Classroom accommodations for students with ADHD
As a teacher, you can make changes in the classroom to help minimise the distractions and disruptions of ADHD.
- Seat the student with ADHD away from windows and away from the door.
- Put the student with ADHD right in front of your desk unless that would be a distraction for the student.
- Give instructions one at a time and repeat as necessary.
- Use visuals: charts, pictures, colour coding.
- Create outlines for note-taking that organize the information as you deliver it.
- Reduce quantity of writing on sheets / the board, give frequent short quizzes rather than long tests.
- Test students with ADHD in the way they do best, such as orally or filling in blanks.
- Allow time for the student to organise materials and themselves.
Teaching techniques for students with ADHD
Teaching techniques that help students with ADHD focus and maintain their concentration on your lesson and their work can be beneficial to the entire class.
- Establish eye contact with any student who has ADHD.
- List the activities of the lesson on the board.
- In opening the lesson, tell students what they're going to learn and what your expectations are. Tell students exactly what materials they'll need.
- Keep instructions simple and structured. Use props, charts, and other visual aids.
- Vary the pace and include different kinds of activities. Many students with ADHD do well with competitive games or other activities that are rapid and intense.
- Have an unobtrusive cue set up with the student who has ADHD, such as a touch on the shoulder or placing a sticky note on the student's desk, to remind the student to stay on task.
- Allow a student with ADHD frequent breaks and let him or her squeeze a rubber ball or tap something that doesn't make noise as a physical outlet.
- Try not to ask a student with ADHD perform a task or answer a question publicly that might be too difficult.
- Summarize key points.
- If you give an assignment, have three different students repeat it, then have the class say it in unison, and put it on the board.
- Be specific about what to take home.
Authors: Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. and Melinda Smith, M.A. (from Teaching Students with ADHD - HelpGuide.org)
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