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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, The ADHD Book of Lists, and How to Reach & Teach All Children in the Inclusive Classroom. 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 Bay and Seattle Pacific University.