6-Year-Old Who Put His Hand Up In Class Diagnosed With ADHD
ST. GERARD’S primary school opened its doors this morning for the first day of the new academic year, with Principal Martin Downey awaiting pupils with a welcoming smile.
However, what started out as the near perfect return to formal education for the staff and children took a troubling turn in the classroom of senior infants teacher Ciara Lyons.
“We do our best, I think that much is clear,” explained a sombre Principal Downey, “but year on year we are seeing an increase in unruly pupils who if I’m allowed to be frank have a certain malevolence in their eyes”.
The incident which has so troubled the staff occurred five minutes into Miss Lyons lesson which involved her pupils taking turns to stand up and tell the class what they did for the summer.
“It is a classic teaching technique,” explained Miss Lyons, “which helps the pupils communicate and allows me those precious extra minutes to sober up and focus but then it happened”.
The it in question is 6-year-old Thomas Foley, a pupil with a chequered past which has seen his finger painting talents questioned on several occasions.
“Out of nowhere Thomas raised his hand,” explained Miss Lyons now sobbing, “it just flew up so quickly, with such ferocity and it became clear that this child had ADHD”.
ADHD is a syndrome of learning and behavioural problems and is characterised by difficulty is sustaining attention, impulsive behaviour and usually by excessive activity. It is also poorly understood and increasingly used by people to label children as they do things that every child does.
Miss Lyons went on to admit that she lucky to have her head buried on her desk at the time, had she been in the general vicinity of Thomas at the time he threw up his hand she could have suffered life threatening injuries.
“With such disruptive behaviour we feel Thomas would obviously benefit from a different learning environment,” explained Principal Downey from the safety of a reinforced steel ‘pupil proof’ room, “we’ve got about three days of oxygen in here for the staff and some food supplies so I think we’ll survive until someone arrives to assess Thomas”.
Thomas was taken away by Gardaí in restraints later in the day and formally charged with assault and excessive inquisitiveness.
It is still not yet clear what Thomas wanted when he raised his hand, but such was the intimidating and disruptive manner in which he raised it, it left the staff of St. Gerrard’s with little choice but to act.