How Diagnosis Affects Attention in the Classroom

Consider the following scenario:
You are the educational assistant in a kindergarten classroom. Today’s class is busy, noisy, and productive and the teacher needs to make an announcement. She raises her voice slightly and says, “You have 5 more minutes. Make sure to glue down any loose pieces right now so they are dry enough by the end of class to stack your papers.” Five minutes now pass. You notice one of the students who has not completed the task and is not ready to move on yet.
Part 11. Identify the child’s diagnosis and describe in two to three paragraphs what the disability is and how the disability may impact the child in a school classroom setting. Use Alberta Education (or other Provincial Department of Education) resources such as the “Understanding Medical and Disability Information” resource or other course readings such as the document “What Educators Need to know about FASD or peer reviewed academic journals or books (eg. American Psychological Association – DSM-V. Use APA citations and references and ensure research meets academic rigour standards. It is not acceptable to use web based research from non-academic sources.
2. Consider the scenario provided above and the disability that you have researched. From the student’s perspective (first-person point of view), what may be happening in this classroom situation that may affect their attention? Describe in detail what challenges to attention the student may be experiencing in this busy classroom. Imagine yourself in the role of this student, consider all the senses (hearing, vision, touch, smell) of the student and be descriiptive in your explanation. What is the student seeing, experiencing, thinking, in the classroom and what is competing for their attention? Be creative in your answer. Consider the pre-requisite skills that are needed by the student to be successful in meeting the demands of the classroom tasks when thinking about how this student may respond to the teachers directions.
A note on first person writing: First person point of view allows you to step into the shoes of the student and to view what is happening in the classroom from their perspective. The language you use and the thoughts you express should reflect a Kindergarten student with the disability described in step one. Your narrative will reflect the point of view of the student and will contain first person pronouns (I, my, mine etc.).
Part 2From your perspective as an educational assistant, if you were in the classroom observing and interacting with this student in the scenario described above, what might you do to proactively (and reactively, if necessary) to support this student? What do you think the student might struggle with in this situation and how might you help to structure the environment, expectations or support strategies made available?
You may also use information from Overlapping Behavioral Characteristics & Related Mental Health Diagnoses in Children chart Download Overlapping Behavioral Characteristics & Related Mental Health Diagnoses in Children chart to support your answers.