Jimmy: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

by PammyMcB

Purpose

The purpose of the Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD) video is to bring awareness about the disorder and to give a voice to people who live with the disorder as well as their families.

Essential Points

Inattention. Jimmy drifts off during conversations. He said it is like “I go back in my mind.” He also tells the interviewer drifting off happens a lot in school. Later in the interview, Jimmy did not immediately answer the interviewer. Jimmy told her that his mind “went” and a “cartoon just popped in” his head.

Impulse Control Difficulties. When the interviewer asked Jimmy if he moves around a lot, he told her that he does not. His mother laughed a little after he said it. From the start of the interview until this point, Jimmy was in constant motion. He could not sit still. His actual behavior compared to his own idea of his behavior was significantly different. He does not realize that he is in constant motion. When asked about his restlessness, Jimmy does say that it is worse when he has to sit still.

Affects of ADHD on Education. With Jimmy, he does well in school if he is on his medications. However, it is very difficult for Jimmy to get on a routine and schedule. Though he is disorganized, Jimmy has a good memory while he is paying attention. Jimmy does well with math facts and bulleted lists. Jimmy’s mother said that the increased ticks, which are the side effects of the medication, is a good trade-off for his homework being easier. However, Jimmy does admit that he looses things often, but he also eventually finds them. He also says that sometimes he leaves things at school that is supposed to come home, such as homework. Jimmy also said that it is difficult for him to transition from one activity to another. He told the interviewer that it is difficult to do large projects, and writing is the hardest part of going to school. According to Jimmy, copying information goes pretty fast, but writing takes a long time if it is his own ideas. His mother said with the help of an occupational therapist, Jimmy’s handwriting went from being illegible to legible.

Social Implications. Jimmy admits to having problems with his social skills. He tells the interviewer that he often cuts into conversations; interrupts people when they are talking, and speaks so fast people do not understand him. Jimmy does say that he can slow down his speech when the fast pace is brought to his attention. He says that he often becomes obsessed with things, such as Lego’s. Jimmy states that his friends let him know when he is becoming obsessed, and they let him know he needs to do what they want to do as well. Jimmy told the interviewer that he has told his closest friends that he has ADHD, and they understand why he acts as he does.

Affects of ADHD on the Family. In the video, Jimmy relies on his mom quite a bit. She often answers for him, or repeats the question if he does not understand it. She gives him cues to quit fidgeting, such as a light touches on his arm. Because Jimmy is so disorganized, he depends on his mother to keep up with his things. She prepares his backpack for school the next day. She tells the interviewer that Jimmy is forgetful, but he is also easily directed. He and his mother have to work together. She tells the interviewer that having a name helps a bit, but she does not want it to be used as an excuse for his behavior. She says that he has no problem sleeping, but she is concerned about his decrease in appetite, which is another side effect of the medication. Jimmy’s mother says he does not eat lunch. Therefore, she has asked him to at least drink milk at school, and she makes him a large breakfast. Another concern she has is having Jimmy on medication. She said she does not want to have him on medications, but she knows it helps him to learn skills he needs for the future. Jimmy’s mother also states that they have to work as a team, and they have found a balance. The interview closes with us learning that Jimmy’s ADHD is not only exhausting for Jimmy, but it is exhausting for his mother as well.

Application of the Essential Points

I feel this video will help me to be more considerate to the needs of my students with ADHD. Because of this video, I plan to study a bit more on effective redirecting techniques for students with ADHD. Because of my nephew with ADHD, I could relate to Jimmy’s mother. However, I never realized how much Zachary could and could not control until I watched this video. Now, I know that Zachary is not just ignoring me. He is most possibly drifting off because the activity we are involved in is not stimulating enough. Therefore, I will have to find ways to keep my students with ADHD, like Zachary, from not blanking out in the classroom. Now that I have heard from Jimmy that sitting still for long periods of time, I plan to find ways to get the students up and moving in the classroom to try to keep them focused.

Personal Reaction

I liked this video, because showed me a picture of how ADHD looks. It was rather interesting that Jimmy said that he does not move around a lot, and as he said that, he was fidgety. I feel it is important that the educator should know what ADHD looks like. Many students with ADHD are like Jimmy. Many of them do not realize that they are fidgety, talking too fast, or not paying attention. I found myself a bit concerned about Jimmy’s dependence on his mother. I feel he could benefit from self-organization techniques, such as assignment sheets.

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