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#2038314 - 02/24/13 07:41 AM Students with ADHD
Nannerl Mozart Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
I'd love to hear about what you find to be effective when teaching students with ADHD. I have read a bit about it and I've talked to lots of parents and teachers... anyway, I'll chime in later, would love to hear our thoughts
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#2038319 - 02/24/13 07:59 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4810
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Nannerl Mozart
I'd love to hear about what you find to be effective when teaching students with ADHD. I have read a bit about it and I've talked to lots of parents and teachers... anyway, I'll chime in later, would love to hear our thoughts

I'm sure that if I had grown up in the 90s instead of the 50s, I would have been labeled ADD. Those of us born in 1948 just got things like this:

"James needs help in learning to listen to and follow directions."

I had that checked every report card, with my name of course.

In fact, it took me many years to learn how to DELIBEREATELY ignore fools, some of whom were my teachers.

I have some trouble with ADHD students, for obvious reasons, but I have more in common with them then with the "normal" students, who think slower.

The ADD and ADHD students sometimes vex me, but often they are also the most interesting of my students.
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#2038351 - 02/24/13 09:55 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Gary D.]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7382
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
I'm sure that if I had grown up in the 90s instead of the 50s, I would have been labeled ADD. Those of us born in 1948 just got things like this:

"James needs help in learning to listen to and follow directions."

*************************************************

In fact, it took me many years to learn how to DELIBERATELY ignore fools, some of whom were my teachers.

Gary, that makes two of us. I'm still not entirely convinced that ADD is just a fabrication to make it easier for teachers to avoid having to learn how to deal with boys. AMEN to your 2nd comment!
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"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
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#2038365 - 02/24/13 10:17 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: John v.d.Brook]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2562
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
I agree with you guys. ADD and ADHD seem so overdiagnosed that I sometimes informally use the label "Y chromosome syndrome" to describe boys with normal behavior. smile

For normal active kids, you need to keep the activities interesting and at an appropriate level of difficulty, maintain high rates of positive reinforcement, and have an overt and predictable routine.

Now if the kid really has an attention deficit, it will be impossible for him or her to focus even on a favorite activity for more than a few seconds. Of course you won't know what the child's behavior is like outside of lesson time, so you'll need to talk to the parents about the child's ability to focus during other activities.
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A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2038391 - 02/24/13 10:52 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11966
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I may have also been labeled ADD as a child if they had such a diagnosis back then. However, my behavior was strictly due to abuse and treating me with drugs would have made it worse I'm sure. I know from speaking with a friend who is a psychologist that abuse in homes and school these days is astronomical in proportions (over 80% kids today experience some form of abuse), so I always keep that in mind when working with kids that I suspect are being treated for ADD/ADHD.

I also know that diet is a huge contributor to these disorders and the American diet is rife with sugars and white flour to the point where it makes such symptoms worse.

Both of these are things I cannot change. It's not my job to diagnose or try to resolve unless, of course, I have some kind of proof there is abuse going on. Most often it's emotional though, and that is very hard to make a case for.

I try to make lessons as safe an environment as possible for them, and orderly. These two things are great for all kids, but especially necessary for ones who are exhibiting such symptoms. The ones with seemingly difficulty sitting still or paying attention will need far more structure in the lesson, perhaps visual ways of showing them how they are doing and what's coming up next.

These specific methods have been discussed in the past, so please do a search on this site for them. Also, if you have a particular student that you are teaching that you suspect has ADD/ADHD, let us know specifically what he/she is doing and we can try to address that. Each child is different and you need to first think of the broader issue of what ADD kids need before developing a specific regimin that will help.
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#2038418 - 02/24/13 12:35 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
I have had learning difficulties my whole life. I am dyslexic, memory problems.

I can learn most everything but I learn more slowly and often have to arrange things differently to learn things than what other people would learn it which often drives people cracy. I have to tell people that they have to write things down because I will not be able to remember things short term.

It would he helpful if you described some of he problems because ADHD is a huge subject.

So things related to piano playing. Do they play without mistakes. Do they look at the music and not their hands.
Can they count? How do they practice? Can they play a scale?
Are they 12 or 112? Are they able to express themselves or are they not able to expess themselves in words. How long have they been playing piano, 3 months or 3 years?

Why do you think they are ADHD? Why don't you think they are not dyslexic? What method books are you using to teacher this student or all your students? How long have you been teaching piano 6 months or 6 years? Why wouldn't you post anything about the person's piano difficulties so you can get relevant feedback?


Edited by Michael_99 (02/24/13 12:43 PM)

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#2038556 - 02/24/13 04:52 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Morodiene]
AimeeO Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 04 2013


Registered: 05/20/10
Posts: 803
Loc: New Orleans
I have attention issues. My problems stem from my mind constantly racing, resulting in difficulty in focusing. I've been like this since childhood. I've always been able to pick things up quickly or fake them, so it never seemed apparent as a child, so it was never really noticed, or labeled. But as I get older, I've noticed more and more of a problem, and have been able to rationalize it out. Maybe this can help you figure out what might be going on with some your students, music-wise, and figure out what methods you can use to help them.

1. I click out while playing all the time. I can be reading sheet music, and if I know a part well, I just play and start thinking about something else. Then I realize what I'm doing and often have no idea where I am in the music and just stop.

2. I get extremely impatient with sections I'm having problems with. If I'm having a hard time with a passage, it's hard to slow down and focus. So my brain starts going, from why I can't do this to I am so annoyed I can't do this. Then I just go on to something else. There are days I can turn off the chatter in my brain and just focus, and I fix these areas.

3. It's hard to play slowly. Especially if you know how something sounds and you play to keep up with the soundtrack in your head. My hands are racing along with my brain. Along with this has come with problems playing through mistakes. When I mess up I want to start all over to try to make it sound right. This is obviously not a good way to go about learning things, and things start out great and the end is always bad.

4. If I can do something initially, I think I have it and then I move on. This is an issue when playing. I can play something pretty well a few times in a row, think I have it, and move on. Then when it becomes lesson time, I don't have it.

5. I can also look you dead in the eye, listen to you explain something to me, catch a few key phrases here and to make the proper responses to what you're saying, but my mind has wandered so far off I really didn't take it in. So if you explain to me how best to practice something, I only heard chunks and promptly forget. It can get embarrassing asking someone over and over to repeat. (And annoying - I know I hate repeating myself!)

6. If I am super interested in something, the opposite occurs. For example, when reading, if I am reading something fascinating, I won't stop. I've gone through 8-hour marathons of reading, because I'm so wrapped up in it I won't put it down. I won't realize I haven't eaten, or heard the phone ring. But if I have to read something not so interesting, I'll read over it and not comprehend a single thing. Sometimes I'll go through a page or two, my mind will drift, and I have no idea what I just read. This may happen several times in a row. I just lose focus that fast, and I don't even realize it at the time. If I have a piece I'm working on that I happen to like a lot, I will zero in on it and often ignore other assignments or exercises.

7. I often look for the shortest route so I can do something else.


In a nutshell, my mind races so fast sometimes I don't know how it got from one place to another, and it happens in a matter of seconds. It has gone on many years, I've sub-consciously developed coping mechanisms to function normally. Its seems like such a simple fix - clear your head and focus solely on the task at hand. But then you get frustrated because you can't, and that leads to more racing.


Originally Posted By: Morodiene
The ones with seemingly difficulty sitting still or paying attention will need far more structure in the lesson, perhaps visual ways of showing them how they are doing and what's coming up next.


Morodiene, you hit the nail on the head with this.

This is what I've found to be helpful with me. Obviously with kids you'll have to make it far more entertaining.

- I need clear instruction, and I need to be made to do it a few times (ongoing, not just in one lesson) to make sure I'm doing it, or I haven't slipped into other habits, until it's apparent that I'm doing.

- A clear understanding on where I'm going with something and where it will lead me, so I won't start wondering about that and go on another mental tangent.

- Some sort of structure. Being assigned solid number of reps to do when doing this or that helps. A list of what I need to do and things to cross off is very helpful.

- I had to force myself onto the metronome (it took a looooong time to get myself there!), and it's actually become soothing. It's a distraction, and it makes me follow along.

- Constant activity.

- Head off impatient or frustrating moments when possible. Not always easy to do, but there are situations that could be steered off into different directions.

- I keep a log of what I've worked on every day so I can plainly see when something's been ignored.

I've started making changes in the past 6 months, and it has made a difference.

I hope this can help someone!


Edited by AimeeO (02/24/13 04:54 PM)

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#2038577 - 02/24/13 05:18 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: AimeeO]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5936
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: AimeeO
I hope this can help someone!
Aimee, thanks so much for posting all this. I found it very enlightening.
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#2038672 - 02/24/13 08:24 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5500
Loc: Orange County, CA
I have taught in classrooms with ADHD students. Sometimes, as I was dealing their behavior problems, I wondered if they were really ADHD kids or just kids who _chose_ to act out every 3 minutes.

And, no, there was nothing I could do to engage them. I was supposed to get special-ed helpers in my classroom since I had more than two of them at the same time, and I didn't get any help. It was a pathetic situation.
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#2038874 - 02/25/13 06:59 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Wonder how ADHD your student turns out to be after a month of spending an hour per day doing rigorous physical fitness and consuming no sugar, caffeine and fast food?

Perhaps teachers are being unreasonably asked to be acting more like frantic birthday party clowns and babysitters instead of being teachers because students are being delivered to them by parents in a condition that is completely unfit and poisoned by a toxic diet.

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#2038896 - 02/25/13 08:00 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
Marco M Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/12
Posts: 451
Loc: Europe
Give them only few but very clear limits and stricktly stick to them _always_. They otherwise will not / can not take them serious.

Give them short and clear explanations, and repeat them more often. They will pick them up in the one or other moment.

Give them more awards for their achievements (at least verbally) than you would do it for other kids and prepare the classes in a way that they have frequently the chance to become awarded. But please don´t point out what they are doing wrong. They experience so much frustration in so many situations, that you don´t want to add burden on their higher risk to become depressive and more likely then others one day start to take comfort i.e. in drugs, especially that it is proven that kids with this desease do NOT learn from their mistakes like normal kids do! So, no reason to point out their failures - especially not in a class of their leisure time.

Don´t forget that they suffer a concentration deficit, and are not necessarily stupid.

Show them that you like them, although they are difficult. They will love you for this and then find it easier to pay attention to what you are saying.

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#2038902 - 02/25/13 08:11 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
prenex Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 189
Loc: Minnesota
I've coached a kid with ADHD at chess. Working with this kid was like watching a fast forward newsreel of his life. In between narratives of what he had for dinner and his trip to summer camp there were a few minutes of brilliance. He just had to be ready. Sometimes I had to do some prompting, sometimes he came to it all by himself. I estimate that out of a half hour we probably had 3-5 minutes of readiness. He eventually did quite well and became the second ranked K-5 player in the metro district.

In general, whatever you do with neurotypical kids will work. You just have to do it at the right time, do it more often, and be more focused. Think of it as if it's a teeter totter. The kid is on the extreme end and you have to balance it on the other.


Edited by prenex (02/25/13 08:14 AM)

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#2038910 - 02/25/13 08:24 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: theJourney]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11966
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Wonder how ADHD your student turns out to be after a month of spending an hour per day doing rigorous physical fitness and consuming no sugar, caffeine and fast food?

Perhaps teachers are being unreasonably asked to be acting more like frantic birthday party clowns and babysitters instead of being teachers because students are being delivered to them by parents in a condition that is completely unfit and poisoned by a toxic diet.


This is huge. I don't think the general populace really understands just how bad sugar and white flour products and chemicals in food are. How many people really read the ingredients on things they buy? How many try to buy as much fresh produce as possible? It takes extra time and effort, and I honestly think most people feel they can't afford to eat better. But when you have children who are always more susceptible to effects of things (you don't give kids regular strength tylenol, you give them children's tylenol, for example), things that you may be fine with could be disastrous for a child.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2039067 - 02/25/13 02:41 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4810
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
I'm sure that if I had grown up in the 90s instead of the 50s, I would have been labeled ADD. Those of us born in 1948 just got things like this:

"James needs help in learning to listen to and follow directions."

*************************************************

In fact, it took me many years to learn how to DELIBERATELY ignore fools, some of whom were my teachers.

Gary, that makes two of us. I'm still not entirely convinced that ADD is just a fabrication to make it easier for teachers to avoid having to learn how to deal with boys. AMEN to your 2nd comment!

John, someone right after you talked about the "Y Chomosome" factor. I read that and laughed because I have been saying for years that this is a huge factor. Now, since world-class players are hardly dominated by women, I would say that many of the male "problems" are also potential strengths.

I would say the converse is equally true of women, even young ones. smile
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Piano Teacher

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#2039072 - 02/25/13 02:46 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Michael_99]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4810
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Michael_99
I have had learning difficulties my whole life. I am dyslexic, memory problems.

Since the discussion is about “attention deficit”, aren't we talking about three problems?

1) Ability to stay focused (and that is a HUGE are right there).

2) Dyslexia. My understanding is that this has nothing to do with focus, overall intelligence or memory

3) Memory.

So my first question: what are we talking about here?
Quote:

I can learn most everything but I learn more slowly and often have to arrange things differently to learn things than what other people would learn it which often drives people cracy. I have to tell people that they have to write things down because I will not be able to remember things short term.

Is this ADD? My learning style is very individual, geared to my own mind and the way I learn. No one, and I mean NO ONE understands how I learn, so generally I get almost zero help in any area if I ask for help in HOW to learn. That I do better by myself. And for the record I don't think there is a da mned thing wrong with me. smile
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Piano Teacher

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#2039084 - 02/25/13 03:02 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: malkin]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4810
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: malkin

Now if the kid really has an attention deficit, it will be impossible for him or her to focus even on a favorite activity for more than a few seconds. Of course you won't know what the child's behavior is like outside of lesson time, so you'll need to talk to the parents about the child's ability to focus during other activities.

I think there is some “wiggle room” here in applying “ADD”. I have encountered what I would call “severe cases” of ADHD in which I found it absolutely impossible to work with a child. For the moment lets not get into parenting and diet, but those are huge factors. For instance, if young Jayden is sucking down huge amounts of soda and caffeine, obviously has no self-control whatsoever, and “Mom” is in the room observing the whole thing with not a clue that anything is seriously wrong, there is a lot more going on than ADD.

Let's talk for a moment about really bright kids who are properly diagnosed, where the parents are fully on-board, supportive and effective, aware of the problems. I have one student like this. He came to me on meds, I don't think for a moment that he was not carefully monitored for diet, and I think his parents are great. Just first-rate. So we work together. Obviously I am not going to share his name, but I did have a great problem teaching him. Some lessons would leave me shaking, torn between the need to scream at him for being a jerk and the knowledge that he could not control himself and that he was TRYING.

Fast forward to a few years later. We still have hard lessons, but he is aware of “how he is”, and it helps when I remind him, over and over again, that I am just as impatient as he is, that many of the things that drive me nuts about his listening are things I share, and so on.

I can't listen to people talk for more than about 20 seconds before I am “away” unless the people talking are making sense to me and are not presenting their ideas in

S----U----P-----E-----R-------------------S-----L------O-----W------------------M----O-----T----I----O----N

In other words, I secretly tell myself how stupid most people are, and how they do not deserve to be listened to, then I think my own thoughts or make an exit. Well, my ADD and ADHD kids, the ones who are aware, are actually excited when I say that. Because suddenly we are not in different worlds.

Another thing I seem to share with these kids is the ability to concentrate like a demon for HOURS, if it is something that is FAST and EXCITING and involves MOVEMENT. I have to LIKE what I am doing, a lot. If I don't like what I'm doing, it doesn't matter if my life is on the line as the result of what I pay attention to. Everything turns into noise.

If I don't like music, I can't hear it. I tune it out.

If I read a book, ANY book, and don't like it, I tune out.

When I was forced to learn music I did not like, I tuned out.

So, as I suggested before: Do I have an attention problem? Or do I have a problem pleasing other people, including teachers, by pretending to care a a whit about something that bores the crap out of me?

My conclusion: the ability to concentrate is a spectrum, the ability to sit still and “behave” when what is going on is mind-crushingly boring is a spectrum. And the ability to be tactful about being bored to death is a spectrum.

So sometimes, when someone says, “What did I just say?” my reaction is embarrassment, because I went off again and really should have listened.

Usually my reaction is, “What you just said is boring and probably wrong. Stop being so boring and I will listen to you.”

And that is EXACTLY what many of these kids are thinking, but they are not allowed to say so.

I've been there...


Edited by Gary D. (02/25/13 04:14 PM)
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#2039314 - 02/25/13 09:49 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Gary D.]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2562
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Nice post Gary D.
(I'm glad you got my 'Y chromosome syndrome' diagnosis and laughed rather than taking offense.)

Originally Posted By: Gary D.
...My conclusion: the ability to concentrate is a spectrum, the ability to sit still and “behave” when what is going on is mind-crushingly boring is a spectrum. And the ability to be tactful about being bored to death is a spectrum.


+1
Which is why meetings are so stink boring, because the content must be presented so that the weakest link could possibly get it. Which leaves minds like yours and probably to a lesser extent, mine to their own devices.

Originally Posted By: Gary D.
So sometimes, when someone says, “What did I just say?” my reaction is embarrassment, because I went off again and really should have listened.

Usually my reaction is, “What you just said is boring and probably wrong. Stop being so boring and I will listen to you.”

And that is EXACTLY what many of these kids are thinking, but they are not allowed to say so.


My standard reply in this situation, which I teach some of my clients to say, "I'm sorry, I wasn't listening."
It's simple, direct, and true, and at least the form is polite.


Someone else raised the issue that kids with ADHD are not cognitively impaired. Cognition is probably normally distributed in this population, but remember that if a person has not able to pay attention to much of what happens in the world, there is probably much knowledge and many skills that he or she has missed that other kids in the same environment have mastered.
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#2039396 - 02/26/13 01:31 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Gary D.]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Now, since world-class players are hardly dominated by women, I would say that many of the male "problems" are also potential strengths.

I would say the converse is equally true of women, even young ones. smile


One of the main reasons that the world of master pianists is not " hardly dominated by women " has more to do with the fact that until quite recently most women were not allowed to work outside of the home after marrying age and that touring as a performing star was generally considered unbecoming for women in many cultures and societies.

In other words, it is not the men have an advantage for playing the piano at a high level but rather that women have been discriminated against and discouraged against and prevented from becoming performing stars.

There is even evidence to suggest that women have great advantage in playing the piano due to the make-up of their brain which has a larger corpus collosum and better integration between the left and right hemispheres thereby more easily using the entire brain (ratio + emotio) which is necessary for sensitive piano playing.

In addition, many of the women pianists we do have (and have had) I much prefer to some of the top-billed male pianists. For example, Mario-Joao Pires, Bella Davidovich, Martha Argerich, Teresa Carreno, Mitsuko Uchida, Clara Haskil, Alicia de Larocha, Anna Kratvchenko, Yuja Wong, etc. etc.

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#2039457 - 02/26/13 07:51 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: theJourney]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3206
Loc: Virginia, USA
I had an article saved that suggested women were under represented because they were too smart to spend the huge amount of time to master piano given the low expected return.

I'm paraphrasing, and badly.

I can't find the article now.
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#2039519 - 02/26/13 10:13 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11706
Loc: Canada
Can the author substantiate that idea, or is it just an opinion coming out of nowhere? I hope the author is a woman, and not a young one. smile

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#2039573 - 02/26/13 11:46 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: theJourney]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4810
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: theJourney

One of the main reasons that the world of master pianists is not " hardly dominated by women " has more to do with the fact that until quite recently most women were not allowed to work outside of the home after marrying age and that touring as a performing star was generally considered unbecoming for women in many cultures and societies.

You cherry-picked my post to make a point that counters something that I did not mean to say.

I was saying that the way many males think is not necessarily a disadvantage for many things, including playing the piano very well.

I was not saying that men have an ADVANTAGE over women. There are several women pianists who are among my favorites, one being Argerich. That said, from everything I have read Argerich might have fallen into the "ADD" label had she chosen a different career. The very things that are strengths are often labeled as weaknesses. That was my main point, not male vs. female.
Quote:

In other words, it is not the men have an advantage for playing the piano at a high level but rather that women have been discriminated against and discouraged against and prevented from becoming performing stars.

No argument from me, but that was never my point.
Quote:

There is even evidence to suggest that women have great advantage in playing the piano due to the make-up of their brain which has a larger corpus collosum and better integration between the left and right hemispheres thereby more easily using the entire brain (ratio + emotio) which is necessary for sensitive piano playing.

Again, you are turning this into male vs. female. You can continue this if you like, but please not with me. It it is not my point. I have no "dog in this fight".
Quote:

In addition, many of the women pianists we do have (and have had) I much prefer to some of the top-billed male pianists. For example, Mario-Joao Pires, Bella Davidovich, Martha Argerich, Teresa Carreno, Mitsuko Uchida, Clara Haskil, Alicia de Larocha, Anna Kratvchenko, Yuja Wong, etc. etc.

Yuja Wang, not Wong, who is also one of my favorite.

I agree with your points. But I'm not sure why you are making them to me. <confused>
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#2039621 - 02/26/13 01:07 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Gary D.]
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I will try to resurrect a few thoughts from the article I read unfortunately too long ago.

The idea (I think) (just continue inserting parenthetical caveats) (except keystring of course! <g>) is that a certain amount of dedication to piano, or baseball, or anthing else, makes cost/benefit sense. An hour a day, say, will yield benefits in terms of skill development, self discipline, fun, feelings of accomplishment, etc. You'd just waste that hour watching reality TV anyway. Well, I wouldn't, I'd read a book. Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside a dog, it's too dark to read. But I digress.

But that level of committment will never get you close to performance levels. Mastery requires a singleminded obsession that borders on autism, and requires significant sacrifice in most other areas of life.

Of those who do so, only a tiny percent really succeed. You have two factors: likelihood of success, and return on investment IF you succeed. (the world's best quarterback is paid pretty well; the world's best dart thrower not. Piano is closer to darts. )

So from a cost/benefit analysis, it makes little sense to put in effort when likelihood of success is low and payback is also low.

Vastly oversimplified, the theory is that girls are smart enough to make that calculation while boys are not, particularly if the activity seems to be a game or hobby.
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#2039625 - 02/26/13 01:14 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
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Ok, that is an hypothesis. It is not the same thing as knowing that women made such a decision, and for such a reason. In fact, I don't think that was the case.

Your cost/benefit may have a different application however. Did parents and teachers bother to invest in girls?

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#2039641 - 02/26/13 01:28 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: keystring]
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Originally Posted By: keystring

Your cost/benefit may have a different application however. Did parents and teachers bother to invest in girls?


That's not a simple question at all, is it? Even aside from cultural and generational biases.

I have only girls, so I don't know personally. On the surface it wouldn't have made a difference to me.

But, how many fathers spend hour after hour playing catch with their boys? Probably most. How many spend hours playing piano duets with their girls?

And there's an interaction. Boys will nag their fathers to come out and play ball. Girls, not so much. I always encouraged my girls to do various activities, sports and others, but when they resisted I didn't push it. Guess I'm not a tiger dad.

In sports, boys understand the need to perfect skills away from practice, even those who are just dabblers. I think that's a kind of collective mindset that's passed on. I've seen far less of that happen with girls. Maybe that's getting better. When Ronda beat Liz via armbar Saturday, you know there were thousands of hours of gym time for both.
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#2040038 - 02/27/13 08:51 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
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I just want to clarify a few things. Michael99, I am thinking specifically about one of my students who happens to have severe ADHD and this is not something I have 'suspected' this is something that his parents told me about when I started teaching him. I just wanted to get the ball rolling in terms of what other teachers have found to be effective, so I could try new things. I'd like to develop this boys ability in technique and reading music but it is difficult to get him to sit down for more than a few minutes. I have worked with this though - I have broken up the lesson into chunks and not all the work as at the piano, I get him to tap, conduct and clap rhythms. We play rhythm games too and he is fascinated with the metronome so I let him use it - he doesn't use it correctly, lately it has been more of a thing to set the tempo, not a bad start to using the metronome though.

I find that he doesn't like to try new things. He told me that he hates challenges because he never succeeds in them. This has become a challenge for me (HA!)... but I have found that he likes trying out new games, he just hates challenges, so I reword things and dress them up into games.

The longer I have been teaching him, the more I feel like I am growing as a teacher. I am relatively young, I haven't finished my undergraduate degree in music (yet) but the more weeks and months that go by, and the more advice I get from parents, teachers, psychologists, teachers aides, books, articles, etc... the more things I find to apply to my teaching. I can deal with tantrums a lot better these days.

AimeeO thanks for your insight, it was truly interesting to read. And I agree with Currawong, it was truly enlightening.

Marco M, I know that they are not stupid. This boy did an IQ test in one of his assessments and he did score very high. I find that with students in general - it helps to say things like "How could you make that better? Where do you think you can fix that?" rather than "That was wrong. Do it again." Asking them questions gets them to think... Bleeping the word wrong out completely is also wrong to me, sometimes it is easier to be simple, particularly when you are dealing with young children "was that right or wrong?" but every student is different.

I do want to also implement a few things. I wanted to employ some music therapy techniques into my teaching. There is a link with ADHD and anxiety, and so in very angsty/angry moments, I have time out time ... I intend to play soothing music during time out time. It's a work in progress, haven't tried it yet.
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#2040109 - 02/27/13 11:54 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
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Originally Posted By: Nannerl Mozart
I intend to play soothing music during time out time. It's a work in progress, haven't tried it yet.


Just a point of information, which you may know already.

"Time out" is the shortened version of two different concepts, and to be effective you need to be aware of the difference.

"Time out from reinforcement" and "time out from stimulation" are not the same thing. Time out from reinforcement is the more commonly used in most settings, but for an ADHD person it may need to be the other. If so, you'll need to be very alert. What is soothing to you may be stimulating to them, and increase the behavior you didn't want.

I've never seen the pop psychology articles make this distinction, but anyone who works in the field knows.
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#2040117 - 02/27/13 12:21 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: TimR]
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Originally Posted By: TimR


I've never seen the pop psychology articles make this distinction, but anyone who works in the field knows.

To be able to see ideas in context, do you work in the field?

By the way, I don't work in the field either - I'm a trained teacher with some training in LD's but on a psychologist - but I agree with what you wrote. "Soothing music" can drive some people bonkers because their needs are indeed opposite. I know someone who needs fast, rhythmic music (which drives me insane) and finds it calming.

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#2040140 - 02/27/13 12:56 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: keystring]
TimR Online   content
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Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: TimR


I've never seen the pop psychology articles make this distinction, but anyone who works in the field knows.

To be able to see ideas in context, do you work in the field?



No, I don't work in the field.

I worked 4 years in corrections, 8 years in mental hospitals, and a year part time in a college counseling center, and completed the coursework but not dissertation for a graduate degree in Clinical Psychology (Univ of Wisconsin). My first undergrad degree, from Notre Dame, was in Psychology.

Then I changed my mind, retrained, and have been a mechanical engineer the past 22 years.

Does that help with the context?

If I live long enough, I'm thinking about a third career. Haven't decided what yet.
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#2040142 - 02/27/13 01:01 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: TimR]
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And no, I don't think I'm ADHD myself, but I probably have some features.

I'm pretty sure I would have been diagnosed as Asperger's when I was a child, but that didn't really hit the news until 1981, way too late for me.
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#2040143 - 02/27/13 01:04 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: TimR]
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Originally Posted By: TimR

Does that help with the context?

Yes, it does actually. smile We get people who have read books, people who philosophize, and then people who have some kind of practical experience with or without training. So knowing what kind of background someone is coming from does help to weigh the words. Thank you. smile

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#2040373 - 02/27/13 08:32 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: keystring]
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Originally Posted By: keystring

To be able to see ideas in context, do you work in the field?


I do.

In practice, either the surface of either timeout procedure looks very similar. The big difference is what is happening in the minds of the adults in the environment.

Timeout from stimulation: Adults believe that the child is overstimulated and things will improve if the level of stimulation is decreased. The child is moved from an environment of greater stimulation to an environment of lesser stimulation by either moving the child or altering the environment. Adults expect improvement as soon as the level of stimulation becomes optimal.

Timeout from positive reinforcement: Adults believe that all behavior is maintained by reinforcement. Removing a child from sources of reinforcement will result in a decrease in the rate, frequency, or intensity of the behavior that immediately preceded the reinforcement. In this case, the adults must be keeping a record of the kid's behavior, because if the behavior does not change, it is not an effective procedure.

Either way, if a kid is goofing off in class, dropping his materials and poking his neighbor, an adult may ask him to move to the hall. Depending on the adult's frame of mind this could be either kind of timeout described above, or it could be that the adult is annoyed and wants a break from the kid for a while and doesn't expect any improvement in behavior.




Edited by malkin (02/27/13 08:34 PM)
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#2040412 - 02/27/13 10:02 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: malkin]
TimR Online   content
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Originally Posted By: malkin
Originally Posted By: keystring

To be able to see ideas in context, do you work in the field?


or it could be that the adult is annoyed and wants a break from the kid for a while and doesn't expect any improvement in behavior.




It may not be obvious, but if the adult allows himself to become annoyed, or allows himself to show it, the interaction will normally become reinforcing even if the procedures seem to be followed correctly. You have to be calm an neutral to make these work, and if you aren't, fake it 'till you make it.
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#2040626 - 02/28/13 08:30 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
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Actually, I wonder if sometimes stating the feeling rather than hiding or faking it might be better. When someone in a position of authority is wonderfully calm on the surface but seething underneath, it creates a spooky atmosphere. Hypersensitive individuals in particular will pick up on that, and I guess that young people would be more sensitive (?).

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#2040634 - 02/28/13 08:39 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: keystring]
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Originally Posted By: keystring
Actually, I wonder if sometimes stating the feeling rather than hiding or faking it might be better.


My preference would be to explain how to not have the inappropriate feeling in the first place.

But the resistance to this approach is enormous. People LOVE to be irritated, annoyed, or angry. It is very reinforcing.

If you can't do either (remove the feeling or hide it perfectly) then perhaps working with special needs kids is not for you.
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#2040636 - 02/28/13 08:48 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
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Feelings exist. It is important to be aware of your feelings. "Not having feelings" is unrealistic. But being aware of them and dealing with/working with them is another option. Re: people "loving" to be irritated, angry etc. - that is the adrenaline factor which makes anger a drug for some people. That is not what I'm talking about. In any case, having worked as a trained teacher in the area of learning disabilities, I don't have to wonder whether it is "for me". Irritation actually did not go into it. Correction: irritation at some of the stupidity these kids were exposed to in the name of education did sometimes come in.

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#2040646 - 02/28/13 09:05 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: keystring]
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Originally Posted By: keystring
Feelings exist.


I don't agree. Take responsibility for them.

Quote:
It is important to be aware of your feelings.


Yes.
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#2040649 - 02/28/13 09:11 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: TimR]
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Originally Posted By: TimR
Originally Posted By: keystring
Feelings exist.


I don't agree. Take responsibility for them.


If you don't agree that feelings exist, then how can you say people should take responsibility for what doesn't exist? There must be a misunderstanding.

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#2040681 - 02/28/13 10:14 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: keystring]
TimR Online   content
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Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: TimR
Originally Posted By: keystring
Feelings exist.


I don't agree. Take responsibility for them.


If you don't agree that feelings exist, then how can you say people should take responsibility for what doesn't exist? There must be a misunderstanding.


I don't agree that feelings exist as an external entity over which we have no control.

Feelings are actions that we perform, and can choose not to perform.

"a feeling came over me, and I had to do XXX, it wasn't my fault." That's a common way of avoiding responsibility.

"She made me so angry!" Nope. You chose to get mad at her actions, and could have chosen not to.
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#2040715 - 02/28/13 11:19 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: TimR]
keystring Online   content
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Originally Posted By: TimR

I don't agree that feelings exist as an external entity over which we have no control.

At what point did I talk about control?
Quote:

Feelings are actions that we perform, and can choose not to perform.

I do not see feelings as actions. It is very possible to feel things without acting on them. You can feel sad without crying. You can feel angry yet not throw things.


Edited by keystring (02/28/13 11:20 AM)

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#2040761 - 02/28/13 12:59 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: TimR]
AZNpiano Offline
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Originally Posted By: TimR
If you can't do either (remove the feeling or hide it perfectly) then perhaps working with special needs kids is not for you.

Gee, that's not nice.
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#2040773 - 02/28/13 01:15 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: AZNpiano]
keystring Online   content
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Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: TimR
If you can't do either (remove the feeling or hide it perfectly) then perhaps working with special needs kids is not for you.

Gee, that's not nice.

If I were someone considering a career teaching "special needs kids", then I might ask an experienced special needs teacher about the work and my suitability. But since none of these parameters exist, the advice is simply odd.

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#2040779 - 02/28/13 01:28 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: keystring]
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Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: TimR
If you can't do either (remove the feeling or hide it perfectly) then perhaps working with special needs kids is not for you.

Gee, that's not nice.

If I were someone considering a career teaching "special needs kids", then I might ask an experienced special needs teacher about the work and my suitability. But since none of these parameters exist, the advice is simply odd.

Well, at the risk of getting off topic, the issue of special-ed kids mainstreamed into classrooms is an ongoing one. Every district I've worked for has some way of dealing with this issue, to different degrees of success. So much depends on the strength of the special-ed department of the school. I've worked with some serious experts, and some people who are just looking to get paid extra $$$ while working with much fewer kids than the rest of us teachers.

In an ideal world, every classroom teacher should be well trained to deal with every possible situation involving "special needs kids," but the reality is so far removed from the textbook, it almost renders my credentialing program's mainstreaming course useless.
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#2040867 - 02/28/13 03:48 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: TimR]
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Originally Posted By: TimR

"She made me so angry!" Nope. You chose to get mad at her actions, and could have chosen not to.

Spoken like a robot, or Mr. Spock.

Give the rest of us a little room to be human. smile


Edited by Gary D. (02/28/13 03:48 PM)
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#2040868 - 02/28/13 03:50 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: keystring]
Gary D. Offline
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Originally Posted By: TimR

I don't agree that feelings exist as an external entity over which we have no control.

Originally Posted By: Keystring

At what point did I talk about control?

You didn't say that. Tim likes to create strawmen, and he did it again.


Edited by Gary D. (02/28/13 03:51 PM)
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#2040963 - 02/28/13 06:39 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: TimR]
malkin Offline
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Originally Posted By: TimR
Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: TimR
Originally Posted By: keystring
Feelings exist.


I don't agree. Take responsibility for them.


If you don't agree that feelings exist, then how can you say people should take responsibility for what doesn't exist? There must be a misunderstanding.


I don't agree that feelings exist as an external entity over which we have no control.

Feelings are actions that we perform, and can choose not to perform.

"a feeling came over me, and I had to do XXX, it wasn't my fault." That's a common way of avoiding responsibility.

"She made me so angry!" Nope. You chose to get mad at her actions, and could have chosen not to.


Originally Posted By: TimR
a feeling came over me
A feeling is whatever it is, you can just feel it; no one else has to even know.

Originally Posted By: TimR
and I had to do XXX
Whatever you did is behavior, which is your responsibility and your choice.
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#2041041 - 02/28/13 09:32 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
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I tend to thing that sure, there is instinct, we can sense feelings, but at the same time, at work a lot of us learn to leave certain feelings behind, to be neutral and do our work. To act and cover things up... part of teaching is acting. Acting in a way that we can cover things up. We learn to hide things. In hospitality, if a customer is being difficult, you smile and be polite and you don't get stirred by their anger. I never find it difficult to work with special needs kids, I've dealt with tantrums and books thrown around but I stay calm and neutral and I never lose my patience...
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#2041196 - 03/01/13 06:48 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: TimR]
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Originally Posted By: TimR
"She made me so angry!" Nope. You chose to get mad at her actions, and could have chosen not to.


Nice statement to derive the reminder that the student with ADHD is NOT ABLE to chose, and this is why ADHD is a desease and not just a consequence of a bad habbit of too much briskness or a bad education or a bad allimentation.

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#2041203 - 03/01/13 07:01 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Marco M]
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Originally Posted By: Marco M
Originally Posted By: TimR
"She made me so angry!" Nope. You chose to get mad at her actions, and could have chosen not to.


Nice statement to derive the reminder that the student with ADHD is NOT ABLE to chose, and this is why ADHD is a desease and not just a consequence of a bad habbit of too much briskness or a bad education or a bad allimentation.


The problem of course is that there is perhaps 1 real ADHD case for every 20 kids with the fashionable label alone swallowing high grade amphetamines prescribed by their doctor in many Western markets.

Even someone with real ADHD is not completely unable to manage any kind of emotional regulation whatsoever nor make any kind of conscious choices. That kind of excuse making creates pathologies rather than addressing them.

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#2041230 - 03/01/13 08:25 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
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I love the way Dr Christopher Green puts it in his book "Understanding ADHD" - "ADHD is an explanation, not an excuse"
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#2041276 - 03/01/13 10:07 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
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My nephew has ADHD and his behavior is stellar. His parents taught him manners and respect. He cannot choose how his brain processes, but he can certainly choose how what he says and how he responds.
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#2041280 - 03/01/13 10:17 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
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Mary, Michael, Mortimer, and Marinda sneeze. Mary sneezes because she is allergic to dust. Michael sneezes because he fell on his nose when he was a baby and it didn't heal properly. Mortimer has a bad cold. Marinda sneezes because of some kind of condition in her nervous system.

Our four M's are labeled with "sneezitis". So they are all put into the same room and given the same program for sneezers. Or maybe they're put into the same room, and a hapless teacher has to figure out what to do with sneezers. Does this make sense?

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#2041282 - 03/01/13 10:26 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Minniemay]
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Originally Posted By: Minniemay
My nephew has ADHD and his behavior is stellar. His parents taught him manners and respect. He cannot choose how his brain processes, but he can certainly choose how what he says and how he responds.

I would accept that your nephew has behaviour that is being labeled as ADHD, i.e. symptoms. If he can choose his actions, then he is unlike the boy that I had in my class. This boy was extremely polite, and had careful, involved, caring, mature, sane parents. He wanted desperately to do well in school, and fought to be able to settle down in his work. He knew that he had the intelligence, and the only reason things didn't filter in is because he could not pay attention long enough. There were consultations between him, the school psychologist, his family doctor, himself, and his parents. He was put on Ritalin, and for this boy, it was a relief. There was no question of him not being brought up properly, and not knowing how to behave. He was fighting a losing battle.

Another student could have been helped, had I known more. I took the course after teaching him. In this case the problem involves tracking and distractions. You wipe a chalkboard, and it leaves streaks. This student gets distracted with the lines from the streaks, which merge with the lines of letters and numbers, causing a struggle. It is an exhausting struggle, resulting in loss of concentration from exhaustion. Yet we have these idiot children books that have "watermark" pictures under the print, making reading difficult. Or they have bright "exciting" pictures in the books, which are also distracting.

In fact, we were taught to make things exciting, brief, fast, varied, bright, active. Guess what that does to calmness?

And how about if the material is meaningless and boring?

Distractability is a symptom of something. The child born to a drug addict may have damage to his nervous system. Etc.

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#2041308 - 03/01/13 11:38 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
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My nephew was placed on several different medications before they found one that helped him function well. He was given accommodations for exams and had other services as well. He is now a nurse, having written the top research paper in his graduating class.

ADHD can present itself differently, I realize.
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#2041310 - 03/01/13 11:41 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
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Yes. It is a symptom. Like the sneezes. The student I wrote about was also placed in medication. I was the teacher who identified the problem in its raw form, and then it became a collaboration between various experts, myself, and the parents. The student who was distracted by background things such as smears, this student needed a different solution because his distractability was due to a different cause. It's this overall labeling which is the problem.

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#2041384 - 03/01/13 02:34 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: keystring]
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Originally Posted By: keystring
In any case, having worked as a trained teacher in the area of learning disabilities, I don't have to wonder whether it is "for me".


With dismay, I realize you may have thought my comment was addressed to you personally.

That was not my intent. I intended only the generic "you plural," a piece of grammar unfortunately missing from English. Any person who has difficulty controlling their reactions to difficult people should reconsider working with difficult people.

I've been here since 2004, and while I will argue an idea forcefully, sometimes vehemently, it should be obvious I do not do personal attacks.
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#2041393 - 03/01/13 02:43 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Marco M]
TimR Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Marco M
Originally Posted By: TimR
"She made me so angry!" Nope. You chose to get mad at her actions, and could have chosen not to.


Nice statement to derive the reminder that the student with ADHD is NOT ABLE to chose, and this is why ADHD is a desease and not just a consequence of a bad habbit of too much briskness or a bad education or a bad allimentation.


That's a really good point. It's a rather curious contradiction.

There are plenty of people quick to discard my position that most of us can control our reactions to a great extent, if we choose to, work at it, and maybe are taught a few techniques. (This is a position that many people DO find enormously helpful in dealing with situations and people they can't control.)

And then, some of those same people are quick to discard the notions that ADHD kids can't control their behavior, at least to the extent that is possible for most of us. They would prefer to simply blame the kids for being naughty or poorly raised. The kids that I've observed are not enjoying being naughty or getting away with something. They are intensely uncomfortable, would do anything to be better, and carry significant guilt over not behaving and not concentrating.
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#2041395 - 03/01/13 02:44 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
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TimR, the whole thing went belly up a while back. I liked your original idea that soothing music may be non-soothing for some, and since you came up with it, I surmised you had actually worked with people in some capacity as opposed to just reading about it or speculating. Your background told me that, which is why I thanked you for it. And then it went belly up again at the mention of "emotion" which you seem to perceive as an action, while many of us perceive it as a feeling that we can decide to act upon, or not. So again it got weird. I assume that in your studies, they defined emotion in the "acting" way? Conversations so often go awry at the level of terminology.

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#2041399 - 03/01/13 02:49 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
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We had an interesting exercise in a learning disability workshop. You hold a piece of writing - or maybe a drawing - to a mirror, and your partner has to copy the mirror image. It is very difficult. You want to go right, and you go left. You want to go up, and you go down. Your circles get all scribbly and the whole thing looks messy and horrid, like an attempt by a 3 year old. Very soon you have a knot in your stomach, and you want to flee or have a temper tantrum. Our instructor then upped the ante. The person holding the mirror said encouraging things like, "You know you can do better." "It's really easy if you put your mind to it." (sweet smile, condescending encouraging voice, as you patter on). While we professional teachers exercised self control, we were ready to do bodily harm on our "helper". This, too, can manifest as ADHD.

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#2041404 - 03/01/13 02:52 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: theJourney]
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Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: Marco M
Originally Posted By: TimR
"She made me so angry!" Nope. You chose to get mad at her actions, and could have chosen not to.


Nice statement to derive the reminder that the student with ADHD is NOT ABLE to chose, and this is why ADHD is a desease and not just a consequence of a bad habbit of too much briskness or a bad education or a bad allimentation.


The problem of course is that there is perhaps 1 real ADHD case for every 20 kids with the fashionable label alone swallowing high grade amphetamines prescribed by their doctor in many Western markets.

Even someone with real ADHD is not completely unable to manage any kind of emotional regulation whatsoever nor make any kind of conscious choices. That kind of excuse making creates pathologies rather than addressing them.


Quote:
The problem of course is that there is perhaps 1 real ADHD case for every 20 kids with the fashionable label alone swallowing high grade amphetamines prescribed by their doctor in many Western markets.


There are more of these kids than you think, many of them undiagnosed, unmedicated, and falling far behind.

Quote:
Even someone with real ADHD is not completely unable to manage any kind of emotional regulation whatsoever nor make any kind of conscious choices. That kind of excuse making creates pathologies rather than addressing them.


I did poorly my first time (of three degrees) in college in many classes. I could absorb information faster than most of my peers, understand it more deeply, and treat an exam like an athletic contest. I could not focus long enough to write a decent paper to save my life. What kind of excuse created that pathology? I never blamed anybody but myself, never tried anything but harder..........but nothing worked. In a science class I'd be a standard deviation above anybody else, but add a research paper and I might as well take the F before starting.

This did improve with age, but it is still almost impossible for me to sustain effort. I work in spurts.
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#2041406 - 03/01/13 02:57 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
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The first poster I saw when I entered university years ago on someone's wall said "Don't adjust your set. The world is out of whack." The pathology may not be with you.

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#2041458 - 03/01/13 03:53 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: TimR]
Gary D. Offline
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Originally Posted By: TimR

I don't agree that feelings exist as an external entity over which we have no control.

I'm not sure anyone is making that point. So strawman.
Quote:

Feelings are actions that we perform, and can choose not to perform.

Feelings are actions? Really? I thought feelings are feelings and actions are actions. smile
Quote:

"a feeling came over me, and I had to do XXX, it wasn't my fault." That's a common way of avoiding responsibility.

There I agree with you! Although there are times when the "responsiblity" of not acting on feelings would tax any but the wisest people on the planet. I am not one of them, and I sincerely doubt you are either. So I think this idea of "owning the responsiblity of ALL actions at ALL times" is an ideal. A worthy ideal, but still an ideal.
Quote:

"She made me so angry!" Nope. You chose to get mad at her actions, and could have chosen not to.

Simplistic. We all have buttons. There are people who are so good at sensing them that they get great joy out of discovering them and pushing them.

Now, if TimR is wise enough and reflective enough and mature enough to know where every one of his buttons is, before someone pushes one, then TimR truly has the choice at all times about choosing not to react.

And if you are in this rare place - which frankly I did not even know existed in humanity - I envy you, because I would very much like to be there.

But I would suggest that at least 99.9% of the rest of us are not there.

I also notice that you enjoy pushing buttons, Tim. You enjoy making blanket statements then sitting back to watch the reaction. And then if people take the bait, which I may well be doing here, I think it is entertainment for you. smile
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#2041685 - 03/02/13 02:28 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: TimR]
theJourney Offline
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Originally Posted By: TimR
I did poorly my first time (of three degrees) in college in many classes. I could absorb information faster than most of my peers, understand it more deeply, and treat an exam like an athletic contest. I could not focus long enough to write a decent paper to save my life. What kind of excuse created that pathology? I never blamed anybody but myself, never tried anything but harder..........but nothing worked. In a science class I'd be a standard deviation above anybody else, but add a research paper and I might as well take the F before starting.

This did improve with age, but it is still almost impossible for me to sustain effort. I work in spurts.


Diversity is not the same thing as pathology.

We are all different and we all have different strengths and weaknesses.

The compulsion towards creating homogenous, cookie-cutter conformist consumers that bend to authority and do as they are told is the problem rather than your working in spurts instead of as a diesel locomotive kind of a guy.


Edited by theJourney (03/02/13 02:29 AM)

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#2042056 - 03/02/13 10:35 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Gary D.]
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Originally Posted By: Gary D.

Feelings are actions? Really? I thought feelings are feelings and actions are actions. smile


Feelings can be regarded as actions - getting angry and punching the wall are both actions you perform, with various degrees of control.

I realize this is a novel idea to you. But I wish you would consider it for a moment with an open mind while I explain a bit further. You've rejected it out of hand, then looked for arguments to defeat it, including personal insults. But there might be something useful in it, and I didn't come up with this idea myself. It's fairly standard in cognitive psychology. And even if it's wrong, it seems to work.

Keystring formulated a 3 step sequence.

Stimulus ==> anger ==> acting
example: child breaks favorite glass ==> anger ==> spanking

(yes I know spanking can be done without anger. or with.)

She suggested you could become aware of your anger and prevent step 3. This leaves steps 1 and 2 beyond your control, step 3 within your control. And that is what the pop psychology articles always teach, and the Gestalt therapist (the here and now the I and thou people).

I'm suggesting you think of it as a 4 step sequence:
Stimulus ==> (cognitive mediation through internal software) ==> anger ==> acting

The stimulus is insufficient to produce a specified emotional outcome. This is fairly obvious if you think about it. Look out the window and see rain. You've been planning your wife's surprise anniversary picnic for six months, and now it's ruined. You're devastated. Or, you're a farmer about to lose your farm due to drought, and your future is saved. Same stimulus, but far different outcome, because it was processed through your software, your set of beliefs, attitudes, and internal self talk.

Now, if you accept the 4 step sequence, where do you draw the control line?

I think keystring would have said steps 1, 2, and 3 are beyond control, that 4 is within control, and by working to become more aware of 3 you can exert more control over 4.

I'm saying you can back that up one more step. By becoming aware of step 2, your internal software, you can exert control over steps 2, 3, and 4. Further, this is far more effective in the long run. As you learn to avoid the anger, you run less risk of an action you'll regret, and your overall stress level is reduced. You can reprogram some of the irrational beliefs that make up step 2. Emotional overreaction is usually produced by irrational beliefs.

Do you become a robot, able to perfectly control your emotions under all circumstances? Unlikely. A few people are probably successful, most of us not. But we can learn to tone road rage down into irritation, etc. We can learn to recognize what pushes our buttons and why, and gain more control.

Weight loss is a good analogy. Losing weight is a trivial problem, really. Just reduce caloric intake below caloric output, and you'll lose as much weight as you want, and be as skinny as you want. We all believe that, and yet...few of us are at our goal weight. But the principle is sound, and there are techniques that can be used: avoid sweets, don't eat after 7 pm, eat breakfast, exercise, count calories or food exchanges etc.

There is a similar collection of techniques to work on step 2, if you want. Most people can't become James Bond or a robot, just as most people won't become skinny. Yet most people can lose a little weight and feel much healthier, and most people can gain some control over negative emotions.
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#2042128 - 03/03/13 02:47 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
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Great post TimR!

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#2042237 - 03/03/13 09:10 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
Gary D. Offline
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Originally Posted By: TimR

Feelings can be regarded as actions - getting angry and punching the wall are both actions you perform, with various degrees of control.

I realize this is a novel idea to you.

No. To me it is faulty thinking. Getting angry is not an action. Punching a wall is one possible result of getting angry. Another is holding it in and getting a headache, elevated blood pressure or an ulcer.

You might as well say, “I didn't come up with the 'imagine holding a ball in your hand' idea of how to shape the hand for piano, but there might be something useful in it, and I didn't come up with this idea myself.”
Quote:

Keystring formulated a 3 step sequence.

Stimulus ==> anger ==> acting
example: child breaks favorite glass ==> anger ==> spanking

I can't find anything remotely like that in any of Keystring's posts. And many times the third step is NOT acting, which is the whole point. In other words, child breaks favorite glass, adult feels anger and considers why – how important was the glass, and was the act deliberate – then adult decides how to handle his/her anger, and reflects on why the anger happened in the first place.

To me the whole point is to identify what caused the anger in the first place. In other words, once anger takes place, it is too late to put the genie back in the bottle, at that moment. That doesn't mean that the same set of events of the “stimulus” has to create the same outcome in the future.

I believe we all have buttons. I believe that when we identify what they are, we can do something about them. Later. But I see this as an ongoing process. It is rather difficult if not impossible to know that we have a button until it has been pushed, Tim, and when unrecognized buttons get pushed, I think that anger or some kind of negative feelings are inevitable.

Now, what we do with those feelings is another matter. I agree that feelings lead to action only if we accept that taking no action whatsoever is a kind of action. And in a way it might be, because not acting requires a decision. If we consider that a decision not to act is an act, well... smile
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#2042479 - 03/03/13 06:22 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: TimR]
keystring Online   content
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Originally Posted By: TimR


Keystring formulated a 3 step sequence.

I formulated no such thing. I responded to whatever you wrote in the very beginning, where you equated emotion with action. I stated that emotion is not action. But one might choose an action as a response to an emotion. My main point is that emotion is not action. The actual point that *I* was making is that people should be aware of what they are feeling (again - not an action).

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#2042488 - 03/03/13 06:39 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: keystring]
TimR Online   content
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Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: TimR


Keystring formulated a 3 step sequence.

I formulated no such thing. I responded to whatever you wrote in the very beginning, where you equated emotion with action. I stated that emotion is not action. But one might choose an action as a response to an emotion. My main point is that emotion is not action. The actual point that *I* was making is that people should be aware of what they are feeling (again - not an action).


Seeing it as three steps does not mean you agree step 2 is an action. It just means there are 3 steps.

I accept that you do not see the emotional reaction as an action.

I do not accept that I must believe it simply because you stated it.

The evidence is that those who see the emotion as an action are able to exert more control over it, rather than just being able to control the end behavior. That doesn't prove it IS an action, but it proves the concept is useful.

The evidence is that the 4 step formulation I've described works, as a useful selfhelp technique or therapy method.

You won't find 4 steps in the literature, of course, that's just the way I described it here. Basically I'm repeating the theories of Albert Ellis, and he had 3 steps here. His 3 steps stop with the emotion; I added step 4 to match yours. (Well, he has 5 steps, but they include disputing the irrational beliefs)

Here's a useful site:
http://psychology.about.com/od/typesofpsychotherapy/a/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy.htm

There are probably not REALLY 4 steps, whatever really means in this context. There are probably several hundred.

The point is that the idea that the feeling just happens and is beyond your control is a myth. Becoming more aware of your feelings is a good thing, I agree with you. All I'm saying is that becoming aware of the irrational belief structures that produce your feelings is also a good thing. I'm not sure why you reject that so strongly.
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#2042539 - 03/03/13 08:20 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: TimR]
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Originally Posted By: TimR

Seeing it as three steps does not mean you agree step 2 is an action.

The point is that you said that I formulated such a thing and quoted me on it. I did not formulate this. This has to do with a concept that you put forth. It began in response to something Malkin said about Timeout.

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#2042589 - 03/03/13 10:04 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: keystring]
TimR Online   content
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Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: TimR

Seeing it as three steps does not mean you agree step 2 is an action.

The point is that you said that I formulated such a thing and quoted me on it.


For you maybe.

The point is that I've suggested some techniques that really work.

I'm not 100% sold on why they work. I think the science behind it is way more complicated than the way I and Albert Ellis have stated it here.

I taught this stuff when I worked for Tellurian Community North, one of the early innovators in drug treatment programs in the 70s, and the follow-on Gemini Program, which treated drug abusers with psychiatric diagnoses. Now there's a difficult clientele!

I've mentioned that periodically over the almost 10 years I've been on this forum.

Not once has anyone been interested in what techniques might be involved.

Not once.

You'd rather have the satisfaction of proving me wrong.

Most of us would rather be skinny than happy!

Uh, are any of us skinny?
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#2042590 - 03/03/13 10:06 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
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Tim, the point is not whether or not I agree with you. The point is that what you attributed to me earlier is not something that I stated. I want to clear up only that thing.

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#2042612 - 03/03/13 11:06 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Gary D.]
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted By: Gary D.


I also notice that you enjoy pushing buttons, Tim. You enjoy making blanket statements then sitting back to watch the reaction. And then if people take the bait, which I may well be doing here, I think it is entertainment for you. smile


I noticed this too. I just chose not to react to my feelings about it.
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#2042617 - 03/03/13 11:31 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Morodiene]
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Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: Gary D.


I also notice that you enjoy pushing buttons, Tim. You enjoy making blanket statements then sitting back to watch the reaction. And then if people take the bait, which I may well be doing here, I think it is entertainment for you. smile


I noticed this too. I just chose not to react to my feelings about it.

Me three. f
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#2042638 - 03/04/13 12:46 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: TimR]
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Originally Posted By: TimR
The point is that the idea that the feeling just happens and is beyond your control is a myth. Becoming more aware of your feelings is a good thing, I agree with you. All I'm saying is that becoming aware of the irrational belief structures that produce your feelings is also a good thing. I'm not sure why you reject that so strongly.


I believe there is a somewhat dated term for this: " defense mechanism ". For example, people tend to self-identify with their feelings, so the knowledge that feelings are largely chosen based on our reaction to our emotions and that our feelings can be changed by becoming more aware and awake can be quite threatening to the ego. Better to deny.

Once you understand and accept that your feelings are nothing more than your interpretation of your emotions, then it is a short step to take to start to realize that your emotions are often just a deeper layer of the onion of your unconscious and bodily reaction to your interpretation of external and internal stimuli. We also can choose not to have (dysfunctional) emotions or choose how we express them effectively rather than express them ineffectively or repress them.

There are all kinds of techniques ranging from psychological to meditation practice to spiritual to organized religion to music related (Alexander Technique) that have to do with becoming less low-animal-like (automatic reflex machines of unthinking stimulus-response) and become more " holy " (autonomous, seemingly free-willed responsible & wise creatures). This is almost always done by creating more space and time in between stimulus and response and using this space to exercise our freedom in choosing our response in line with our long term objectives.


Edited by theJourney (03/04/13 12:47 AM)

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#2042726 - 03/04/13 07:46 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: AZNpiano]
TimR Online   content
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Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: Gary D.


I also notice that you enjoy pushing buttons, Tim. You enjoy making blanket statements then sitting back to watch the reaction. And then if people take the bait, which I may well be doing here, I think it is entertainment for you. smile


I noticed this too. I just chose not to react to my feelings about it.

Me three. f


You are very, very wrong.

There are many times when I have a radically different slant on something, and sometimes it's an idea that is so commonly accepted that any other opinion is suspect.

I can't help it. My brain works differently. I see different possibilities. (It's why I was unsuccessful at organic chemistry in college!)

I propose these because I see merit in them. There has never been a time when I did so for the purpose of pushing buttons.
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#2042744 - 03/04/13 08:42 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: TimR]
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted By: TimR
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: Gary D.


I also notice that you enjoy pushing buttons, Tim. You enjoy making blanket statements then sitting back to watch the reaction. And then if people take the bait, which I may well be doing here, I think it is entertainment for you. smile


I noticed this too. I just chose not to react to my feelings about it.

Me three. f


You are very, very wrong.

There are many times when I have a radically different slant on something, and sometimes it's an idea that is so commonly accepted that any other opinion is suspect.

I can't help it. My brain works differently. I see different possibilities. (It's why I was unsuccessful at organic chemistry in college!)

I propose these because I see merit in them. There has never been a time when I did so for the purpose of pushing buttons.



So then attributing keystring with saying something she did not say and constantly evading her attempts to tell you otherwise and ask where you got that from is not pushing buttons/trolling? What about in the FCAT thread where you blame religion *out of the blue* for students in public schools not being taught how to think critically? Not trolling? Great. Thanks for clearing that up.

If you wish to actually engage people in discussion and be taken seriously, then I recommend do away with the ad hominem and strawman arguments. This has nothing to do with you saying something "different" it has to do with how you are presenting yourself and disrespecting others.
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#2042765 - 03/04/13 09:47 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: TimR]
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TimR, I also think outside the box, so I have no problem with that. The part that I had a problem with was you stating I had said something, and then building on that, because I am very careful about what I present. I don't think it was a strawman. I think you made a leap to somewhere else. So let's back up.

When discussing a concept to which terminology is attached for you, especially when you have a very particular take on that concept, always define what you mean by the term. Also accept that others will understand different concepts to your term, and be accepting of that. Otherwise there will massive confusion, as everyone will literally be talking about something different, but use the same word. This is what happened here.

You seem to be thinking about the things you studied in that course and the work of Ellis. It's in the context of work with patients with serious problems requiring psychiatric care. I'm assuming their behaviour may be unhealthy, and that there are underlying issues that have to solved.

I'm thinking more along the lines of this example. On a given day a teacher has had a heavy day, and at the end of the day it's a real struggle to teach whatever to this last student who has learning problems, is hyperactive or whatever. The teacher also was forced to stay up late at night and didn't get as much sleep as he needed. Tiredness is setting in, and along with it irritability. He's aware that it is the end of the day for both himself and for his student, and that they are both getting tired. So he proposes they break off from what they were struggling with, do something else to refresh themselves, and then go back to it. The alternative is this teacher not realizing he is getting tired and grumpy, pushing through, and grumpy-vibes sneaking in.

The scenario I have painted here has no underlying deep seated problems and associations. There is nothing unhealthy here. It is normal to get irritable when you are tired. If you are aware that you are tired, and you get irritable when you are tired, then you can make intelligent choices. I was not thinking of pathologies when I talked about self-awareness.

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#2042821 - 03/04/13 12:00 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Morodiene]
TimR Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Morodiene
What about in the FCAT thread where you blame religion *out of the blue* for students in public schools not being taught how to think critically?


I didn't blame religion. I stated that if critical thinking were ever taught, it might become a threat to religion. In hindight I could have worded it so it would not be so easily misunderstood.

Quote:
Not trolling?


No. I never troll. Trolling is an attempt to get a rise out of somebody. I only bring up viewpoints that mean something to me, and for that purpose only.

Quote:
This has nothing to do with you saying something "different" it has to do with how you are presenting yourself and disrespecting others.


Disrespect? I have yet to personally attack anyone on this forum. In almost ten years.

The reverse is NOT true. People have been banned from this forum for fewer attacks than have been directed towards me in this thread.
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#2042864 - 03/04/13 01:42 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
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Originally Posted By: morodine
If you wish to actually engage people in discussion and be taken seriously, then I recommend do away with the ad hominem and strawman arguments. This has nothing to do with you saying something "different" it has to do with how you are presenting yourself and disrespecting others.

thumb
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#2046251 - 03/10/13 11:12 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: AZNpiano]
HalfStep Offline
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Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: TimR
If you can't do either (remove the feeling or hide it perfectly) then perhaps working with special needs kids is not for you.

Gee, that's not nice.

If I were someone considering a career teaching "special needs kids", then I might ask an experienced special needs teacher about the work and my suitability. But since none of these parameters exist, the advice is simply odd.

Well, at the risk of getting off topic, the issue of special-ed kids mainstreamed into classrooms is an ongoing one. Every district I've worked for has some way of dealing with this issue, to different degrees of success. So much depends on the strength of the special-ed department of the school. I've worked with some serious experts, and some people who are just looking to get paid extra $$$ while working with much fewer kids than the rest of us teachers.

In an ideal world, every classroom teacher should be well trained to deal with every possible situation involving "special needs kids," but the reality is so far removed from the textbook, it almost renders my credentialing program's mainstreaming course useless.


I would argue that it is a combination of the knowledge of the special education department coupled with the adept innovation of the regular education or inclusion teacher. But you're right, it's off topic.

With regard to piano, innovate to reach diverse learners...

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#2046254 - 03/10/13 11:23 PM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: keystring]
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Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: TimR
If you can't do either (remove the feeling or hide it perfectly) then perhaps working with special needs kids is not for you.

Gee, that's not nice.

If I were someone considering a career teaching "special needs kids", then I might ask an experienced special needs teacher about the work and my suitability. But since none of these parameters exist, the advice is simply odd.


I agree working with special needs might not be a good fit for the poster.

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#2048647 - 03/15/13 09:40 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
Nannerl Mozart Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
I was reading over this thread ... and it's funny, I notice when threads grow and develop we always end up with an argument on something other than what the OP.
_________________________
http://colouredsilence.wordpress.com/


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#2048660 - 03/15/13 10:16 AM Re: Students with ADHD [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
Marit Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 4
Loc: the Netherlands
First of all, I think the discussion whether or not ADHD exists and whether or not it can or should be solved through discipline, change of diet, medication etc., is not one that is fit for PianoWorld, because there are very few people who have enough knowledge of the topic to be able to form a reasoned opinion. Furthermore, a piano teacher is not going to change the parents' view on their child.

I have ADD myself. Essentially, it's like ADHD, but I'm only hyperactive inside my mind, causing me to get distracted easily and have a lot of trouble focusing. I take medication for this and have followed therapy to develop coping mechanisms.

What works best for me, is to study in very short sessions of 15 minutes, after which I take a break. Then I move onto the next block of 15 minutes and so forth.

During lessons, I sometimes need a little bit of help to get my attention back to the topic we were discussing. My teacher is aware of my ADD, but he himself has absolutely no problem with us deviating from the subject. Some lessons were spent just talking about music related things, me asking him to explain something theory-related, and moving from there to the next question I have, or an opinion he doesn't agree with.

Sometimes, and this probably goes for all of us, I get incredibly frustrated with wanting to do something right, but failing, and then his advice only makes my mood worse. He's able to signal this and consequently, says we've worked on this enough and moves to an other piece or spot that needs working on.

These are my personal experiences, my suggestion would be to have endless patience. It's so easy to blame the child for behaving badly, but unless you know the child trough and through, it's not very easy to distinguish between willfully breaking down the classroom and suffering from a disorder which causes you to act a certain way without you being able to do anything about it.


Edited by Marit (03/15/13 10:17 AM)

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