Although children with ADHD may be difficult to teach, knowing the reasons for their behavior can be helpful in choosing the right strategies to deal with the situation. Providing structured classroom activities, personal attention, as well as positive expectations, are good strategies to follow for hyperactive children, as well as for all students.
In every school classroom there are one or more children who have been labeled with ADHD. Students with ADHD may exhibit some of the following behaviours:
- He is or seems to be absent-minded, he does not participate in the lesson and probably he is not listening.
- He often stands up, annoys his classmates and has trouble to stay in his sit during the lesson. He seems to be nervous.
- He can not concentrate in one task, he usually forgets the rules or the instructions or what he is told to do.
- He answers a question before it is completed and thus he answers it wrong.
- He can not concentrate and he may forget a word or a whole sentence when he writes.
- He has trouble to follow instructions and many times he stops doing a task, leaving it unfinished because the forgets what he has to do or because he can not understand the instructions.
- He loses his stuff and his books or he forgets to bring them either to school or home.
What we have to do:
Within the classroom:
- Daily programme: Children with ADHD can perform better when the daily school programme is followed or when they are informed for possible changes on time.
- Use audio-visual material: These students learn more effectively when they use their senses. Bring to your lesson stimuli like music, songs, images, videos, handicraft or anything that works best for your student(s).
- Personal instructions: Give your student instructions, using a simple language and make sure before he begins doing the task that he has understood what he is asked to do.
- Simple rules: Write the steps of an exercise on the blackboard using simple and comprehensible words, different colours and bullet points.
- Help them participate in the lesson: A glance or a smile can bring the child’s attention back to the classroom. Never use negative language! Find a positive way of communication with your student.
- Make them your assistant: Since they need constantly to move, give them the chance to do it. Ask them to clean the board, empty the class garbage basket, bring a book to the classroom from the library or make some copies.
- Clean and organised environment: Move your student(s) to another sit away from the window or the classroom door in order to eliminate the external stimulations that may distract him.
- Time reminder: Students with ADHD lack of sence of timing. It is very important to remind them how much time they have left in order to complete a task or a written test.
- Warmth, patience and humor: Three of the most significant qualities that a teacher should have (not only when teaching students with ADHD). Students with ADHD seem to work better when they feel acceptable by adults.
- Rewarding: This is the most important! Never forget to praise a positive behaviour and of course the effort! Sometimes it is more important than the outcome!
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