Is ADHD Keeping Your Child From Finishing Homework?


My attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) seven-year-old has problems doing work independently. He sits passively at his desk and won't complete his school assignments. How do I motivate him?


Children with ADHD often have trouble staying focused and productive during independent work time. A strategy that helps many children is the “beat-the-clock system.” During a 20-minute independent work period, the teacher divides the time into shorter segments (say, two 10-minute sessions), and sets mini-goals for each of the sessions.

For example, the student may be asked to write two complete sentences or to do one row of math problems. Then the teacher sets a timer to go off after 10 minutes.

If the task is completed on time, the student earns a reward, such as a sticker or star to be placed on a progress chart that he keeps at his desk. After earning several stickers or stars, he gets a bigger reward. To increase his motivation, let your child choose his own reward.

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.
Copyright © 1998 - 2016 New Hope Media LLC. All rights reserved. Your use of this site is governed by our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
ADDitude does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The material on this web site is provided for educational purposes only. See additional information.
New Hope Media, 108 West 39th Street, Suite 805, New York, NY 10018