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The CEC ADD training project.

During the past decade, attention deficit disorder (ADD) has moved to center stage in American schools. However, as schools have sought to provide appropriate services, it has become clear that many educators know little about the condition or about how best to educate students with this disability.

CEC's project, "Continuing Education Program on Attention Deficit Disorder," funded by a 3-year grant from the U. S. Department of Education, is intended to help fill this large gap in information and skill. While CEC's natural constituency is special education teachers and administrators, the training materials and workshops also are intended for regular educators, other professionals, and parents.

The project is utilizing a team of professionals (the "Content Committee") to develop and deliver the training. Committee members include Ron Reeve, a professor at the University of Virginia; Mary Spessard, a school administrator from Coloma, Michigan; Ron Walker, an educational consultant from Atlanta; Ann Welch, a teacher from Albemarle County, Virginia; James Wright, a professor at Auburn University-Montgomery; and CEC staff, including Ginger Katz and Dawna Farrar. Judy Schrag, who until recently was Director of the Office of Special Education Programs, is consulting with the team on administrative and policy issues.

Four "modules," each relatively self-contained, are being developed. The first three modules, Characteristics and Identification, Model School Programs, and Effective Classroom Interventions, were presented for the first time in conjunction with CEC's annual convention in San Antonio, Texas, in April 1993. Almost 100 participants attended the 6-hour presentation, making this one of the most popular workshops. Participant evaluations were very positive, supporting both the importance of the topic and the effectiveness of the workshop. A brief description of the modules follows.

The first module, Characteristics and Identification, provides a brief historical background of ADD, followed by a clinical description of children with the disorder. Current definitions of ADD are presented. A model for the assessment process then is offered, which takes into account emerging "best practices" in the field while sensitizing participants to the important cultural and ethnic issues which must be considered.

The second module, Model School Programs, addresses the issue of school reform and its impact on service delivery to children with ADD. This module includes the rationale for the collaborative teaching approach, important features of this approach, and strategies for overcoming resistance to change. Specific components necessary for success are elaborated. The theme of honoring diversity, that was introduced in Module I, is expanded here with attention to ways of structuring classrooms that will honor diversity while maintaining high expectations.

Module II, Model School Programs, and Module III, Effective Classroom Interventions, share many themes. Module II addresses the themes from the school perspective and Module III focuses on specific classroom practices. Both modules take the position that, in the large majority of cases, administrative, instructional, and management changes that are beneficial for students with ADD are beneficial for everyone. When a teacher adds to his/her repertoire of skills to meet the needs of a student with ADD, the new skills will be used daily with other students.

Module III also stresses that effective behavior management depends on affect and rapport at will as much as it does on consequence and cognition. While good rapport does not replace sound pedagogical practice, poor rapport may render ineffective practices that are effective in the hands of another teacher. This module presents specific strategies for maximizing positive consequences, minimizing negative consequences, and modifying instructional and grading practices.

Module IV is concerned with the legal, administrative, and policy issues that are critical in designing and implementing appropriate programs for ADD students. The legal requirements for schools under both IDEA and 504 are explained and compared. Emerging case law that suggests when and how special education (versus 504) services are required for students with ADD is detailed. A practical model for how schools can deliver efficient, high quality services to ADD students while operating within these legal requirements is then presented.

Although the modules have been designed as an integrated workshop, each can stand alone. There is also some flexibility in the length of time required for each module, depending on the needs of the audience. For example, a more sophisticated audience may not need much of the Characteristics and Identification module. Administrators may require an expanded policy module but less information on classroom intervention, while teachers will probably prefer the reverse. The flexibility of the modules will make it easier to provide information tailored to the needs of the immediate audience. A convention program committee may also choose to offer some modules and omit others, depending on the needs of their members.

All four modules will be offered at a 1-day workshop in the Washington, DC, area in November, 1993, and then again during the CASE International Conference on Special Education in San Diego, January 13-15, 1994. Instead of a preconvention workshop at CASE, the ADD modules have been included in the break-out sessions. The members of the content committee are particularly pleased that CASE chose to include all four modules. While legal and policy issues may have more immediate importance for administrators, their assistance in disseminating information regarding Effective Classroom Interventions is welcomed. Teachers need administrative support to make changes in their practices. The committee is pleased about the number and variety of presentations on ADD that will be available at the CEC Annual Convention in Denver, April 6-10, 1994. A preconvention workshop will again be offered, this time to include all four modules. Plans are underway to have the workshop professionally videotaped. The committee intends to produce a video featuring portions of all four modules, with leader and participant manuals. The video and accompanying training materials would reach professionals who are unable to attend conventions and workshops.

In addition to the workshop, there will be an ADD strand in Denver. A strand is a series of related, invited sessions on a topic of special interest. The ADD strand leader is Ann Welch, who serves on the content committee and also is the winner of CEC's 1993 Clarissa Hug Teacher of the Year award. Unlike some strands, which may have a more research focus, the ADD strand is intended to meet the needs of practicing teachers.

The strand will include a major presentation by Ron Walker, who will offer practical strategies for effective behavior management. Also included will be sessions on teaching students with ADD at elementary and at secondary levels, and on teaching memory strategies. The strand will close with a session on multicultural issues and ADD, led by James Wright. In addition to the workshop and the strand, other sessions addressing ADD also will be included in the convention program. These were submitted in response to the call for proposals and were selected by committees representing divisions.

CEC recognizes that ADD is a topic of immediate importance to both regular and special educators. As such, ADD offers yet another avenue for cooperation and collaboration among persons who are all, first and foremost, educators.

In the final year of the grant, workshops and modules will continue to be offered at conventions. Particular effort will be made to work in conjunction with other national associations. Much of the last year will be spent developing the final versions of the video and accompanying leader and participant manuals. Other dissemination modes may also be explored.
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Title Annotation:Council for Exceptional Children, attention deficit disorder, Continuing Education Program on Attention Deficit Disorder
Author:Reeve, Ronald E.; Welch, Ann B.
Publication:Exceptional Children
Date:Oct 1, 1993
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