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Teaching Strategies for Students with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Use praise frequently and liberally. Catch the child being good. Have a positive approach and convey to the child that you like him/her.

  • Sit the child near the teacher and away from distractions, but do not isolate him/her. Surround him/her with positive role models.

  • Be structured. Have a set routine for the day. Put the schedule and homework assignments on the board. List classroom rules in the room and refer to them frequently. Be consistent with the use of consequences.

  • Be tolerant. The ADHD child will be relatively disruptive, restless, and disorganized no matter what you do. Do not expect behavioral or academic perfection. Allow the child to fidget.

  • Accommodate to the child’s weaknesses:

    • If the child has handwriting difficulties, encourage the use of a word processor.

    • If the child makes careless errors in computation, allow him/her to use a calculator.

    • If the child misses directions, allow him/her to ask a neighbor.

    • If the child has difficulty spelling, grade based on content and allow him/her to correct his/her spelling errors.

    • If the child has other written language deficits, allow the child to give reports orally or take exams orally.

  • Teach the child compensation strategies. Most ADHD children are disorganized and forgetful: teach them how to keep an assignment pad and notebook. 
    Most ADHD children have difficulty with long term assignments: teach them how to break down tasks into component parts and plan.

  • Give short independent assignments and regular breaks. Touch base with child after each assignment. Gradually give longer assignments and fewer breaks as the child is successful. Give less enjoyable assignment first and more enjoyable one after.

  • Use a nonverbal cue to refocus the child such as a tap on the shoulder. Also, interact frequently with the child by asking questions or calling on him/her, however, try to call on him/her when you are relatively sure he/she knows the answer.

  • Use multisensory teaching. Both say and show. Use hands-on, experimental learning whenever possible. The more active the learning experience, the more involved the child will be.

  • Teach from whole to part. Give the concept first and then the details. Discuss something prior to the child reading it. Go over several examples before requiring the student to do them independently. Teach integrated units rather than discreet skills (for example, a unit on "ants" could involve biology, social studies, language arts, spelling and math word problems).

  • Consider using a sight word approach to reading rather than phonics.

  • Provide the child with appropriate physical outlets in the classroom. Use physical activities (watering the plants, being a messenger) as a reward for work completion.

  • Use learning games and high interest materials.

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