In celebration of the 2016 National Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder (AD/HD) Awareness Week from October 16 to 22, the Department of Education (DepEd) joins the AD/HD Society of the Philippines in providing the public with much needed knowledge and understanding on the highly misunderstood neuro-biological disorder-Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD).
With this year's theme "Turning Disability into This Ability," the event aims to campaign for persons with disability to be granted equal rights and access to basic services which are often denied to them, such as education, health and development.
The Department's objective is to promote public understanding and acceptance of people with ADHD. Increased public awareness on the effects of the characteristics and social issues faced by people with AD/HD may result in increased protection of children from neglect and abuse.
Teaching students with special needs requires deeper understanding of their real condition. Learners with AD/HD tend to experience disorganization, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. While they may want to overcome these, it is not as simple as others may think.
Teacher Marinil Juan of Pasay City SPED Center, who has been teaching learners with AD/HD for 11 years, shared how she's handling students with these certain exceptionalities.
Acknowledging that people with AD/HD suffer from inattentiveness, Teacher Marinil said, "I give frequent, small breaks, and I also make sure to give them verbal instructions which are not more than 10 minutes each."
Teacher Marinil also makes sure that she shares common interests with her students. Based on her experience, this makes her students listen more to her.
"There should be a balance in dealing with these learners. We must be strict and firm, yet loving and approachable," she added.
Teacher Russell Agcaoili of La Union SPED Center believes that the best way to handle learners with AD/HD is to be thoroughly informed about their condition. She often reads articles and research about AD/HD to further understand the condition of her students.
"I design effective and appropriate educational materials for my students by collaborating with a developmental pediatrician and parents, as well as observing my learners' behavior," she added.
People with AD/HD often suffer from negative stereotypes from the public, which the DepEd, AD/HD Society of the Philippines, and other agencies and organizations aim to correct through the celebration of the National AD/HD Awareness Week.
"People would think that kids with AD/HD are unaware of their behavior or actions. But my students come to me and say 'Ma'am, I can't stop moving' and 'Di ko kayang pigilan ang pagtakbo, Teacher'," Teacher Marinil shared.
She added that these kids are trapped in a body they have no control of, and that these kids need all the understanding and acceptance they can get.
Teacher Russell added, "Persons with AD/HD need to be accepted in the society, and must be given equal opportunities to grow as individuals."
Reflecting the same passion in handling learners with special needs, SPED Teacher Nora Pablo of Villamor Airbase Elementary School said, "With proper handling, coupled with a passionate heart, students with AD/HD can learn too-in their own way, style and pace."
Many of the people with AD/HD have above-average intelligence, are highly creative, and have the ability to multi-task. With proper management and support, people with AD/HD can live a productive life, and can contribute to the nation's moral, financial and spiritual recovery.
The DepEd calls for the participation of all schools, especially those schools offering program for children with AD/HD as well as the Special Education (SPED) Centers.
Some of the efforts and activities to be conducted in schools are hanging of streamers, art workshops for children and youth with AD/HD, exhibit on educational services offered to children with AD/HD, community and parents' forum on understanding and possible employment of people with AD/HD, among others.
The annual celebration of the National AD/HD Awareness Week on the third week of October is pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 472, s. 2003 signed by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
These efforts are pursuant to the DepEd Memorandum No. 167, series 2016 or the 2016 National Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder (AD/HD) Awareness Week which is available online at http://www.deped.gov.ph/memos/dm-167-s-2016.
Source: Philippine Information Agency