Math Tricks: The Right Way to Teach Children with ADHD


My fourth-grader is having great difficulty learning the multiplication tables. We’ve tried many approaches, along with offering rewards, but nothing helps.


If a child has ADHD or a learning disability, memory and other processing weaknesses — not a lack of motivation — are the reasons his brain can’t hold onto certain information. Try these resources:

  1. Times Tables the Fun Way ( is a mnemonic program that uses picture associations and clever stories to help kids remember.

  2. Teach Your Child the Multiplication Tables with Dazzling Patterns, Grids and Tricks ( helps kids identify patterns, so they can rely less on memory.

Practice one sequence of multiples at a time, until your child has mastered the facts. Engaging other senses can also help information “stick.” Have him type math facts in different fonts or trace them in sand.

More School & Learning Tips
The Fourth Grade Slump: Study Tips to Help Special-Education Students Snap Out of It!

Free Report for Teachers and Parents of ADHD Children: 9 Ways to Achieve Success at School (pdf download)

Sandra Rief, M.A., is an educational consultant, speaker, and author of a number of books for parents and teachers on how to help students with ADHD succeed in school. Some of her books include How to Reach & Teach Children with ADD/ADHD, The ADD/ADHD Checklist, and The ADHD Book of Lists. She has trained thousands of educators through her workshops/seminars nationally and internationally on effective strategies and interventions for students with learning, attention, and behavioral challenges. A former award-winning special education teacher, from San Diego, California, Sandra is an instructor of continuing education online/distance learning courses for teachers on ADHD and Learning Disabilities through California State University, East Bayand Seattle Pacific University.
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