Impulse Control Strategies for School and Home

"Don't interrupt!" "Keep your hands to yourself!" "Be careful!" Time-outs and lectures won't magically cure the impulsive tendencies of kids with ADHD. But these real-world tips for teachers and parents just might.

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Solutions in the Classroom

Posting classroom rules and routines lets children know what's expected of them, and also serves as a visual reminder for those who act before they think.

-- Tape "behavior cards" to their desks. Some children benefit from seeing rules like "Raise hands before speaking," etc. posted directly on their desks. If privacy is an issue, tape the cards to a sheet of paper that remains on the desk during class but can be stored inside the desk when necessary.

-- Post the day's schedule. Write the schedule on the blackboard and erase items as they are completed. This gives ADHD students a sense of control about their day. Alert the class in advance about any revisions to the daily routine.

-- Prepare kids for transitions. To avoid meltdowns when moving between activities (another stress point), give the class a five-minute warning, then a two-minute warning of a transition, so that ADHD kids have adequate time to stop one activity and start another.

-- Be prepared for impulsive reactions. In situations where a lack of structure or another circumstance might set off an impulsive reaction, have a plan ready to help ADHD kids keep their impulses in check. Perhaps the ADHD student can be given a special job, such as "monitor" or "coach," to help him stay focused on self-control.

-- Post expected behavior for younger children. Establish the good behaviors you expect from your young students and post them in the classroom. These can be as simple as: "Respect Others," "Talk Nicely," "Use an Indoor Voice". Posting them in the classroom serves as visual reminder to ADHD students.

-- Younger children often respond to a "point system." This is a system in which they earn pennies or stickers for a positive target behavior. They can redeem their points at the end of the week for a prize.

Next: Solutions at Home & School...

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TAGS: ADHD Symptoms, School Behavior, Back to School

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