Wednesday, July 8, 2009

ADHD: Effective Interventions for the Classroom


The chart above gives teachers ideas on strategies that they can implement in the classroom. The chart was developed by Robert Reid (1999). Other factors that need to be taken into consideration are:

1. Set up the environment: Watch for placement of too many stimulating objects. The main teaching area should be fairly bland as ADHD students become overwhelmed and attracted to stimulating objects. The placement of objects int he classroom needs to be analyzed but also the location of the student within the classroom. Open classrooms can be difficult for ADHD students as it may prove distracting. Have two desks for the ADHD child so they may move from one desk to the other. Stand up desks, seated desks, study carrels - depending on the individual needs of the student.

2. Transition time and instruction giving: Be clear and concise. Stay away from too many instructions at once as ADHD children may have difficulty processing auditory language in a quick and efficient manner. Transition time tends to be unstructured and can pose problems. Give the student a job or something that they need to do while transitioning. Pre-plan and make sure the child is aware of when the transition will be taking place.

3. Organization and time on task: Make sure the student is organized - color code their work, schedule and books. Strategies that teach them what they need to do when stuck are also good - Cognitive strategies with visual cues.

4. Task length: Be aware of the length of time it may take your ADHD child to complete an assignment versus others in the class. Where do they start the assignment and where do they stop? What happens when they finish the task? These questions need to be answered to aid the child in completing tasks and to decrease their tendency to become distracted by other stimulus.

5. Engagement and Proactive: Enter into conversations with the child about their interests and strengths. What do they like to do?? Can you implement these interests in their daily task completions? Find the triggers for their behaviours and be proactive. Triggers may be shown when the student becomes frustrated by their work or by another student. By intervening upon recognition of the trigger it may hopefully decrease the escalation.

6. Peer Tutoring: Train peers to help others with work or social skills. Peers can be extremely beneficial in this process but most would require training to learn how to communicate with students who exhibit behaviours that may not be typical.

7. Self monitoring: Get the student to self-monitor their behaviour. Teach them to recognize their own triggers and implement strategies before they get to a level of frustration where they cannot cope.

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