For many children diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), school can be a struggle. The same is true for teachers. Teachers basically become second parents to their students, making sure they not only learn the material but also develop holistically.
This may come with extra struggles as the child may not respond well to usual class and learning strategies. Here are some practices to consider when dealing with students with ADHD and ADD.
Set Reasonable Expectations
Get to know your student in order to gauge their abilities. Many students with ADHD are very bright – they merely struggle to stay focused on work. Set reasonable expectations such as learning goals for the day. Describe clearly what you expect them to learn from the lesson. Make sure that they know and understand the tasks that have to be accomplished.
Discuss with the class basic ground rules you will set in the classroom. Have them posted or written somewhere. Establishing and enforcing these rules – in a positive manner – will help keep your students focused.
Set a Routine
Set up a simple routine such as writing tasks on the board or having a task tracker. This can greatly help not only your students with ADHD, but the entire class. Routine typically helps ADHD students stay focused or regain focus. Monitoring and enforcing this routine will help students get used to basic tasks, help them remember and do them on their own.
Learn to Adjust
While this doesn’t mean giving unfair special attention to the students, those with ADHD may need some extra attention compared to other students. Learn to look for compromises that will help those with ADHD as well as your other students.
This may include lessening longer assignments and tasks. Instead, give frequent short quizzes and activities. Organize class activities in such a way that you schedule more difficult tasks early during the class and allow down-time after.
It’s important to encourage your students, even when they make mistakes or lag behind now and then. Try to always be positive, but firm. For example, try to be forgiving if they take longer to accomplish a task than others. Be understanding. After they accomplish their task, encourage them to break their time record for the next task.
Minimize Distractions in Class
It helps to assign the student with ADHD to seat near the front. By giving almost direct instructions to the student, it lessens the distractions that may come with proper communication. Also, try to minimize things that may divert the child’s attention in the classroom. Remove any unnecessary toys or decorations, or store them somewhere out of sight.
Work with Their Parents
Learning takes place not only in the classroom but also at home. Partner with the child’s parents in order to ensure that they know what’s going on in school. This way, they can also help monitor their child at home and continue the established rules and routines that work in the classroom. This will further reinforce the positive techniques that work in school and help the child remember and follow them.
If you still struggle with handling students with ADHD, you can ask help from other professionals. You can try to find a therapist near you and refer them to the parents. You can simply check BetterHelp to find the therapists in your location.