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Tips for parents and teachers of children with ADHD


Latest

by Melanie Hartgill

A useful list on how to cope with and manage ADD and ADHD children.

  • Make sure the child’s eye sight and hearing are tested as impairments in these fields can cause the child immense difficulties at school which could be mistaken for ADHD.
  • Rule out other medical conditions as they could be the underlying cause of the difficulties.
  • Build up the support network making use of teachers, parents, educational psychologists, remedial specialists, etc.
  • Ask the child what he or she thinks would help as the child is often excluded from such discussions, but can add valuable information.
  • Ensure there is structure and organisation in the child’s life making use of lists, calendars and tables to be followed that are placed in full view.
  • Give the child limits and boundaries to operate in as such children need plenty of direction in their lives, such structure also gives them security.
  • Make full eye-contact with the child as often as possible to encourage attention and focus.
  • Seat the child as close to the teacher as possible so that the child feels supported in the school work tasks.
  • Be consistent, predictable and prompt as these contribute to the necessary boundaries and structure that ADHD children need.
  • Help the child to budget their time as this helps to avoid unnecessary procrastination and adds to the structure.
  • Reduce the frequency of timed tests as ADHD children have the ability but are restricted by time limits.
  • Allow for escape valve outlets as and when the child needs them, such as leaving the classroom for a short period as this helps the child to self-monitor, regulate and control their behaviour.
  • Push for quality rather than quantity homework it is sufficient that the child understands and learns the concepts.
  • Monitor progress often and give frequent feedback as ADHD children need constant reassurance and compliments rather than criticisms.
  • Break down large tasks into a number of smaller ones so as not to overwhelm the child and make the tasks seem more manageable.
  • Let yourself be unconventional and playful once in a while so as to counterbalance all the lists and structure.
  • Try to avoid over stimulation of the child as this compounds the difficulties.
  • Make as much fuss of success as possible using praise and rewards to encourage, motivate and take the emphasis off the negatives.
  • Teach them tricks to help with their memory such as mnemonics, flashcards, written reminders, etc.
  • Use outlines and overviews when teaching as it gives the child a structure to work in.
  • Teach the child to use outlines and underlining as this helps both memory and attention when learning.
  • Make use of visual aids when teaching as ADHD children generally learn better visually than auditorily and is helps them to maintain focus and attention.
  • Simplify instructions, choices and scheduling such as using colour-coding for written work and simple language when listing instructions.
  • Use feedback that helps the child to become self-observant for example, ask the child what they could have done differently, etc.
  • Make expectations explicit to avoid misunderstandings later.
  • Use a point system for rewarding so that the child has to collect a certain number of points before being rewarded.
  • Teach test-taking skills as this enables the child to become more proficient during tests and helps to alleviate test or exam anxiety that hinders progress.
  • Encourage working in groups as this encourages self- and peer-monitoring, just ensure that it is the right group for that child.
  • Give the responsibility back to the child as often as possible as this helps with self-control and structuring.
  • Encourage the use of a daily notebook to communicate between school and home as this keeps everyone up to date on progress.
  • Try to use daily progress reports, but these are to be informative and encouraging rather than disciplinary.
  • Prepare the child for unstructured time as it can be over stimulating for the child.
  • Praise, stroke, approve, encourage and nourish as everyone needs encouragement, rather than criticisms.
  • Suggest that the child writes notes to him or herself as this helps memory as well as self-monitoring.
  • If poor handwriting is an issue, then encourage the use of a computer or typewriter or oral tests as the child shouldn’t be penalised for something over which he or she has little control.
  • Arrange for the students to have a study-buddy for each subject as this adds to the support network for the child.
  • Encourage reading aloud at home by the parents and the child as this helps concentration and learning.
  • Use story telling methods rather than pure ‘lecturing’ as it concretises the information and helps memory.
  • Repeat, repeat, repeat as the ADHD child needs time to process what has been said.
  • Encourage physical exercise and activities as this helps work off extra energy and encourages concentration and attention, it also stimulates beneficial hormones and neuro-chemicals.
  • Consider using a tutor for schoolwork so you don’t give up your role as parent.
  • Always tell the child the truth even if you have to use an analogy, the child is aware that something is different, so he or she should be given as much information as possible.
  • You need to be a coach in the ADHD process
    • H What help do they need?
    • O Ask specifically about upcoming obligations and their preparations
    • P Ask about ongoing plans and goals – possibly helping to create them
    • E Use encouragement - it takes a while to undo a lifetime of negativity

About the author:
Melanie Hartgill
Educational Psychologist
Pr. no. 0860000115134
Specialising in: Assessments (educational, psychological, school readiness, emotional and career), Learning Disabilities, Parenting Issues and Training and Child Development 
Visit Melanie's Q&A page





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Tips for parents and teachers of children with ADHD

Latest

Tips for parents and teachers of children with ADHD

by Melanie Hartgill

A useful list on how to cope with and manage ADD and ADHD children.

  • Make sure the child’s eye sight and hearing are tested as impairments in these fields can cause the child immense difficulties at school which could be mistaken for ADHD.
  • Rule out other medical conditions as they could be the underlying cause of the difficulties.
  • Build up the support network making use of teachers, parents, educational psychologists, remedial specialists, etc.
  • Ask the child what he or she thinks would help as the child is often excluded from such discussions, but can add valuable information.
  • Ensure there is structure and organisation in the child’s life making use of lists, calendars and tables to be followed that are placed in full view.
  • Give the child limits and boundaries to operate in as such children need plenty of direction in their lives, such structure also gives them security.
  • Make full eye-contact with the child as often as possible to encourage attention and focus.
  • Seat the child as close to the teacher as possible so that the child feels supported in the school work tasks.
  • Be consistent, predictable and prompt as these contribute to the necessary boundaries and structure that ADHD children need.
  • Help the child to budget their time as this helps to avoid unnecessary procrastination and adds to the structure.
  • Reduce the frequency of timed tests as ADHD children have the ability but are restricted by time limits.
  • Allow for escape valve outlets as and when the child needs them, such as leaving the classroom for a short period as this helps the child to self-monitor, regulate and control their behaviour.
  • Push for quality rather than quantity homework it is sufficient that the child understands and learns the concepts.
  • Monitor progress often and give frequent feedback as ADHD children need constant reassurance and compliments rather than criticisms.
  • Break down large tasks into a number of smaller ones so as not to overwhelm the child and make the tasks seem more manageable.
  • Let yourself be unconventional and playful once in a while so as to counterbalance all the lists and structure.
  • Try to avoid over stimulation of the child as this compounds the difficulties.
  • Make as much fuss of success as possible using praise and rewards to encourage, motivate and take the emphasis off the negatives.
  • Teach them tricks to help with their memory such as mnemonics, flashcards, written reminders, etc.
  • Use outlines and overviews when teaching as it gives the child a structure to work in.
  • Teach the child to use outlines and underlining as this helps both memory and attention when learning.
  • Make use of visual aids when teaching as ADHD children generally learn better visually than auditorily and is helps them to maintain focus and attention.
  • Simplify instructions, choices and scheduling such as using colour-coding for written work and simple language when listing instructions.
  • Use feedback that helps the child to become self-observant for example, ask the child what they could have done differently, etc.
  • Make expectations explicit to avoid misunderstandings later.
  • Use a point system for rewarding so that the child has to collect a certain number of points before being rewarded.
  • Teach test-taking skills as this enables the child to become more proficient during tests and helps to alleviate test or exam anxiety that hinders progress.
  • Encourage working in groups as this encourages self- and peer-monitoring, just ensure that it is the right group for that child.
  • Give the responsibility back to the child as often as possible as this helps with self-control and structuring.
  • Encourage the use of a daily notebook to communicate between school and home as this keeps everyone up to date on progress.
  • Try to use daily progress reports, but these are to be informative and encouraging rather than disciplinary.
  • Prepare the child for unstructured time as it can be over stimulating for the child.
  • Praise, stroke, approve, encourage and nourish as everyone needs encouragement, rather than criticisms.
  • Suggest that the child writes notes to him or herself as this helps memory as well as self-monitoring.
  • If poor handwriting is an issue, then encourage the use of a computer or typewriter or oral tests as the child shouldn’t be penalised for something over which he or she has little control.
  • Arrange for the students to have a study-buddy for each subject as this adds to the support network for the child.
  • Encourage reading aloud at home by the parents and the child as this helps concentration and learning.
  • Use story telling methods rather than pure ‘lecturing’ as it concretises the information and helps memory.
  • Repeat, repeat, repeat as the ADHD child needs time to process what has been said.
  • Encourage physical exercise and activities as this helps work off extra energy and encourages concentration and attention, it also stimulates beneficial hormones and neuro-chemicals.
  • Consider using a tutor for schoolwork so you don’t give up your role as parent.
  • Always tell the child the truth even if you have to use an analogy, the child is aware that something is different, so he or she should be given as much information as possible.
  • You need to be a coach in the ADHD process
    • H What help do they need?
    • O Ask specifically about upcoming obligations and their preparations
    • P Ask about ongoing plans and goals – possibly helping to create them
    • E Use encouragement - it takes a while to undo a lifetime of negativity

About the author:
Melanie Hartgill
Educational Psychologist
Pr. no. 0860000115134
Specialising in: Assessments (educational, psychological, school readiness, emotional and career), Learning Disabilities, Parenting Issues and Training and Child Development 
Visit Melanie's Q&A page