Creating an individualized education program -- or IEP -- helps the student with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder to reach learning goals. Within the IEP, goals are statements that the teacher can measure. These include expectations for how the student's behaviors will change and what he will learn over the school year, according to the National Association of Special Education Teachers.
Include Specific Steps for Behaviors
The IEP for your ADHD student requires specific goals that clearly state what happens when she acts out, can't focus, doesn't pay attention or doesn't understand the lessons (See References, 2). Each negative behavior is a sign that the student needs instructional help, according to education advocate Dixie Jordan in the article "What Is an IEP? Writing an IEP That Works?" on ADDitude magazine's website. The objectives that you set create steps to reach the specific goals. For example, the student has difficulty focusing during direct instruction. The goal you create is, "She will focus on class time." The steps to reach this goal should reflect the individual student's needs and abilities. This may include building the skills to gradually focus by breaking up tasks into manageable periods or it may state the consequences for interrupting during class.
Address the Need to Build Attention
The inability to pay attention for extended periods is a major challenge for most ADHD students, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Lack of attention during the school day affects the student's ability to learn as well as the teacher's ability to work as an effective educator. Inattention may lead to behaviors such as talking out of turn or interrupting a class activity. These actions get in the way of the other students' learning. Build in goals and objectives that help the student to pay attention and stop disrupting class. Write an overall goal such as, "The student will stop himself from disrupting the rest of the class" with objectives such as, "He will use relaxation techniques to quiet himself" or, "He will use a physical movement strategy during class time, such as walking to the pencil sharpener and back to his desk."
Define Academic Goals and Strategies
Although the ADHD student's behaviors need correction during the school day, the IEP also should include academic goals and objectives. Goals in this area should include specific subjects such as reading or mathematics as well as skill development areas such as problem-solving and memory, according to the National Association of Special Education Teachers. Academic goals within the IEP shouldn't look the same as the ones that are set for other students. Instead, these should focus on the ADHD student's problem areas. The IEP should identify the student's academic needs in relation to her specific ADHD symptoms, notes the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Create milestone markers that designate what and when the students will learn. The objectives may also include the use of adaptations to meet the goals. For example, "The student will use a calculator to re-check math problems."
Plan for Social and Emotional Challenges
The student's disruptive behaviors and inability to control himself at times may get in the way of his social functioning within the classroom. Adding in emotional and social goals to the IEP can help to correct or change these behaviors. Doing so may help the student to gain emotional control and become part of the classroom social scene. For example, set a goal that the student will express feelings of frustration in an acceptable way. The objectives for this goal may include using his words to communicate his feelings or identifying other classmates' feelings, suggests the Tucson Unified School District.
- National Association of Special Education Teachers: How to Determine Measurable Annual Goals in an IEP
- ADDitude: What Is an IEP? Writing an IEP That Works
- National Association of School Psychologists: Strategies for Teachers
- National Institute of Mental Health: What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD, ADD)?
- National Alliance on Mental Illness: ADHD and School: helping Your Child Succeed in the Classroom
- Tucson Unified School District: Behavioral Goals and Objectives
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