NDSU Distance & Continuing Education (DCE)

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Course Descriptions

ADHD:  Effective Strategies for Educators and Helping Professionals (P-12)

EDUC 600

This class presents an in-depth examination of the issues that challenge children and adults with ADHD.  Participants will learn about symptoms, possible causes, diagnostic procedures, and current research findings to the end that these strategies will have a positive effect on student achievement.  Emphasis will be placed on the various types of interventions used at school, including behavioral techniques, instructional strategies, counseling, medication, and alternative and natural remedies.  These interventions are designed to help children increase task completion, reduce impulsivity, increase accuracy of academic work, improve social skills, decrease anger outbursts, and improve peer and adult relationships.  Guest speakers, videos, lecture, whole class and group discussions, if desired, will be the vehicles used to provide information to class participants.  Books, periodicals, and printed articles will be available during class for browsing and self-selection. Involvement of school psychology, school counseling, school social work services, special education and 504 services will also be discussed.  


As a result of participation in this course, students will:

1. Understand the symptoms, characteristics, and subtypes of ADHD and their similarities and differences to symptoms found in children with conduct disorders and/or oppositional defiant disorders.

2.  Understand the range of co-morbid or co-occurring disorders, which may accompany ADHD.

3.  Understand some of the current theories about the etiology of this disorder, including Barkley's "Inhibition Theory", genetic theories, effects of metabolites and toxins, substance abuse during pregnancy and environmental theories.

4.  Know how to identify assessment instruments and procedures used by a team, including teachers, to identify the possible existence of ADHD.

5.  Know how to evaluate specific social, academic and behavioral accommodations and intervention strategies for preschool, elementary and secondary classrooms.

6.  Understand Minnesota State criteria for eligibility for special education services and 504 criteria for classroom accommodations. 

7.  Understand child and family intervention strategies including parenting techniques, coaching programs, cognitive-behavioral programs, problem-solving strategies, self-esteem interventions, social skills training, medication, natural remedies and behavioral skills training.

8.  Respect the family’s decisions regarding specific approaches, programs and strategies they choose for their child.

9. Know how to identify other resources to support school personnel and children with ADHD and their families.  These may include support groups, advocacy groups, organizations for education and support, research programs, teacher education and professional help.


Basic Textbook: Barkley, Russell A. (2006). Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. New York, NY The Guilford Press.

Supplemental Reference: Frank, Kim T. (2001).  ADHD: 102 Practical Strategies for ‘Reducing the Deficit.’”  Chapin, SC, YouthLight, Inc.

Video Resources:  “A New Look at ADHD” by Russell A. Barkley; &  “Defusing Anger and Aggression” by Geoff Colvin.