Strategies to help students with ADHD are like the holy grail of managing ADHD symptoms. Every parent wants to know the most effective strategies that actually work. In many ways, succeeding in school is equated to later success in life. Parents of children diagnosed with ADHD fear that such a diagnosis might mean that their child won’t succeed later in life.
The good news is that this doesn’t have to be the case. While success or lack of success in school doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t find success later in life, there still are good strategies to help students with ADHD. A lot of eventual success depends on implementing strategies early on to ensure a successful start at school.
In this post, we will look at six useful strategies to help students with ADHD. These all can be utilized to help your child find success today as well as in later life.
1. Communicate with Administrators, Teachers, and Coaches
Communication is a key element of finding success with any strategies to help students with ADHD. The reality is that as the parent, you cannot be there with your child to help manage their environment every second of every day.
Instead of trying to manage of all your child’s environments, use communication to fill in the gaps. It’s important for your first step to be learning to communicate clearly and often. Talk with all the other adults in their lives: administrators, teachers, coaches, and community leaders.
Chances are that your children’s teachers and coaches already have some ADHD classroom strategies. By talking to the teachers in advance, you can help develop effective strategies along with the teachers that will most help your child. Keeping those channels of communication open will help you and your child’s teachers continue to develop a workable behavioral modification plan that supports your child in all their learning environments: at home and at school.
2. Remember Environment Is Important
Strategies to help students with ADHD should start with the physical environment of the child. This is both at home and at school. The goal, as with most of these strategies, is to limit the distractions so your child can focus as much of their energy and time on learning.
In the classroom, you want to talk to their teacher about finding them a seat with the least amount of distractions as possible. This might mean moving them away from other kids that tend to distract them. Alternatively, it could mean seating them towards the front of the classroom so the teacher can keep a closer eye on them and help them focus better.
At home, you want to focus mostly on handling homework with your ADHD kid. At home or in a library, controlling the environment might look like finding a silent place such as a cubicle or home study. This would also mean taking away games or electronics. This way your child can be as focused as possible on what they are learning.
3. Mitigate the Fidgeting
The attention span for a child with ADHD is very short. Children with ADHD tend to get bored easily which leads to distraction. Unfortunately, distraction often leads to getting into trouble. The hyperactivity often makes children fidgety, continuously moving their hands and feet, and moving and shifting in their seats.
Part of your strategies to help students with ADHD should be providing tools to mitigate the fidgeting and to redirect that restless energy. In the school environment, again, this brings in speaking with their teachers and coaches and identifying small tools that kids can fidget with and not distract other children. These could be small hand games such as a Rubix cube or small hand puzzles. Such items can provide a release for the hyperactivity without being a distraction.
4. Structure and Organize Instructions and Processes
Part of the nature of being easily distracted and restless is often forgetting to follow instructions or processes. A helpful strategy that will help any student with ADHD is using checklists. Checklists can help to remind students of what they need to do at set periods of a day.
Checklists can be used as a daily reminder to help children build processes into their day. You can have a checklist on things they need to take to school or a checklist on homework to bring home and work on.
The goal of checklists is to build routine into your child’s life. Another way to supplement checklists and also build routine is through using organizers for homework. Using a homework organizer will help your child structure their process. This will build a repeatable routine that can lead to future success in schooling.
5. Break Learning and Instructions into Chunks
Part of your effective strategies to help students with ADHD should be to break learning into smaller chunks. Learning with ADHD is best completed in smaller doses.
The best pattern of study for the ADHD student is 10 minutes new material followed by a 5 minute break. Then 7 minutes new material, a 3 minute review of the first block, and a 5 minute break. Again, 7 minutes new, 3 minutes review of previous blocks, and a 5 min break. Finally, in the final 15 min of the hour you can use 15 minutes for review of all the material and then break for 15 minutes.
6. Find Success With Strategies to Help Students with ADHD
We hope after reading this that you feel finding strategies to help students with ADHD is less like finding the Holy Grail. Finding real effective strategies for your child might not be the easiest task. Still it can be something that is manageable. Look online and at your local library for more tools. Locate simple tricks for learning specific school subjects such as reading, writing, and math.
You can find success with behavioral modification and controlling the learning environment. We encourage you to talk to all the key people in your child’s life to help you better succeed.
At the end of the day, just remember to put some fun into it. ADHD help for parents should always start with fun. Don’t make learning into something that is stressful or discouraging.
Find little ways to reward and praise your child for when they do learn a new concept or have a successful study session. Use the tools that are available for you to find your success with strategies to help students with ADHD.