Five Back to School Tips to Enhance Classroom Success for a Child with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)
ADHD is diagnosed in about 3 – 7% of school –age children. (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). The school environment creates multiple challenges for these children. Most have difficulty in sitting still, listening quietly and focusing their attention. These children sometimes find it so very hard to wait their turn. They often know what they should or should not do but they just can’t control themselves. They may daydream, make careless mistakes and forgot and lose things.
Many parents judge themselves by their children’s behaviour and feel that others are judging them too. In their own minds they may think that the behaviour shows that they are not good parents. As a result of this view, not all parents find it easy to collaborate with the teacher or even to share in-depth information about their child that has ADHD. Remember that the focus has to be on this unique child ensuring that school is enjoyed and is very successful for all as we live in a very diverse culture. Meeting the needs of one child that has ADHD does not meet the needs of all children who have ADHD… different approaches work best.
Teachers and parents can work together for successful outcomes.
- Parents should schedule a meeting with the classroom teacher before the start of school to share strengths and challenges of your child.
- Create written goals together for clear expectations for your child. One of the goals could be as simply sharing strategies that are successful at home when the child is unable to sit still.
- Parent and teachers should schedule regular meetings to discuss what is working inside and outside the classroom.
- Maintain honest communication so that the focus remains on supporting the child for successful outcomes.
- The child will succeed in an environment that is safe, friendly and provides flexibility.
– Provide comfortable chair and desk.
– Allow flexibility when the child is unable to sit still, have an additional desk at the side of the classroom where the child could stand to write.
– Seat the child away from entry doors and windows to decrease distraction.
– Where the child is acting out, seat him/ or her near to a good classmate role model.
– Where the child becomes restless in the classroom, the teacher could encourage all children to stand and stretch for a few seconds, then return to sitting.
– Classroom assignment can be broken down into manageable parts as the child may find some assignments quite challenging to complete.
The understanding and compassion that is shared about the child who has ADHD determines that child’s future success. Addressing challenges require thoughtful preparation and results in much joy when the teacher and parents collaborate for positive outcomes.
Written By Norma Nicholson
RN BA MA (Ed)
Author, educator, speaker and child and youth expert