Supporting Children with ADHD in School
How do you support your child in school if they have ADHD? Remember you know your child the best and how they learn but it has to be fit into a classroom. Each year it is important to get to know your child’s teacher and their teaching style. Do not try to hide your child’s problem but talk about it openly.
Visit the Classroom
Before the first day of school ask to visit the classroom with your child. This will help eliminate the first day unknown factors in the room. It reduces excessive stimulation on the first day of school.
Choose a Calm Part of the Room
If it appears that there is a calmer area in the room discuss with the teacher the reasons that area of the room might serve your child well and why. Attempt to stay away from seating at the window or door where there tends to be more distractions.
How does your child perform their best on a test. Do they do better orally or written? Are they less distracted if they sit in the hallways for a test or in the classroom? Do they test better in the morning or in the afternoon? All of these things help support and serve your child better in a classroom setting.
Does your child work better on a computer or by writing? If a computer allows them to be more focused and organized, ask about bringing in a lap top.
Five Binder Notebook
Equip your child with a 5 binder notebook that each section is individually designated for each core subject. A slot on the section dividers of the notebook can provide an area to slide in the daily homework.
Keep a copy of the schedule for each day taped to the top of the desk or on top of the notebook. Highlight the times when your child will be able to move more freely around the room. It works as a built in reinforcer to know that when they finish this part of my day they get to go out or move around the room. Changing back and forth from mental tasks to physical tasks is most helpful.
Prepare for Change
If a special event or drastic change in schedule is going to occur ask the teacher to notify the class ahead of time and again the day of the change. Everyone adjusts to change differently try and help the class adjust. Try to highlight a change on your child's schedule.
Ask the teacher to give simple, concrete instructions once to the class. If directions are also written on the board in the same manner it helps the student stay on task.
If your child appears to be off task and the class is following along in a book, have the teacher walk by and tap the current place in the book. It helps the child refocus without interrupting the class or putting the focus on your child.
Make a List of Your Childs Interests
Incorporating a childs interests into a lesson plan helps them to maintain their interest. If they have a favorite cartoon character or superhero that can be built into the daily lesson plan they will retain more of the information.
Increase the Novelty of the Lesson
Utilizing different techniques will keep your child more interested. The use of films, tapes, audio books and other sensory means of learning will improve their interest.
Use the Name of the Child in Demonstrations
When demonstrating a math problem using the name of the child allows them to internalize the discussion and stay focused.
Teachers that are willing to invest in your child find this really helpful. Children need to repeat the question before answering. It helps children to stay engaged during the question and answer period.
Practice Daily Planning
A class that learns how to organize by using charts, graphs,lists calendars and pictures can sequence events and plan ahead. Talk to the teacher if this method works well for your child.
Hands on Learning
Inform the teacher if your child is a hands on learner, visual learner or auditory learner, Each teacher has a different style same as each child learns from a different style. If the teacher is willing to teach in different styles it might really benefit your child.
Children with ADHD do better with being presented with choice. Ask the teacher if choices can be presented to the class whenever possible. This helps develop making good choices and verbal reward system for the good choices that are made.
It is very important to maintain daily contact with the teacher so as a parent you are aware of progress, problems and achievements. This can be accomplished by email, a daily journal or notes, i also recommend a homework hotline with another parent to make sure assignments are accurate.
Consider Positive Peer Models
Determine if it would be helpful to have a child with ADHD paired up with another student as a role model.See if it is calming to be shadowing another student throughout the day or at intervals during the day. Sometimes having a role model guides the student in their behavior.
Plan large motor activities for directly after school. It can be an organized sport or individually
Scheduled.it helps for your child to know they are going to be active after a long day at school.
Help them find and activity they love and that allows they to bring out the best of themselves.
Be creative with doing homework but firm. If they can utilize the computer or hands on materials to help organize their thoughts and figure out the answers allow them a little more freedom at home.A good night of sleep is essential.