For Teachers

ADDitude Asked: The Teacher’s Best

Parents of ADD/ADHD and LD children offered these 11 strategies for teachers to encourage distracted, disorganized students.

ADDitude asked: What is the best thing a teacher did to help your attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) child succeed in school? Getting a child organized, giving him a kind word, or making her feel special in front of her peers works wonders for kids with ADD/ADHD.

“One teacher started a ‘math club,’ complete with snacks, for students who are struggling with the subject. Those kids feel special.” -Amber, Ohio

“Understanding his ADD/ADHD, and empathizing with him — and not holding him to the same level as non-ADHD kids.” -Kimm, California

“His third-grade teacher allows him to run a lap around the playground each day, before class, to calm him down and increase focus. Now the whole class is doing it.” -Helene, California

“The guidance counselor at my daughter’s school runs a weekly lunch group for fourth- and fifth-graders who have ADD/ADHD. During their ‘working lunch,’ they focus on sharpening their executive-function skills.” -An ADDitude Reader

“Giving a full week of homework assignments in advance, so my child can get them done on the weekend instead of working every weeknight.” -Joyce, Massachusetts

“Praising my son in front of his peers. He realizes now that he is OK.” -Kama, Louisiana

“Talking to him with respect and kindness.” -An ADDitude Reader

“Letting my son go to other classrooms at the end of the day to ‘help’ other teachers. He enjoys visiting his favorite teachers, and is calmer when he gets off the bus.” -Kelly, New York

“Finding time to talk with my son about his interests.” -Linda, Western Australia

“Writing a note of encouragement before my daughter took state tests in middle school. It meant a lot to her.” -Lynn, Virginia

“The teacher speaks calmly to my child and gives him tasks that he can finish — and feel proud of — in the time allotted.” -Carl, Colorado

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