ADHD at School: Teacher Resources and Tips

How teachers can help ADHD students shine in the classroom by fostering structure, routine, good communication, and fun.

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Offer Accommodations

Some students with ADHD may need school accommodations. Make sure they get them. Some accommodations can be as easy as monitoring the ADHD student's work and developing a plan to help him not fall behind and even accepting the occasional late assignment—this can give the student confidence and get her back on track.

Other common accommodations include: extended time on tests, shortened assignments, instruction in note-taking, a notetaker, and segmented assignments for long-term projects (with separate due dates and grades). The Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA) makes the following recommendations for accommodations:

Reduce potential distractions. Always seat students who have problems with focus near the source of instruction and/or stand near student when giving instructions in order to help the student by reducing barriers and distractions between him and the lesson. Always seat this student in a low-distraction work area in the classroom.

Use positive peer models. Encourage the student to sit near positive role models to ease the distractions from other students with challenging or diverting behaviors.

Prepare for transitions. Remind the student about what is coming next (next class, recess, time for a different book, etc.). For special events like field trips or other activities, be sure to give plenty of advance notice and reminders. Help the student in preparing for the end of the day and going home, supervise the student's book bag for necessary items needed for homework.

Allow for movement. Allow the student to move around or fidget, preferably by creating reasons for the movement. Provide opportunities for physical action—do an errand, wash the blackboard, get a drink of water, go to the bathroom, etc. If this is not practical, then permit the student to play with small objects kept in their desks that can be manipulated quietly, such as a soft squeeze ball, if it isn't too distracting.

Let the children play. Recess can actually promote focus in ADHD children so don't use it as a time to make-up missed schoolwork or as punishment as you might for other students.

Next: Focus on Positive Relationships...

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TAGS: For Teachers of ADHD Children, School Behavior

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