Sydney Dyslexia

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ADHD and the Fruit-fly experiment


Interesting study that shows the correlation of dopamine, hyperactivity, learning ability, ADHD and how fruit flies have emotions and the ability to learn.

In the article below you will learn from David Anderson that ADHD and other common brain disorders are “actually disturbances in the neural circuits that mediate emotion, mood and affect.” In that respect it makes sense to me to listen to the explanations of Ron Davis. He believes that ADHD is often caused when students are not interested in the subject and/or don’t understand  what the teacher is saying. Their perception is altered by that combination of boredom and confusion and causes disorientation. Disorientation speeds up the internal clock, slowing down external time. Their sense of balance and movement is also affected and distorted – and movement (hyper activity) helps them to restore the balance between internal and external differences: “emotion, mood and affect” are at work. The affect if not moving would be similar to motion sickness. The solution would be to give the ADHD individual the tools to restore orientation and control their behaviour themselves, without drugs. Adderall, Ritalin and other amphetamines aim to increase the amount of dopamine that is released into the brain. Orientation does the same, yet without amphetamines.

To read the article on the Neuroscience of ADHD:





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Teachers and hyperactive students

hyperactive kids


As a teacher, what can I do with children who are hyperactive and distract the rest of the class?

Discourage the use of stimulants, such as Ritalin, even if it’s tempting. There are healthier and more supportive activities that would help them.
When a child displays signs of hyperactivity, being forced to sit still and not move makes them nauseous. It’s the closest to a feeling of seasickness. It’s not just in our mind, but there actually is
biochemical change happening too.
Children with ADD and ADHD display higher levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Disorientation shifts our perception of time and increases the dopamine output, and having an increased amount of dopamine around the synapses of the brain, the “internal clock” speeds up. Naturally, time in the classroom seems to be excruciatingly slow in comparison. Instead of using discipline to force them to sit motionless, encourage an activity when you see that happening. It could be as simple as running an errand, giving a note to another teacher, accompanying another student to the sick bay or anything you can think of. Movement, stretching or any combined class activity, like playing with Koosh balls is great to help them and synchronize the energy of all children.
Koosh balls (the rubbery, stringy toy balls) are a fantastic tool that many teachers use already. For additional benefit, ask your students to throw and catch while standing on one leg, throw them in a sequence to different children (teacher to Mary, Mary to Dean, Dean to John, John to Patrick …) and after a while, reverse that sequence, which keeps them totally focused and on task. Ask them to catch overhead, like an eagle would catch a mouse, while throwing them underhand, with the balls next to each other, in one hand, so they arrive at the catcher’s eye level simultaneously. Throwing the balls to either the left or right side of their head has the additional benefit of mid-line crossing, when they catch the two balls. Very young children (approximately up to the age of eight) have trouble catching the balls overhead and find it easier to catch with both hands stretched out, palms facing up.