School Based Strategies for ADHD Students

A positive home-school connection helps support a student with special learning needs.
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Students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder face challenges in the classroom, and teachers must employ various strategies to help meet these students' individual needs. Parents must be informed about the strategies and supports that are available to assist their children so they can use this knowledge to discuss the best options to help their children succeed.

1 Building Structure and Routines

Children with ADHD benefit from structure and consistent routines. Having these elements in place can help you support a student who struggles with organizing his materials, beginning work and seeing tasks through to completion. A daily schedule, checklists for task completion and a planner for noting homework and deadlines can assist a student with ADHD. In addition, establishing clear, consistent rules and routines can help the student recognize what to expect throughout the day.

2 Allowing for Movement

Hyperactivity and impulsiveness can be problematic in the classroom setting, where students are frequently expected to sit quietly, listen attentively and wait their turn during discussions. Building in opportunities for movement can assist students who are struggling with these expectations. Students with ADHD can play with a fidget toy, such as a squishy ball, or try sitting on an exercise ball or wiggle cushion. Students with ADHD may also benefit from a short break so they can walk to the fountain or run an errand, such as delivering something to the office.

3 Developing an Individualized Education Program

When a student with unique needs requires extra support to be successful at school, an Individualized Education Program is created. An IEP can be written for a student with ADHD to outline the specific teaching and learning strategies that will be effective in the classroom. For example, accommodations such as chunking instructions, using strategic seating and implementing visual cues can be included in an IEP. The IEP is shared with parents and regularly reviewed and updated as necessary.

4 Maintaining the Home-School Connection

It is important for the school to regularly communicate a student's progress to her parents. For a child with ADHD, communication about behavior and academic performance may need to be more frequent. Additionally, parents should inform the school of details such as changes in medication or behavior at home. To maintain consistency between home and school, teachers and parents should discuss the use of strategies, including any incentive programs or consequences that are being used.

Mother of two, Erin Agnello writes about parenting, relationships, and education. She has been teaching since 2001 and works in special education and early literacy. Agnello holds a B.A. in psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University and a B.Ed. from Windsor University.