Tips for Teaching Students with ADHD
- Jun 24, 2015
One of the most common issues confronted by a majority of teaching professionals across the world is lack of attention among the students. If you notice carefully, you would realize that the average attention span of most pupils is about 15 minutes. No wonder your students start fidgeting just 25 minutes into a classroom lesson. And when your lecture extends beyond 45 minutes, I bet you would discover them trying to stifle a yawn!
Therefore, you must be familiar with various types of learners in your classroom, which include:
There might be several other students with various learning disabilities. And it’s never too easy to teach students with such disorders. But as a teacher, it is your duty as well as a challenge to ensure that every student present in your class is equally benefitted from the training sessions.
In your class, you can find another category of students. Those who have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It is a neurodevelopmental psychiatric disorder in which the children find it extremely difficult to focus and concentrate on their studies.
Let us first try to analyze the concept of ADHD disorder that is known to affect a large number of students.
What is ADHD?
ADHD is a medical term that classifies a series of behavioral characteristics comprising a high degree of inattentiveness, impulsiveness and hyperactivity. People with ADHD generally experience shorter attention spans, sudden bursts of impulsive behavior and a constant feeling of restlessness. Generally, this ailment strikes people who suffer from learning disorders within the age group of six to twelve.
So, here’s a graphical representation of what ADHD is going to cause:
Role of Teachers in Educating Students with ADHD
Since students with ADHD require quality time and attention, you need to adopt special teaching techniques to educate them. The key to motivating such type of learners is identifying every milestone of their progress. Read on to unearth some of the best tips for teaching students with ADHD.
Communicate Rules Clearly
Since students diagnosed with ADHD possess poor attention spans, make sure your classroom rules are clear and concise. Jot down the rules on a chart paper and highlight them with bold colors. Now fix the list of rules and regulations on the display board in your classroom, at a place where it is easily visible to your students. Declare your rules at the beginning of every session.
Make Appropriate Seating Arrangement
Peers play a significant role in influencing students who are more immature as compared to them. So, make them sit beside good academic performers who have the potential to impact them positively. It would enable slow learners to develop an optimistic mindset and arouse in them the curiosity to learn more. They must not be seated in the proximity of talkative students, as it might divert their attention away from studies.
Provide Frequent Intervals
The ADHD patients can hardly focus for a long time. As a teacher, this is likely to pose a major challenge to you.
So, how are you planning to overcome this?
There is, of course, an easy way, which can turn out to be extremely effective. Providing regular and frequent class intervals is a great idea for teachers who deal with learners with attention deficit disorder.
Unlike the ordinary learners, such students are unable to focus on their lessons for more than around 15 minutes at a stretch. A five-minute break after every quarter of an hour would de-stress them immediately. And this, in turn, will help them get ready for imbibing new ideas during the remaining part of your lecture.
Focus on a Particular Behavioral Aspect
You must have observed that there are certain behavioral aspects of students with such maladies. For instance, their handwriting might be inferior to that of their classmates, or they might have a habit of losing their notes. As a teacher, you must not lose your temper even if you come across these issues in children suffering from ADHD. Instead, it is essential to focus on their behavioral patterns and identify the ones that requires improvement or elimination. As I have mentioned earlier, such students must be treated with the utmost patience and responsibility.
Reward good behavior
Pleasant surprises work great when you are teaching students with ADHD.Remember, surprise gifts for the students when they complete an assignment successfully or display signs of improved behavior can work wonders for them.
Why not give them a few candies if they sit calmly for about an hour during the lecture session on a certain day? It will motivate them to repeat this and thus, concentrate more during your training sessions. Moreover you can also award them extra grades on their classroom ethics if they display good team spirit while collaborating with their classmates.
Plan Your Teaching Schedule Properly
Slow learners are generally more alert during early morning. So, it would be a wise idea to utilize the beginning of the day for teaching them more challenging subjects, like Math or History. As you do this, you can schedule the language and literature sessions for the latter parts of the day. It enables students to grasp more knowledge about the concepts that are explained to them.
You should first understand the challenges faced by the students with ADHD to guide them towards success. If you plan their academic activities smartly, such learners would be more capable of learning their lessons effectively.
Did you know that students with ADHD can also blossom into outstanding academic performers with appropriate guidance from their teachers? Famous personalities like Albert Einstein and Michael Phelps are some of the numerous people who have reached the pinnacle of glory despite being diagnosed with ADHD!
So, as a teacher, it is essential for you to follow these steps properly while teaching students who are suffering from ADHD. Because it is completely your responsibility to ensure that they are learning the lessons as properly as all the other students of your class.
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