“In the last ten years, we have seen all this happen. ADHD was often comorbid. Occasionally there was an attention deficit disorder with anxiety disorder or ADHD. It was not known before. “Now we can recognize them,” said the retired teacher, who taught in the first grade, kindergarten and preschool.
To explain the situation, Ms. Malenfant compares AD / HD to visual impairment. “We all have needs. Some need eyeglasses, others need brain glasses. This is how Raymond Malenfant, now a retired teacher, explained to young children the necessary medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD / HD).
“If the child needs the glasses and his parent forgets them one morning, the little one is disabled all day,” the teacher added. If the child needs medication and the parent forgets about it in the morning, the child is disabled all day. “
The teacher’s role is to fill out medical questionnaires, but obviously does not make a diagnosis. “Doctors will look at it all and see if the child has ADHD or not. “
“The teacher can tell the parent that there are manifestations of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, we can suggest to the parent to go for a consultation,” explains former school principal Nicole Clermont. Here in CSR [devenu le CSSRS], we had an agreement with the doctors for the teacher to fill in a form with his excitements. The parent fills in one. It must be documented. Usually, the doctor does not prescribe medication before consulting the school community. “
Without being a proponent of drugs, Raymond Malenfant notes “that a child who seeks drugs and who is not there is day and night.”
“When they are in preschool, it is difficult to diagnose a child,” said the former teacher. [Les médecins] will wait a little, often, because it goes with maturity. There is a lot of emotional immaturity. After that, they arrive at school, we will think they are on the moon, but they will be worried. They no longer know if it is dad, mom or dad’s girlfriend who will come and pick him up, for example. They have stresses that they should not have. “
And it is now much easier for parents to accept their child’s difference. “If we go back 10 years, it was difficult to talk about it with our parents. I have seen resilient parents. And that’s okay, it’s theirs. I told them that their child had these signs. They were eventually diagnosed later. “They were not ready at the time.”
“But there was so much openness, we talked about it so much, the parents are better equipped. “It is not pejorative to be an AD / HD,” she continues, adding that family contexts have also changed a lot in recent years.
However, teachers sometimes have to deal with the side effects of these drugs. “There are children who stop eating, others fall purely amorphous. Teachers have to deal with the fact that there are often several young people with AD / HD in the classroom. There are children with other problems: dyslexic, dysphasic, dysortortography and dyscalculia. “He tried a lot of adaptation, it does not work for all students,” said Ms Clermont, adding that several molecules had been developed over the years.
Sherbrooke Zone Vice President for the Esther Teachers’ Union David Raymond has a message of hope for young people with AD / HD. “Students with attention deficits often do very well in society. They have an incredible ability to perform multiple tasks and work long hours. The transition to school, indeed, is sometimes difficult. “Our regular classes full of students with specific disabilities do not always allow us to meet their needs,” he said, noting that CSSRS works with partners such as TDAH Estrie in the context of training.