Impulsiveness, lack of attention and hyperactivity are the common traits of children with ADHD. All of these can make it hard to teach children in a school environment. Therefore it is important that when teaching ADHD children the day is carefully planned to try and ensure the children are kept organized and motivated to complete tasks.
Teachers who have ADHD children in their classes need to be accepting and accommodating of the condition. Although some children with ADHD may have learning difficulties that are associated with ADHD behaviors, they are not unintelligent, they just need to be given the right environment in which to learn.
So, what steps can be taken to effectively teach ADHD children? First and foremost, it helps to understand their uniqueness. Take a look at the list of strategies for teaching children with ADHD below.
- Introduce the child to an organized environment. When in school, make use of folders and dividers on his desk so he’ll be able to spot things easily. Also a color coding system to distinguish the textbook covers for specific subjects can be useful.
- Children with ADHD can struggle with writing and numerical work. Showing him how to use his finger or pencil across the pages when reading to help keep concentration and so he doesn’t lose his place. When writing, encourage him to use his fingers to specify spacing and graph paper is useful when writing numbers to keep things aligned.
- Reduce his homework. Too much homework can be really overwhelming for kids with ADHD. Better to give a lesser amount and have it completed than allocate a lot and have nothing back. As much as possible, give homework that involves the use of materials instead of requiring lots of writing.
- Provide a warm and welcoming classroom environment, but one that doesn’t offer too many distractions. Think about where you sit children with ADHD to allow them the best chance for concentrating.
- Always show the value of organization in the classroom. Give them time to fix his things by themselves.
- Be liberal with praise. Praise the good deeds and give rewards to those who did well in the schoolwork and homework. Positive feedback will generally work better than negative feedback.
- Monitor the child’s progress. Always have the parents involved.
Be clear on when moving around is acceptable and when it’s not. Don’t expect them to sit in their seats all day.
Encourage him to work in groups to encourage interaction with peers.
Parents can also find it hard to find solutions to ADHD behavior. However, it is essential that the parents of an ADHD child get involved with his progress and transition. Keep up to date with what’s happening at school and find out if there is actions you can take at home that will help cement what is being taught in school.
When it comes to homework it is important to be supportive, without actually doing the homework for your child.
Provide a quiet space that is free from distractions, both visual and aural. Take a look at what homework is required and ensure your child understands what they need to do. Answer any questions they have and provide the necessary materials, but then leave them to complete the work.
When the homework is finished review it with your child. If they’ve made mistakes or missed out a section, point it out, assure them that it is alright to make mistakes, but that mistakes need correcting. Always praise him for a good job.
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Teaching ADHD children can be challenging, but it also comes with rewards. By putting some simple strategies in place you can make the learning environment much easier for all concerned.