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Friendly class and home settings to support ADHD


Latest

by Keath Low

Tips on creating a suitable learning environment for children with ADHD.

Dr. Sydney, professor of Special Education at University, is an internationally known researcher in the education of children with ADHD and the preferences and responses of these students to specific learning conditions and environments. She is also author of the book ADHD in Education.

According to the Dr, children with ADHD have a greater than average need for stimulation. Their activity is goal directed rather than random or purposeless. In other words, the behavior of a child with ADHD functions to increase stimulation in specific settings, time periods, and tasks.

For a parent or teacher, however, this activity level and the inappropriate or disruptive ways these kids can sometimes use to fulfil this need for stimulation can certainly be very frustrating and confusing. Understanding this need for stimulation and restructuring the class and home environment in ways that help a child find appropriate stimulation can have a major impact on the social and academic outcomes of a child with ADHD.

Children with ADHD seek change/novelty and high interest activities. They do best with an engaging active curriculum at school and an active home environment. Incorporating physical movement and motor activity throughout the day increases successes. When involved in a cognitive, thinking activity, children with ADHD often benefit from choices rather than solely adult directed tasks. With their innate curiosity these kids have a great potential for learning.

The trouble arises when a child with ADHD becomes bored. The longer they have to attend to a task, for example, or the longer they have to wait for their turn, the more stimulation they need. In addition to this need for stimulation, children with ADHD also have a need to feel competence, both academically and socially. They tend to do well with activities that involve some competition which enables others to see how well they are doing – earning rewards, badges, leadership opportunities or other symbols of achievement. Children with ADHD also benefit tremendously from social connections and relatedness to others. Social interactions are often their most important source of stimulation. If you are a teacher when you move about in the classroom and travel around a child with ADHD, you are a very powerful source of stimulation for this child. Your warmth and support and personal attention to this student is vital.

Kids with ADHD also enjoy producing emotional reactions in others. They may be drawn to the children at school who cause more trouble and they often look for or try to provoke an emotional reaction in order to feel more stimulation. Because a loud or angry response from an adult or peer tends to be reinforcing for many children with ADHD, when you must convey disapproval or reprimand a child with ADHD, a none motional, calm, and matter of fact response is best.

Dr. Sydney has developed a checklist for parents and teachers to utilize in order to help children with ADHD appropriately fulfil their need for stimulation and competence.

Friendly Class Settings to Support Children With ADHD

Goal 1 – Needs Stimulation (Movement and Choices)

  • Movement among centre and seats
  • Activity breaks
  • Active response tasks
  • Choice of tasks and reporting methods
  • Choice of jobs and responsibilities
  • Choice of learning groups

Goal 2 – Needs Competence

A. Academic Competence

  1. Tasks
    · Reduced length (chapters)
    · Self-paced
    · Interests used in instruction
    · Color (overlays, markers, paper)
    · Relevant color used
    · Computers provided
    · Teach how to visually plan
    · Make global points and outlines
  2. Settings
    · Interesting centre
    · Use of games in teaching
    · Animals present
    · Music available
    · Checklists, prompt cards used
    · Activities or toys for delay time

B. Social Competence

  • 3 times more positives than negatives
  • Intense, emotional rewards
  • Private, firm, soft reprimands
  • Show personal interest in child
  • Peer activities with rules
  • Cooperation is taught and rewarded

Friendly Home Settings to Support Children With ADHD

Goal 1 – Needs Stimulation (Movement and Choices)

  • Available paths to run, trampolines, pools
  • Active responsibilities that are “helpful”
  • Available family activities (picnics, biking)
  • Choice of homework setting and task order
  • Choice of jobs and responsibilities
  • Choice of homework activity breaks

Goal 2 – Needs Competence

A. Academic Competence

  1. Tasks
    · Flexible play materials (legos, paints)
    · Support for pretend play, journaling
    · Books selected for child’s interest
    · Family conversations related to interests
    · Support for collections/hobbies
    · Computers provided
    · Teach how to visually plan
    · Reduce verbalizations to the child
  2. Settings
    · Interesting homework settings
    · Use of games in getting tasks/jobs completed
    · Pets present
    · Music available during homework
    · Checklists, prompt cards used
    · Activities or toys for delay time
    · 3 times more positive statements than negatives
    · Intense, emotional rewards
    · Private, firm, soft, none motional reprimands
    · Shows personal interest in child and child’s friends
    · Friend activities with rules
    · Strict reasonable rules and manners are rewarded

By Keath Low 
Sydney S. Zentall, Ph.D.
Keynote presentation at CH.A.D.D.'s 21st Annual International Conference on Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Cleveland, OH. Friendly class and home settings to support ADHD.





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Friendly class and home settings to support ADHD

Latest

Friendly class and home settings to support ADHD

by Keath Low

Tips on creating a suitable learning environment for children with ADHD.

Dr. Sydney, professor of Special Education at University, is an internationally known researcher in the education of children with ADHD and the preferences and responses of these students to specific learning conditions and environments. She is also author of the book ADHD in Education.

According to the Dr, children with ADHD have a greater than average need for stimulation. Their activity is goal directed rather than random or purposeless. In other words, the behavior of a child with ADHD functions to increase stimulation in specific settings, time periods, and tasks.

For a parent or teacher, however, this activity level and the inappropriate or disruptive ways these kids can sometimes use to fulfil this need for stimulation can certainly be very frustrating and confusing. Understanding this need for stimulation and restructuring the class and home environment in ways that help a child find appropriate stimulation can have a major impact on the social and academic outcomes of a child with ADHD.

Children with ADHD seek change/novelty and high interest activities. They do best with an engaging active curriculum at school and an active home environment. Incorporating physical movement and motor activity throughout the day increases successes. When involved in a cognitive, thinking activity, children with ADHD often benefit from choices rather than solely adult directed tasks. With their innate curiosity these kids have a great potential for learning.

The trouble arises when a child with ADHD becomes bored. The longer they have to attend to a task, for example, or the longer they have to wait for their turn, the more stimulation they need. In addition to this need for stimulation, children with ADHD also have a need to feel competence, both academically and socially. They tend to do well with activities that involve some competition which enables others to see how well they are doing – earning rewards, badges, leadership opportunities or other symbols of achievement. Children with ADHD also benefit tremendously from social connections and relatedness to others. Social interactions are often their most important source of stimulation. If you are a teacher when you move about in the classroom and travel around a child with ADHD, you are a very powerful source of stimulation for this child. Your warmth and support and personal attention to this student is vital.

Kids with ADHD also enjoy producing emotional reactions in others. They may be drawn to the children at school who cause more trouble and they often look for or try to provoke an emotional reaction in order to feel more stimulation. Because a loud or angry response from an adult or peer tends to be reinforcing for many children with ADHD, when you must convey disapproval or reprimand a child with ADHD, a none motional, calm, and matter of fact response is best.

Dr. Sydney has developed a checklist for parents and teachers to utilize in order to help children with ADHD appropriately fulfil their need for stimulation and competence.

Friendly Class Settings to Support Children With ADHD

Goal 1 – Needs Stimulation (Movement and Choices)

  • Movement among centre and seats
  • Activity breaks
  • Active response tasks
  • Choice of tasks and reporting methods
  • Choice of jobs and responsibilities
  • Choice of learning groups

Goal 2 – Needs Competence

A. Academic Competence

  1. Tasks
    · Reduced length (chapters)
    · Self-paced
    · Interests used in instruction
    · Color (overlays, markers, paper)
    · Relevant color used
    · Computers provided
    · Teach how to visually plan
    · Make global points and outlines
  2. Settings
    · Interesting centre
    · Use of games in teaching
    · Animals present
    · Music available
    · Checklists, prompt cards used
    · Activities or toys for delay time

B. Social Competence

  • 3 times more positives than negatives
  • Intense, emotional rewards
  • Private, firm, soft reprimands
  • Show personal interest in child
  • Peer activities with rules
  • Cooperation is taught and rewarded

Friendly Home Settings to Support Children With ADHD

Goal 1 – Needs Stimulation (Movement and Choices)

  • Available paths to run, trampolines, pools
  • Active responsibilities that are “helpful”
  • Available family activities (picnics, biking)
  • Choice of homework setting and task order
  • Choice of jobs and responsibilities
  • Choice of homework activity breaks

Goal 2 – Needs Competence

A. Academic Competence

  1. Tasks
    · Flexible play materials (legos, paints)
    · Support for pretend play, journaling
    · Books selected for child’s interest
    · Family conversations related to interests
    · Support for collections/hobbies
    · Computers provided
    · Teach how to visually plan
    · Reduce verbalizations to the child
  2. Settings
    · Interesting homework settings
    · Use of games in getting tasks/jobs completed
    · Pets present
    · Music available during homework
    · Checklists, prompt cards used
    · Activities or toys for delay time
    · 3 times more positive statements than negatives
    · Intense, emotional rewards
    · Private, firm, soft, none motional reprimands
    · Shows personal interest in child and child’s friends
    · Friend activities with rules
    · Strict reasonable rules and manners are rewarded

By Keath Low 
Sydney S. Zentall, Ph.D.
Keynote presentation at CH.A.D.D.'s 21st Annual International Conference on Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Cleveland, OH. Friendly class and home settings to support ADHD.