We asked our teachers to give their insights into strategies for the successful teaching of children with ADHD. If you’re a teacher, you will recognise the standard symptoms of being impulsive, inattentive and hyperactive with students that have ADHD. You’ll also be well aware of the difficulties in getting them to focus on the material you’re working so hard to deliver.
When you consider what a school asks children to do: Sit still, listen attentively and obey instructions, these otherwise simple acts are unspeakably difficult for kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD), their brains just won’t let them comply.
Academic success is measured by a student’s ability to complete tasks and expectations of the class and teacher. These skills allow students to acquire the necessary knowledge, complete assignments, engage in class discussions and activities. However, for a child with ADHD, the consequences of not implementing appropriate instructional methodologies and interventions are difficulties with the academic study, but also in the formation of healthy relationships with classmates.
We hope with these tips from Cassidy Education’s teachers you’ll be able to accommodate students with ADHD in your classroom more effectively by making changes in the classroom to help minimise the distractions and disruptions of ADHD.
Students with ADHD fair better when seated away from windows and the door, often positioning the student right in front of your desk so they can focus on the teacher. This approach to seating usually works better than other arrangements.
Child-centred learning motivates students to drive their learning and is a tried and tested way to accommodate a child with ADHD. Students can then work in small groups or independently with more focus on hands-on activities, mini-lessons and the mapping out of goals and resources.
Avoid Information Overload
Class instructions should be delivered one at a time and repeated whenever necessary. Lessons, when possible, should be structured so that the most difficult material be completed early in the day.
Include Personal Development Into Lessons
A lack of real world skills is often a problem for students with ADHD. The integration of problem-solving, time management, a sense of responsibility, communication skills, and public speaking into lessons can help students learn how to present and market ideas and communicate more efficiently.
Children with ADHD are often bright, but their symptoms can significantly hinder their learning. To help burn off that excess energy and refocus, schedule some regular, short movement sessions in yoga or a quick brisk walk. Exercises like these will release endorphins, the ‘happy’ hormones and that can revitalise and bring hope to a child with ADHD.
Dealing with disruption in the classroom
To avoid the type of behaviour that will take your time away from other students, try to work out some warning signals, like a hand signal, or a tap on the shoulder. Whenever the student’s behaviour needs to be discussed, do so in private. Try to be lenient and ignore anything mildly inappropriate, it’s most certainly unintentional.
This article has outlined some strategies that our teachers have had success in educating children with ADHD. By incorporating some of these techniques into your classroom management practices, we hope you will be empowered to improve both the academic performance and the behaviour of students with ADHD.