Interrupting and Impulsivity: Help Your ADHD Child Pay Attention

How to keep your child on task, whether at home or at school.


Filed Under: ADHD Accommodations, 504s, IEPs, School Behavior, Talking with Teachers, For Teachers of ADHD Children, ADHD in High School, Back to School
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Solutions in the Classroom

Kids with ADHD need classroom behavior reminders to stay on track. But reminding them verbally in front of other students may damage the fragile self-esteem of an ADHD child. Instead, try visual reminders as part of a secret "contract" you set up with the student.

-- Have a secret signal. Decide on a gesture or signal that will convey to the student that he is interrupting and needs to stop. For example, one teacher had success with a "wind it down" hand signal in the shape of a descending spiral staircase.

-- Post a list of rules. Be sure each ADHD student is familiar with the class rules and can clearly see them from his seat. You can also try highlighting "No Interrupting" on the list for an added reminder.

-- Have an on-desk reminder. Tape a note to the child's desk with the letters "N.I." written on it to stand for "No Interrupting." None of the other students need to know that the initials don't mean something like "New Inventions."

-- Keep a visual count. Show the student how much he's been interrupting by calling attention to it through visuals. One teacher uses an abacus where she can silently slide over a bead every time her ADHD student talks out of turn. No one else knew what she was counting and this repetitive visual cue helped the ADHD student curb his behavior.


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