The Disorder Named ad/hd chadd fact Sheet #1

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The Cluttered Desk

Volume 1 Issue 6

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." – William Arthur Ward

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Welcome to “The Cluttered Desk”, the semi-monthly newsletter of Just Us Teachers. You are receiving this newsletter because you have requested a subscription. If you have received this e-mail in error or would like to discontinue your subscription, please see the instructions at the end of this newsletter.




Check out 1, 2, 3 Math Fonts at, the newest way to add graphics to your worksheets, flashcards and posters with no cutting and pasting!

The lesson plans are up! Math lessons sorted by concept! Check them out at!

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RESEARCH LINKS – ADHD – I have them, you have them, we ALL have them… kids diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. The degrees of this disorder vary almost as much as the opinions about it. Check these links for information, research and opinions on several sides of the issues surrounding ADD/ADHD.

The Disorder Named AD/HD - CHADD Fact Sheet #1
Myth of ADHD
ADD in the Classroom: A Teacher’s Perspective
Dealing With Impulsive Behaviors
Is Medication the Best ADHD Treatment?
Chaos in the Classroom: Looking at ADHD
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Many children have episodes of impulsiveness, it just goes along with being a child. A teacher was having trouble with a particular student who was constantly out of his seat, following her around the classroom and asking questions. “When do we go to P.E.?”… “What time is lunch?”… “Is it almost time to go home?”

After several weeks of this behavior, the teacher told the child that if he did not stay in his seat and raise his hand, she would ignore his questions until he asked them in a proper manner.

That very afternoon, the child began following his teacher, asking a barrage of questions. The teacher pretended not to hear, even pretended not to see him, until comprehension dawned on his face and he asked… “Are you annoying me?!”

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We normally feature a humorous article in this section of “The Cluttered Desk”. But for the ADHD issue, we decided to make a change. This month’s article is “The Story of D”, written by Bob Seay. I first ran across this story a few years ago, and I have never forgotten it. Please take a few minutes to read it, it is well worth the time…

The Story of D
By Bob Seay

Once upon a time, not so long ago, a beautiful child was born. There was nothing exceptional about this birth, except the same things that make every birth exceptional. Her parents loved her very much. They gave her a name that showed how they felt about their beautiful, perfect daughter.

Of course, she couldn't say her name. And as she grew, the name was still difficult for her to pronounce. None of her little toddler friends could pronounce it either; in fact, they mutilated the name in all kinds of creative ways.

So her parents, thinking the girl should at least have a name that she could pronounce, decided to call her by her initial. So, at age 2 and a half, this beautiful, perfect child with a name so aptly chosen at birth was essentially renamed for the convenience of those around her.

Her new name was simply "D".

D grew and was soon ready to go to school. Her parents hugged her, told her that they loved her, and put her on the bus. They waved goodbye and smiled, even though they were a little nervous, a little scared and a little bit sad.

When she got to school, D's teacher asked her what her name was. The little girl, assuming that her teacher was probably no more articulate than her little friends, simply said "My name is D". Then she smiled, remembering the name her parents had told her the D stood for and how special it was.

The teacher didn't ask why she smiled, or what the D stood for, or what the girl would like to be called. She simply repeated, parrot-like, the single letter given by the child - D -and thought nothing more about it.

After just a few days of being compared to all the other children in first grade, and all the children in last year's first grade, and all the children in the 20 or so years of first graders in this teacher's career, D was found to be unique. She didn't color in the lines like she should. She didn't behave like she should. Though she seemed to be bright enough, very bright in fact, she seldom gave the expected, and therefore the "right," responses.

Her teacher decided that the D must have stood for "Different". And so, rather than thinking of the girl in a way that showed love, as her parents had intended when they named their beautiful, perfect daughter, the teacher began to treat her according to the name she had chosen for the girl: Different.

By the end of first grade, D suspected that she had somehow been "renamed", although she certainly couldn't verbalize such a concept and she certainly would not have picked the same D word for herself that her teacher had chosen. In fact, by this time, her friends, her parents and even D had almost forgotten what the initial D had stood for in the first place.

When she went to second grade and the teacher asked her name, the little girl, without smiling or remembering anything more than just the information required to answer the immediate question, simply said "My name is D".

"Ahhhh..." the teacher thought. "This is D. This is 'Different"'. And she treated the girl accordingly.

After a few weeks, this new teacher had her own interpretation of the initial: "Dummy." Of course, in the calls to the child's parents, or in the conferences with the school psychologists, she still referred to the little girl as D, but she began to treat D in a manner that was consistent with this new, unspoken, name. To her, "D" meant "Dummy."

And so it went...year after year, teacher after teacher, each renaming the child according to their own expectations... Different, Dummy, Distracted, Distant...

Finally, one teacher looked into the eyes of this child and saw an even deeper meaning of the single letter name. He had no idea of the original meaning, but he could tell what it had come to mean.


The parents were called in. Psychologists were summoned. Forms were filled out, signed and implemented.

Nothing changed.

There were more meetings... more plans...more frustration .... more nothing.

All of the educational professionals agreed. All of the psych people and the Department of Social Services agreed. This child was obviously the victim of emotional abuse. "Bad Parents" the professionals said, as if they were scolding a puppy for soiling the rug. Because they were all professionals, they never said those hurtful words out loud, just as they had never used any of the hurtful names for D out loud. "Bad Parents" they said silently, a loud deafening silent name calling. When they finally did speak, they began to "explore" this abuse.

"The girl doesn't even have a decent name," they said. "No wonder her self esteem is so low."

Then, as if they hadn't already decided, each in their own mind, exactly what the D stood for -Different, Dummy, Distracted, Distant, Damaged, Disappointment, Depressed, Defeated...Destroyed -- they asked the parents what kind of name was "D" for a little girl.

D's parents looked at the floor. They looked at each other. Together, silently, they remembered the birth of their beautiful, perfect little girl- the little girl they had loved, the daughter they had named, and the child they had apparently failed. Her Dad wiped away a tear and spoke.

"Her name is Delightful."

Visit Bob Seay at . Reprinted with permission.

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Clever Clown Number Order – Help your students sequence the numbers 1-50. Grades K-2
The Total Scoop – Practice making equations with more than one operation. Includes reproducible ice cream worksheet. Grades 3-5
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WE’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!! Do you have a lesson, link or funny story that you would like to see here? We welcome your submissions! E-mail us at

Did you enjoy this issue? Pass it on to your friends and coworkers! E-mail us and let us know your thoughts! We look forward to hearing from you!

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Past Issues of “The Cluttered Desk” can be viewed at
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