Guest Author - Celestine A. Jones
Children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) can thrive in the school environment with proper structure. Attention Hyperactivity Disorder is a neurobiological disorder that has an effect on behavior, attention, and activity. Easy solutions can make ADHD manageable in the classroom.
Students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder often have problems getting started on a given task. The first step to success is to gain the attention of the child. Once attention is obtained, it is important to give instructions one step at a time. These steps should be clear and concise. It is helpful to provide the directions in writing, as well as orally.
Staying on task is a challenge for children with ADHD. It is easy to drift away in a daydream or become distracted by surroundings. Seating arrangements can help. Students should be seated away from high traffic areas, such as doorways or by the pencil sharpener. Hands-on and other activities of high interest can provide a way to remain on task.
Transitions from one activity to the next can be a challenge for children with ADHD. It is important to provide a schedule of events to the child. A small warning of transitions is helpful before changing activities.
Assignment completion is a problem that can be overcome by assigning a peer tutor or assistant. This person can provide gentle reminders to stay on task. It is essential to give a rationale for completing the assignment. Standards should also be set for assignment acceptance.
Behavior can be an issue for some children with ADHD. Clear rules and consequences for behavior should be set in the event that the rules are broken. Minor behaviors can be ignored. Positive behavior should be praised as soon as it is visible. Proximity can also be used by seating the child close to the teacher.
Students with ADHD often, but not always qualify for special education services under Other Health Impairment. Students that do not qualify for special education services may be able to qualify under Section 504 Disability Act. Accommodations can be used in the classroom under each umbrella.
Accommodations can consist of extended time given to complete assignments. Instructions can be broken down into small steps in order to maintain attention and avoid overwhelming the child. Timers can also be used to help the child stay on task. Understanding ADHD and possible solutions to everyday problems can increase the chances of success in the classroom.