By: Kyle Miller
Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder is one of the most common neurobehavioral disorders of childhood. According to DSM-IV, the prevalence of Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity is estimated at 3%-5% in school age children. According to WebMD, some experts, though, say ADHD may occur in 8% to 10% of school aged children. Also, the rate of older teens diagnosed with ADHD is greater compared to younger children. This neurobehavioral disorder is 2.5 time more common in males than in females. With the analysis information, it has confirmed that there are a group of students afflicted with ADHD out there that have been diagnosed with this neurobehavioral disorder and they are in spaces that are contributing to the issue more than it is trying to help them with their issue.
Brehm Preparatory School, located in Carbondale, Illinois was chosen as the proposed site because it demonstrates a structured learning environment for students who have ADHD. It is the only accredited junior and senior high school in the Midwest specifically designed to meet the academic, social, and emotional needs of students with complex learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder. There are currently 90 students that attend Brehm from California to New York as well as other countries. An important characteristic about Brehm is their own individualized educational plan, there emphasis differentiated instruction and there small classed which is from one to eight students. Brehm also has a daily structure in place for the students so they can become more confident and comfortable.
A traditional classroom is a classroom with desk and chairs. A non-traditional classroom is a classroom with a space to do physical activity. The ideal traditional classroom size for student afflicted by ADHD is 8 to 10 students. In an average elementary class size with one instructor for all subjects is 20.1 students and the average secondary class size with a different teacher for every subject is 23.0, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. This means architecturally that classrooms are being designed for to many students. Also the classroom should be not be as stimulating according to Brehm Preparatory School. This is also a factor that can be influenced on what the architecture is.
The Martial Arts program is necessary to the physical fitness of a student afflicted with ADHD. It makes the student look and feel better about themselves when they are physically fit. Also this activity creates a structured environment which can translate to an architecturally designed space. Furthermore, in putting a non-traditional classroom next to a traditional classroom make it possible to architecturally make the spaces completely different. The underline principles it to create a structured learning experience with the balance of traditional learning experiences to non-traditional experiences.