A child with ADHD can place many demands on your time, energy and sense of competence. The constant interruptions, need for repeated instructions and close supervision can be taxing. The following strategies may be helpful.
1. Clear rules and expectations
Children with ADHD need regular reminders of the house and classroom rules so set clear targets for behavior and re-cap them at the end.
2. Strategic praise
Recognition of making the right choices will serve as a regular reminder of behavior expectations for a child with ADHD. Positive attention is powerful – “Catch them being good.”
3. Immediate or short-term rewards and consequences
Children with ADHD will benefit from immediate feedback for desired behaviors and likewise clear and proportionate consequences.
4. Be persistent and consistent
You may want immediate results, but that’s not likely. It can take months to see significant progress. When the boundaries are consistently applied the child will learn that you are in it for the long run and the relationship will form.
5. Establish routines
Children with ADHD get bored with routines but need them desperately, routines may include visual timetables on the desk and warning when the daily routine is going to alter.
6. Create clear plans and checklists for lessons and unstructured activities
Write these on their desks. A child will benefit from seeing the activities checked off and will feel a sense of accomplishment which also builds resilience in the learning environment.
7. Use timers
Timers are great for setting activities and movement breaks.
8. Reward for going above and beyond
Ensure that children have a personalized reward of their choice for completing their work or helping others in the classroom.
9. Plan your learning environment
Students with ADHD benefit from the learning environment having minimal distractions. Student and parent voice will help to establish the ideal environment for the child to access the learning.
Allowing a child with ADHD to feel empowered is a helpful step. Ask them where and how they think they will learn best.
The promotion of self-regulation should be encouraged too. This can be achieved through a time-out card and identifying a safe space when environment becomes overstimulating or when the child feels dysregulated.
Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.
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