OT Teaching/ Parenting tips for ADHD
Children with an Attention Deficit Disorder, with or without Hyperactivity are easily distracted, fidgety and talkative. They may interrupt you while you’re explaining things to the class and have difficulty waiting their turn. And while they are a disruptive influence on the class, they may also need extra help with learning. So as a teacher/ parents, what can you do?
Teaching Tips / parenting Tips:
● Be predictable. Structure, consistency and minimal rules/choices are important and work best.
● Establish a positive relationship with ADD/ADHD students / child.
● Encourage hands-on learning. Create learning opportunities where children experience things first-hand.
● Make learning fun : play games, draw pictures, invent funny acronyms to sustain interest.
● Provide visual reminders. Students with ADD/ADHD respond well to visual cues and examples. For instance, leave key points about a topic visible on the board.
● Follow-up directions. Ask the child if he or she understood directions and repeat the directions together.
● Ask questions. Allow a child sufficient time to work out the answer to a question.
● Assign work that suits the student’s skill level. ADD/ADHD students will avoid classwork that is too difficult or too long.
● Help students correct their own mistakes.
● Divide work into smaller units. Break down assignments into smaller, less complex tasks. For example, allow students to complete the first five math problems before presenting them with the remaining five problems, rather than presenting all ten together.
● Prepare for transitions.
● For special events like field trips or other activities, be sure to give plenty of advance notice and reminders.
● Recess can actually promote focus in ADD/ADHD children so don’t use it as a time to make-up missed schoolwork or as punishment as you might for other students.
● Define the appropriate behavior while giving praise. The comments should focus on what the student did right and what part(s) of the student’s behavior was desirable. Rather than praising a student for not disturbing the class, for example, a teacher should praise him or herfor quietly completing a math lesson on time. Give praise immediately. The soonerthat approval is given regarding appropriate behaviour, the more likely the student will repeat it. Very the statements given as praise.
● Reward the child with privileges or activities, rather than with food or toys. Change rewards frequently as children with ADD/ADHD get bored if the reward is always the same. Make a chart with points or stars, so the child has a visual reminder of his or her success. Consequences .They should be spelled out in advance and occur immediately afterthe child has misbehaved. Try removal of privileges as a consequence for misbehaviour. Remove the child from situations and environments that trigger inappropriate behaviour.
● Allow for “escape valve” outlets. Permitting students with ADD/ADHD to leave class fora moment, perhaps on an errand (such as returning a book to the library), can be an effective means of settling them down and allowing them to return to the room ready to concentrate.
● Hurdle helping. Teachers can offer encouragement, support, and assistance to prevent students from becoming frustrated with an assignment. This help can take many forms, from enlisting a peer for support to supplying additional materials or information.
● Proximity control. When talking to a child, move to where the child is standing or sitting. This will help the child to focus and pay attention to what you are saying.
● Seat the child near the teacher.
● Seat the child near a student role model.
● Provide low-distraction work areas.
● Lower noise level.
● Remember that the child isn’t intentionally trying to forget his/her homework or fail a test.
● Having ADD/ADHD can be just as frustrating, if not more, than dealing with someone who has it. Keeping this in mind, it will be a lot easier to respond to the child in positive, supportive ways. As a teacher, one can help the student overcome daily challenges and channelize his or her energy into positive arenas.
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