What Can Teachers Do To Help a Child with AD/HD?by Mary Fowler
Whether your child receives services under IDEA, Section 504, or another program designed to help students with special needs, it is important that the intervention be tailored to meet your child's individual needs. One size does not fit all. Work with the school to identify the nature of your child's special needs and to design an educational program suited to those needs.
In addition to the core interventions described in the previous section, there are a number of other educational interventions that can potentially help students with AD/HD. This section looks at some of the more common interventions, modifications, and adaptations.
Select a Supportive Teacher
Try to place the student with teachers who are positive, upbeat, flexible, and highly organized problem-solvers. Teachers who praise liberally and who are willing to "go the extra mile" to help students succeed can be enormously beneficial to students with AD/HD.
Adapt Curriculum and Instruction
Provide more direct instruction and as much one-on-one instruction as possible.
Use guided instruction.
Teach and practice organization and study skills in every subject area.
Design lessons so that students have to actively respond-get up, move around, go to the board, move in their seats.
Design highly motivating and enriching curriculum with ample opportunity for hands-on activities and movement.
Eliminate repetition from tasks or use more novel ways to practice.
Design tasks of low to moderate frustration levels.
Use computers in instruction.
Challenge but don't overwhelm.
Change evaluation methods to suit the child's learning styles and strengths.
Provide Supports to Promote On-Task Behavior
Pair the student with a study buddy or learning partner who is an exemplary student.
Provide frequent feedback.
Monitor independent work.
Schedule difficult subjects at the student's most productive time.
Use mentoring and peer tutoring.
Provide frequent and regularly scheduled breaks.
Set timers for specific tasks.
Call attention to schedule changes.
Maintain frequent communication between home and school.
Do daily/weekly progress reports.
Teach conflict resolution and peer mediation skills.
Provide Supports to Promote Executive Function
To support planning:
To increase organization:
To improve follow through:
To improve self-control:
To assist with working memory:
To assist with memory retrieval:
Attention Getters and Keepers
For problems beginning tasks:
For problems sticking with and finishing tasks:
Reprinted from National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY) Briefing Paper, Revised Edition, April 2002. Contact NICHCY at P.O. Box 1492, Washington, DC 20013-1492; phone: 800/695-0285 or 202/884-8200 (Voice/TT).