A new study says it’s not the class structure, but rather the way you teach it that’s most likely to cause children to have ADHD, not just the teacher.
The study, led by the University of Maryland, says the teacher who is most likely, or at least a little bit, to trigger the problem is a teacher who has a poor track record of working with children.
The study looked at teachers from the Baltimore County School District, the city of Baltimore and the state of Maryland.
The report found that children in classes with teachers who had ADHD symptoms had significantly higher scores on the ADHD diagnostic test than children in classrooms without the problems.
The results were published in the journal Attention Disorders & Hyperactivity Disorder, the Journal of Attention Disorders reports.
In the Baltimore and Maryland study, the researchers say, the problem was most likely when the child was a first- or second-grader, who had a teacher with a “very low level of knowledge and/or experience” about ADHD.
The authors point out that this may be a common misconception because most children have no clue about ADHD symptoms and teachers are often unaware that children with ADHD are struggling.
The teachers’ knowledge and experience were related to the teacher’s likelihood of causing ADHD symptoms, they wrote.
Teachers with ADHD who have no previous experience or expertise with children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder were more likely to trigger symptoms than those with prior experience.
The effects were stronger in the first-grade classroom.
The researchers say the teachers who were most likely or at most somewhat likely to make the problem worse are teachers who “are not experts in ADHD and/ or have poor academic standing or performance in school.”
They are also more likely than teachers without ADHD to “misapply” ADHD symptoms to children, the study says.
“There is no simple cure for ADHD,” the authors conclude.
“It is not possible to simply change the way children are taught to interact with their teachers or to eliminate teachers who may be in need of remedial help.”
More to come.