How To Manage ADHD In The Classroom

By Timothy Taylor

ADHD, or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, affects nearly five million children in the USA only. This brain disorder causes difficulties with concentration, attention and self-control, but it also affects children's self-esteem. The largest problems start in school, with children with ADHD in the classroom, especially when teachers are not adequately prepared to deal with them.

The symptoms can be recognized quite early. They cannot concentrate on anything for a longer period of time, they switch from one activity to the other frequently, they rarely finish with any task given, or simply talk all the time. Some may run or jump in place, unable to control themselves, others lose their toys or other things all the time, or forget things.

The lack of patience is another thing common to kids suffering from ADHD. All these things greatly affect their school success, and this really is a pity, because a great deal of these children might be highly intelligent. Their medical problems affect their success, and there is no cure for this. There are certain therapies, yes, and there are medications, but there is no cure. Combining different therapies is considered to be the best.

Nevertheless, there are many things that can be done in the school as well. Qualified and educated teacher may use various techniques that will help children suffering from ADHD. Providing safe, organized and predictable environment is probably the first and the most important step. Ordered environment with precise, clear, understandable rules are essential.

The next thing any teacher should do is to get to know every child. Individual approach could make wonders, especially when the teacher knows exactly which approach worked the best for this child before. Talking to both the child and the parents, understanding child's needs and special characteristics, all these require time, but results with better understanding and easier interaction.

Recognizing child's talents or skills and rewarding every effort adequately could be a big step ahead in animating children with similar problems for learning. Using various methods, such as stars or point system, for reinforcing appropriate behavior and for rewarding efforts could also improve the quality of classroom environment as well as this child's success in school. A nice calming music background could also be of a great help.

Involving physical activities during classes is another proven method for keeping children active and motivated. Just a simple exercise during the class may be a good thing to distress them. The teacher has to explain them why now is a good time for stretching the muscles a bit and after that will be a good time for learning. Simple and understandable rules with appropriate explanations are easier to accept.

Using a gentle tone is also a must. Yelling will do nothing, and can even make things worst. Another really useful thing is to divide lessons into several segments. This makes them easier to understand, especially when there are some simple questions about every single segment before proceeding with this lesson. This will keep their concentration on the higher level. If some kid just have to have additional physical activity, sometimes it's for the best to provide it.

About the Author: