Category: Child / Adolescent - School-Related Issues
Keywords: Child | School | Dissemination
Presentation Type: Symposium
Children and teens with attention and behavior control problems demonstrate significant deficits in a main developmental task: completing school work, even when not diagnosed with ADHD. Their problems reflect practical manifestations of low executive functioning in the form of poor organization, time management, and planning (OTMP; Abikoff & Gallagher, 2008). Building on an effective intervention delivered to individual children in clinical settings (Organizational Skills Training - OST), an iterative process was utilized to adapt the program for underserved and undiagnosed students in public schools in NYC. In revisions for middle school and elementary school students, initial trials were conducted following collaboration with school professionals culminating in a pilot test of final versions. The experience highlighted critical implementation and feasibility challenges.
Implementation Challenges: Issues of student selection, of who would provide the intervention, of scheduling, and of group size were all encountered.
Results: Over 70 students participated. Five schools offered the program to small groups. For final versions, 41 students provided pre-post data. Improvements in OTMP were noted by parents with at least a trend noted by teachers (p<.07). Positive improvements in homework behavior and academic productivity were also found.
Conclusions: A careful iterative process is required in bringing clinical programs to school settings strapped for financial and personnel resources. For interventions that address a newly documented concern, obtaining consensus to prioritize the problem is an early hurdle. Adapting an individual program to be more efficiently delivered in group format presents other challenges. Also, even with a university-school collaboration, logistic issues are paramount. Placing the program into a demanding and tight school schedule, releasing school personnel to provide the intervention, and getting basic supplies and space all require a creative struggle to achieve success. Finally, once a program shows utility, the ever-present challenge of sustaining the intervention and gaining financial support requires persistent effort.
Associate Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone Medical Center
Friday, November 17
8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
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