environment would also be effective. It would also be considerate to take advantage of her strengths and individual abilities in tailoring a lesson scheme that would ensure she is adequately engaged in the process. Introducing any interactive gadgets into the learning environment would keep her occupied in the learning process (Jiang, Jia, Mikami & Johnston, 2015). Moreover, the girls cultural and linguistic backgrounds when designing the course materials and language of instruction would be important. Her Spanish background could be used in designing the appropriate academic materials for use outside the normal classroom environment. Such an academic course material would also involve her parents in the academic progress of their daughter. Furthermore, her teachers would yield better outcomes in the case they placed her at a strategic position within the learning environment where it would become easy to closely monitor and follow the girls actions (Jiang, Jia, Mikami & Johnston, 2015).. Developing a habit of attentiveness in class-work and further making the learning environment adequately engaging would lead to an irreversible intellectual development and scholarly growth that would assist the young girl progress to further in her academic quest.
I was able to gather information about the child under this study through a series of interviews and questionnaire sessions regarding the girls conduct both in class and at home. The teachers were adequately forthcoming in terms of revealing their observations and conclusions as pertains to her academic progress and conduct within the precincts of her learning environment. I also took time to follow the events that transpire during class sessions and made some specific observations about the child under study vis-a-vis her colleagues. I particularly noted that the child under this study paid more attention to her surrounding environment for an extended period as compared to her colleagues. She appeared distracted throughout my class visit, while her colleagues were distracted for a while before resuming becoming fully attentive in their academic activities. She was also called into attention in multiple occasions when the teacher noticed her absent-mindedness and playful behavior in the course of the lesson. At home, her parents opened up about her inquisitive and playful character, regardless of the environment or individuals present. It was also indicated that she enjoys interacting with visual materials such as coloring charts, animations and any other materials bearing images or pictures. She also tends to remember quite accurately and in detail on various observations that she makes.
In my separate discussions with her teachers and parents, I recorded a number of similar accounts regarding the girls character and conduct. I found out that she had difficulties maintaining attention in aspects that were not of interest to her. I also noted that she tends to be very energetic on matters that interest curiosity. An example is her persistent inquisition on visuals and their interpretation. She was also attracted to books that had visual elements as compared to those that contained plain words or sentences and no visuals. In my observation of her interactive attitude and behavior with peers and adults, she was highly assertive. This assertiveness can be drawn from her courageous character. She also tends to be playful especially around adults whom she interacted with and easily made friend. She was very curious of my presence at first. However, after establishing rapport, she became extremely inquisitive and playful around me. During my classroom sessions, she barely lifted her hands. She was always caught being absent minded and rarely completed tasks assigned to her during the lessons. Her handwriting was also ineligible with poorly spaced words and very little regard of the sentence construction rules; whereby, she rarely placed a period at the end of the sentence and hardly separated various nouns in her work.
Part 2: Establishing Positive Relationships
In my field activities with the focus on child in this study, there were various strategies employed in support of instruction and in the development of a relationship that would allow me to study the strategies and their characters more closely. This field experience was imperative in understanding the depths and level by which the ADHD affected child under study. It was also an important exercise in compiling my report about this condition and its subsequent impacts on the academic development as well as growth of the child. The interaction with the child under this study made it easier to make observation on childs behavior and conduct from a very close perspective. It became apparent that in order to understand the factors that affected children with ADHD, and especially how these factors impacted on their academic progress, one had to establish a trusting relationship. The rapport and openness of such a relationship would result in genuine observation of behavior and conduct of the child. Moreover, the childs limitations and general strengths would indicate the areas that needed attention and those that could be utilized in improving the quality of academic development by the child. Taking advantage of the childs strength in the attainment of educational skills to fill the gaps created by her limitations is often the best strategy to employ when creating an academic plan for children with ADHD or other disorders that may end up affecting their performance. This section of the paper looks at some of the strategies I used in initiating and maintaining warm and productive interactions, as well as communicating an interest in the activities of the child.
One of the strategies I used during my field experience with the study child was facilitation. In the execution of this strategy, I incorporated the study child in the thinking process. As such, this particular aspect of the strategy created understanding that allowed for an easier interaction with the girl. In an example of this interactional strategy at work I participated in the exploration of various questions to assist the study child in coming up with answers or solutions to problems. In essence, I avoided giving direct answers or solutions and instead worked with the study child in the exploration process. I also talked, played and worked with the study child in other occasions as a way of making sense of experiences and learning from them. I also negotiated learning and clarified its goals. I managed to attain this objective by involving the study child in decisions touching on her learning and offered a variety of choices to incorporate her in the learning process and decisions made regarding on the same. Additionally, I encouraged the study child to do things by herself, as well as rate her actions on a scale of one to ten. These aspects were important in that they assisted in building a relationship with her. The strategy was also impactful in building her confidence as well as courage when approaching matters touching on her academic growth (Bullard, 2017). Ultimately, I supported learning and participation by offering suggestions, recommendations and advises when appropriate. The study childs perseverance, decision-making and initiatives would also be boosted through such a strategy, especially as I assisted in her maturity and growth in terms of taking control of her personal agenda. The independence of thought and action cannot be overlooked in boosting study childs confidence as pertains to the contro...
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