Adaptations for Teaching Children With ADHD
Nov 29, 2010 Teaching 6620 Views
If you are a teacher who has been challenged by the task of teaching children with ADHD, the idea itself may be overwhelming. You may have images of children bouncing off the walls in your classroom disrupting all learning. Before you enter a full blown panic, understand that there are many things you can do to encourage their learning and full participation in your class environment.
Plan for Success
Understand that each child with ADHD will have slightly different manifestations of the condition; one may not be able to sit still while another needs to roam. Placing the roaming child towards the back of the class so they can get up for a quick wander or getting the fidgeter an exercise ball to sit on may resolve the distraction issues presented to other students can help when teaching children with ADHD. Also, make sure to keep distractible kids away from windows.
Consider making changes to worksheets. If 10 math problems can show you that a child understands a lesson, offer that instead of the 20 other children must complete in the same time. Send the hyperactive child on errands if possible, as long as they show they can handle the responsibility. Provide a "movement pass" that they can use once or twice a day when sitting still is too much and they need to get out and walk the halls.
Part of your planning should include meeting with parents.
Involve the Parents
Teaching children with ADHD requires a group effort. Not all parents will agree to drug their children indiscriminately, which means everyone has to be on the same page with regards to behavior management, reasonable alternatives on bad days, and more. For example, if the child is on an elimination diet, birthday cupcakes are not going to be an option; keeping another snack around may be essential.
Meet with the parents regularly to check in. Keep them up to date on what is going on in class and work together to resolve any issues that come up, before they get serious. Share your observations and the parents will do the same. Think how much happier everyone will be if you can figure out, together, tactics make for a better day of learning.
When teaching children with ADHD, it is crucial to develop a behavior plan in conjunction with a goal chart so that the child knows exactly what is expected of them. Children with ADHD are highly motivated by rewards and may be able to settle to a task more easily if there is a concrete advantage to doing so. Now, both of you are happy and the child is succeeding.
For the Parent
For the parent, the prospect of teaching children with ADHD may be overwhelming. Working with the teacher, the school, and your health care practitioner is essential if you want your child to succeed. Any behavior plan must be agreed upon mutually, any rewards approved.
Everything you know about how your child reacts and behaves should be shared with the teacher, not so your child feels spied upon, but rather to facilitate their learning. An involved and informed teacher will be better able to help your child succeed. On the other hand, if you feel that your child's teacher isn't interested or that they simply don't care to understand the situation, early intervention may prevent a disastrous year.
Look online to find useful tips and tricks to implement in the classroom when teaching children with ADHD. These ideas will harness the child's intelligence and energy and redirect them to achieve more positive and successful results.