Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a condition that many kids have today and the worst thing is that a fair percentage of them still have it even after they grow up.
That is why it is important for them to deal with this kind of problematic behavior early on and in all spheres of life, starting from the bedroom all the way to inside the classroom.
Since they spend hours at school, both parents and teachers need to help students who exhibit ADHD behavior to overcome it. This is important because learning is a lifelong skill that these children should not grow up without because they will fall behind their peers in all walks of life, namely the labor market.
If you thought that teachers are helpless and they just have to adapt to such children, you were wrong. There are several tactical approaches they can take to help kids with ADHD become better learners. Some methods are more proactive than others, while certain approaches require the involvement of parents and even a wider community in which the child lives.
Hyperactivity disorder is not a personal problem of the child, so his surroundings should assume an active role in helping the student, regardless of his age, overcome any learning difficulties he or she might have.
Establishing a Routine
A great way to combat ADHD is establishing a routine that all students will have to adhere to throughout the school year. By knowing what to expect each time and by pure repetition, they will lose any negativity that they harbor towards the learning process in general.
The routines can be something as simple as assigning homework 5 minute before each class ends and putting it up on the board.
Furthermore, if all students are compliant, you can create a strict seating schedule that even the ADHD kids will have to stick to. This way, they will see themselves as part of the collective and it will be less likely that they will exhibit the anti-social kind of behaviour associated with ADHD.
In many cases, this behavior disorder is connected with the feeling of insecurity, which is countered by classroom routines that are predictable and therefore completely safe to perform in the student’s mind.
Since a normal class is not challenging enough for their attention, ADHD behaviour students often play in class, look aimlessly through the window or pick on others. They are basically looking to find something that would distract them, so be sure to reduce any potential distractions both inside and outside the classroom.
What these pupils need is focus that can only be achieved if the lesson beforehand offers enough challenges for their hyperactive brains. This means that should be seated as near the teacher as possible so they will constantly be engaged in the teaching process. Ask them to repeat something or answer simple questions every five or ten minutes in order to confirm that they are mentally present. They shouldn’t talk among each other unless they are doing pair work and they most certainly shouldn’t be allowed to use their phone in class or engage in any other distracting type of activity.
Don’t Inhibit Movement
Long gone are the days when children had to sit still and wait for the class to be over. The modern curriculum encourages students to at least fidget or play a game while sitting, even allowing them to move during class. The kids with ADHD behavior have a surplus of energy that you will find easier to channel, than to suppress.
Create games in class that involve tossing a ball around or running to the board so students can get the energy out. Even a simple lesson in which you do most of the talking can have a break in the form a student being allowed to go to the bathroom or leave his or her desk to clean the board. If you are unsure which positive behavior support strategy to apply, then register for online courses like the ones Behaviour Zen offer which are particularly tailored to address the needs of students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Positive Feedback and No Reproaching
Since their attention span is shorter than that of their peers, kids with problematic behavior are really grateful if your feedback is direct and immediate. Don’t wait until the end of class or the semester to tell them they have done well but rather do it in class immediately after they deserve praise. Even simple prompts such as “Well done,” “Precisely,” or “Good work” will mean a world to them and they will know to appreciate them, perhaps more than other students.
Likewise, reproaches should not be direct and telling-off should not contain any negative words (the “no-” words). If they misbehave or get the answer wrong, instead of telling them off with “That was bad” or “No, incorrect,” you can try using rhetorical questions, such as “Now, is that a proper way to behave in class” and “Would you care to reconsider your answer.” If they are hyperactive they are not dumb, so they will immediately understand what you are aiming at and instantly correct their behaviour and/or answer.
other valuable tips:
Oral lectures, no matter how fun they might be, are just too boring for kids with ADHD. They are essentially visual learners as the imbibe imagery they see in their surroundings. This can be made to work to your benefit, as the entire classroom can have vivid posters and charts from various subjects hung on walls. They are the ideal teaching aid for these students as they will more or less memorize them by heart and recreate a mental image of them inside their head.
Try to use as many visual aids in your classes as possible, such as poster presentations and movies. The former can be made by ADHD students who will keep their minds and hands busy while making them, while the latter are more effective that you simply talking about, let’s say, an African animal species. It is much easier to play the students a nature documentary.
Finally, you have to understand that students showing ADHD behavior need active help with learning. Teachers and parents are not powerless to help them, as any of the methods listed helps significantly.
Image Credit: Pixabay
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