Have one or more children with ADHD in your class? A few simple accommodations can go a long way in not just helping the child cope better in the classroom, but also create an atmosphere of camaraderie amongst students and make classroom management easier.
Below are a few accommodations that can be made to ease the school routine for a child with ADHD:
Place the child in your direct line of vision. This will help you keep an eye on the child, and also help the child with ADHD focus better, knowing that the teacher is right there. Also make sure the child sits as far away from doors, windows or any other distractions as possible.
Allow for More Time
Due to their fluctuating attention span, students with ADHD will often work slowly or need more time to complete their tasks. Allow for this wherever you can.
Help the Child to Organise his Work Desk
The child is likely to be disorganised with his or her things, and quick to get distracted by pencils, erasers, stationery, things falling all the time, papers flying. Help the child with keeping on desk only the things/books he requires at that point in time.
Frequent Eye Contact
Give frequent eye contact to the child while teaching, speaking, explaining or giving instructions. Use certain non verbal cues, like a small smile, or tapping of a pen to subtly remind the child to refocus attention.
Routine and structure are key to management of children with ADHD. Whenever any change form routine is likely, ensure that you prepare or debrief the child in advance and give him time to assimilate the change. Especially remember that coming back from an unstructured task to a structured one will always be a challenge. For instance, the period after Games will always be harder for the child to settle down. If required, help the child take a few moments to settle down to the next class.
Always give precise and to the point instructions. Long winded, multi-level instructions do not go down well with students having ADHD. Wherever possible, give one instruction at a time.
All of us love praise and encouragement, and a child with ADHD practically thrives on it. So praise every little achievement, be it behavioural, emotional or academic!
Be accepting of crumpled, messy, torn worksheets. They really cant help it!
Allow Some Movement
A child who is hyperactive just CANNOT sit in one place for long. Allow for some fidgetiness, restlessness and movement. Give the child opportunities to get up and move around in the class.
Based on the child’s specific learning challenges, allow for provisions such as submission of oral work instead of written, concise and point based answers rather than long elaborate ones, use of calculator for Math and so forth.