Progress Monitoring Assessments for ADHD Students

Instructor: Heather Turner

Heather has taught for 10 years as a lead special education teacher and Educational Diagnostician for a district. She has a doctorate in Curriculum Studies.

In any given classroom, there are students who are diagnosed with ADHD. Teachers are expected to monitor these students' behavior. This lesson is designed to provide an overview of progress monitoring assessments for behaviors associated with ADHD.

Understanding ADHD

Any teacher may be faced with the challenge of teaching students with ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) in their career. Dr. Campbell is a school psychologist charged with the task of providing training to classroom teachers on the different types of progress monitoring assessments that can be used as teachers work with ADHD students. Often, a variety of assessments may be used during RTI, or Response to Intervention, data collection. No one assessment will work for all ADHD students. Instead the assessment is associated with the behavior that the student may be showing.

Collect Data on Behavior Associated with ADHD

Dr. Campbell began the training by reminding teachers that within RTI, students are not progress monitored; rather the behavior is progress monitored. Therefore, it is important to determine the exact behavior, which may be due to ADHD, that the teacher needs to progress monitor. This is called the target behavior.

Target Behavior Clearly Defined

A target behavior is the behavior that needs to be changed or improved, and it is described in clear and observable terms. For example, if a student is unable to raise her hand during instruction and often blurts out, a clear and observable target behavior would be that the student raises her hand and waits to be called upon before speaking.

Types of Assessments

Dr. Campbell recognized that there are several different assessments that teachers can use to collect data on the behaviors associated with ADHD students. Let's review the different assessments and target behaviors that might be collected on each.

Timed Interval Graphs

Often, students with ADHD are impulsive and easily distracted. They may demonstrate behaviors that prevent them from remaining engaged with a task. Timed interval graphs collect data on if a student is displaying the target behavior at a specific interval of the time segment.

For example, teachers may decide to watch a student for ten minutes and then record if a student is behaving appropriately every sixty seconds. After 10 minutes, or 10 data collection points, the data is used to generate a percentage point. Dr. Campbell explained that any interval length could be selected; however, it needed to be consistent through-out the progress monitoring assessment.

Frequency Graphs

Students who are impulsive may have difficulty following classroom routines such as answering questions appropriately and remaining in their seat. Dr. Campbell explained that one way to collect data on these target behaviors is to record the frequency of each behavior. A frequency graph shows the number of times a target behavior occurs in a designated time frame.

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