Students with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyper Disorder) struggle with attention and willpower. Also, their tendency to be hyper-active is one of the biggest learning barriers. Besides, their impulsive nature shows that they can often go beyond self-control. So, teaching a student with such kind of developmental condition can be challenging for both the parents and the teachers. In this article, you will find some strategies that can help you teach students with ADHD.
Before we find out how to handle ADHD students, let us learn a little bit about this condition.
There are many symptoms associated with ADHD. Here are some of them:
Not all students with ADHD have all the symptoms mentioned above. Some might be just having trouble with concentration. Also, some might be only too impulsive. But, in severe cases, we can see symptoms like hyperactive, impulsive, and inattentive behavior. As per the symptoms, ADHD is of 3 types:
Genetic factors are believed to be one of the main causes. Also, there can be many other reasons why a person may develop this condition. Scientists believe the following risk factors to be the cause of ADHD:
Teaching a student with ADHD can be frustrating. But, with proper care and management, a teacher can find effective ways to handle the student.
A student with ADHD can cause a lot of pressure on a teacher in various ways:
Handling students with ADHD begins with accepting them the way they are. ADHD is a medical condition. As a teacher or parent, one has to accept that anyone with this condition is not doing a certain action on intention. So, you need to have a positive approach to their actions. For example, teachers can take a restless student to be extremely energetic or consider the student’s forgetfulness to be the result of him being absorbed in his thoughts. The more you try to think from their point of view, the easier it will be for you to manage them.
A teacher’s reaction towards a student can be the deciding factor of his treatment from his classmates. A student with ADHD must not feel neglected or humiliated at any time. So, it is important for a teacher to always respond positively to a student with this disorder. For this, it is important to master the art of being patient.
You have to make sure to use simple and short sentences. Also, always make eye contact with the student. You must speak clearly for the student to get the message. Besides, while explaining a task, try to use a step-by-step method.
As a teacher, the best way to monitor a student is to place him closest to you where you can see their activities or at the front of the class. This can minimize the factors that distract the student. Also, placing a student with ADHD close to a hardworking student can help a lot.
One of the major difficulties with ADHD students is that they are not able to organize thoughts. So, getting them to be organized can help them to organize their thoughts. For this, a teacher can explain a task in simple steps with an easy framework. This can be done while teaching a subject or even giving them tasks.
Also, asking them to describe their daily activities in sequence or a particular action step by step may put them in a practice to organize their thoughts. Besides, making a timetable or a routine and sticking it in front of them also works.
Visual elements can be helpful to help students with ADHD remember easily. Also, this can help a teacher to get them to listen to him or her. A teacher can write rules and regulations on a poster with colored pencils in the classroom. Also, using images to explain lessons can improve the focus.
Instead of stopping a hyper-active student from jumping around the classroom, give him a task that requires standing. Whenever, you need to write anything on the board, ask him to do it. Besides, if someone starts fidgeting, give him a softball to squeeze.
ADHD students find it difficult to understand large chunks of information. The simpler the notes are, the easier it will be for them to understand. Also, they find it hard to remember facts and figures. So, try to make the lessons easier for them by dividing them into smaller chunks. Moreover, it is better to give these students objective assignments at the beginning. Besides, it is better to ask them short questions after every session.
Teachers need to continuously motivate the students with ADHD. Praising can help them to be willing to do well. Simple phrases like “You are doing great,” or “You are making me proud,” can encourage them.
It is always good to start a behavior plan with students with ADHD. Write clear and simple goals for them to achieve and also the rewards they are going to get for achieving each goal. The rewards can be in the form of stickers, posters, free time, extra computer time, or even a certificate of achievement from the teacher.
It is no doubt that teachers need to work hard to teach a student with ADHD. But, they need to understand that ADHD is a condition that can be improved with proper care and guidance. Besides, Teachers can make a great difference in the life of students with ADHD. This surely will not come overnight. But, it will need patience, grace, empathy, and wisdom.