Helping ADHD Students Get Organized for School

For ADHD children, the ability to organize, prioritize, and manage time is impaired by neurological deficiencies that make it hard for them to stay on top of school assignments. Find out how to help ADHD students master organization at home and at school.

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Solutions in the Classroom

Children who take ADHD medication may show some improvement in their ability to stay organized; however, they still need teachers and parents to provide support and teach them essential life skills. The key to helping kids stay organized is constant communication between teachers and parents.

-- Provide additional supplies. If possible, provide the student with two sets of books and supplies — one for home and one for school. This way, there is less for the child to remember to bring back and forth to school which will also help conserve the child's mental energy for his most important task: learning.

-- Use the right supplies. Have ADHD children use assignment notebooks with larger-than-usual spaces in which to write. Also, if the child tends to cram and stuff papers in his folders, a binder with pocket-type inserts in which to stuff papers may work better than the standard three-ring binder with tabbed sections.

-- Give assignments in writing. If printed instructions aren't possible, check that the child has written down the entire assignment and seems to understand what he needs to do at home.

-- Color-code books and supplies by subject. For example, use yellow for all geography book covers, notebook dividers, and files. Use red for everything related to history class, and so on.

-- Design a folder system that works. If ADHD students misplace or forget assignments with your standard folder system, work with the child to come up with an organization system that works for him. It may take time and experimentation, but keep trying, and listen to the student-- kids often come up with their own good ideas.

Next: Solutions at Home...

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