Tips For Managing ADHD In School
ADHD has now become a familiar term. Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder as some studies claim affects approximately 2-7% of children globally. Although diagnosed in childhood, mostly in schooling years, the symptoms don’t fade away in adulthood. But with the right treatment and help, individuals can effectively manage their symptoms and overcome challenges in school and later in life.
What ADHD can look like
ADHD largely affects a child’s ability to sit still, pay attention and control impulses. The symptoms look a lot like children’s typical behaviour, but the intensity of the symptoms is what sets them apart. Children are naturally fidgety, active, energetic or forgetful. However, for those with ADHD, these symptoms interfere with their behaviour and responsiveness at all times, across different situations and will need intervention.
Some common classroom behaviours teachers might observe in children with ADHD are
- Frequently forgetting homework
- Often caught daydreaming
- Making “careless mistakes”
- Blurting out answers or speaking out of turn
- Often losing possessions, books, pencil box
- Having trouble organising possessions and tasks
- Having trouble sitting down still, often squirming and fidgeting
- Talking excessively, being always on the go
Because children with ADHD are the kids who can’t seem to sit still, often blurt out responses impulsively, speak out of turn or have trouble following instructions, they can often be misunderstood as being troublemakers or are hard to manage in the classroom.
Managing ADHD in the classroom
It can be overwhelming to manage a child with ADHD, for a parent and also for teachers in the classroom. But here are some ways that you can support a child with ADHD better, making schooling a much more pleasant experience for them.
1. Open communication between parents and teachers
When a child has been diagnosed with ADHD, it is important to keep teachers in the loop. This can help teachers and parents work together to implement strategies that will work best for the child. A teacher may not be able to entirely adapt the classroom to your child’s requirements but will be able to accommodate some needs and most of all understand and support your child better. From managing challenging behaviour to allotting breaks when your child needs them and being aware of the difficulties your child faces in school. It is crucial, parents and teachers work together. After all, you both share a common goal, for your child to succeed in school.
2. Write down instructions
It is important that information is written down in a place where the child can refer to it when needed. It might be necessary to give the child reminders to look at these instructions from time to time. This can help the child keep a check on homework, assignment deadlines and important days and duties at school. Students might also find it helpful to use a coloured marker to underline important information and keep a book specifically for writing down daily instructions.
3. Flat desks, with no cubbies
This ensures fewer distractions on the table. Having a desk with cubbies means a constant temptation to take things in and out and this encourages more fidgeting and cluttering. Also, having the desk face the board can help the child focus on the board better, instead of the desk was facing another student or being placed close to a window where the child can be easily distracted by outside sounds and sights.
4. Allot breaks for movement
For children with ADHD, sitting still continually can be challenging. It is important to give them short breaks between activities, to move or walk. A bathroom break or a quick 5-minute walk can help them sit better in their seats for longer without feeling the urge to fidget constantly.
5. Assign seats
All children enjoy sitting with their friends, but this also means more distraction, as they’ll want to talk to people sitting next to them. Moving them to a front seat, closer to the teacher, can definitely help. Your student might not appreciate it in that moment, but it will surely help them learn better.
6. Encourage reading aloud
This can be especially helpful while submitting homework, tests and essays. Reading aloud or rechecking answers before submission can help children hear what they've written, often helping them hear and recognise all the “careless mistakes” they’ve made.
7. Use visuals
Children with ADHD might struggle with following lengthy verbal instructions. Displaying the set of rules, using visible prompts like timers for helping them manage time, visual reminders such as “Stop and Listen”, “Homework” displayed in the classroom can help tremendously.
Students with ADHD do best when teachers
- Maintain a positive atmosphere in the class
- Implement a variety of activities
- Give the student reasonable flexibility and choices
- Follow clear routines
- Recognise and support individuality
- Set firm expectations and limits on the student’s behaviour
If you have a child with ADHD, remember academic success goes beyond assignments and reports. With the right help, your child can hack the challenges of school. Get in touch with the therapists at KinderPass to know more.
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