ADHD from a Student’s Perspective

As educators we are always trying to do our best to support the wide diversity of students in our classrooms. 
As we continue to offer resources and potential accommodations to help students with various needs, please take a moment to review the potential accommodations that can be used with students who have ADHD or ADD and read the following article.  The following Letter to the Editor written by a boy with ADHD is a powerful explanation from a student’s perspective on how it feels to have ADHD. Additude Magazine:  Boy Meets World

Learning Environment
·       Create a structured environment—Consistency, routine, preparation for change, visual cues and reminders
·       Reduce distractions—Use study carrels, headphones, alternative settings for work
·       Allow the use of technological aids:  spell checkers, calculators, recorders, word processing
·       Limit transitions
Instructional Techniques
·       Teach organizational techniques/study skills
·       Color code/highlight materials and assignments
·       Break down long-term projects into small steps
·       Create daily assignment notebook
·       Use memory strategies such as summarizing and paraphrasing
·       Teach test taking and note-taking skills
·       Teach reading strategies and prioritizing
·       Provide clear, concise directions, expectations and rules—repeat directions, model directions, demonstrate task with student imitation, use of multisensory approach, limit number of rules, teach routines
·       Allow for movement—provide opportunity for movement with a purpose and use of manipulatives.  Allow frequent breaks.
·       Promote use of peer helpers and improved peer relationships—Create cooperative learning groups with appropriate peers, peer tutoring; facilitate peer acceptance.
·       Provide/allow modified or adapted assignments—eliminate excessive copying from board or books to paper; use of recorded books; alternative assessment formats; provide set of books and materials for home use.
·       Communicate with involved persons on an ongoing basis—Use of home/school communication system; maintain a list of “what works” for the student.
·       Allow the student processing time for questions and information
·       Provide desirable alternative activities for students to access after completing assigned tasks.
Behavior Management
·       Clearly state and consistently implement expectations and consequences
·       Catch students being good.
·       Develop behavior plans to address problem situations across the day/settings. 
·       Provide meaningful positive reinforcement systems.
·       Reward partial accomplishments
·       Increase supervision during unstructured times.
·       Set up behavior management systems and frequently review and update
·       Promote use of charting of student progress/promote student use of self-charting
·       Avoid power struggles; pick your battles, and maintain a calm neutral response
Assessment Strategies
·       Test in one-on-one or small group settings
·       Provide alternative settings
·       Allow for movement/standing instead of sitting
·       Provide extended time with breaks
·       Break tests into smaller parts
·       Give clear descriptions/expectatios of what will be assessed
·       Test only what is taught
·       Allow verbal/oral responses
·       Promote use of project portfolios
·       Provide alternatives to computerized answer sheets
·       Provide practice tests
·       Provide a study format identical to the test format
·       Allow open book/open responses
·       Provide word bank for vocabulary or fill-in-the-blank tests
·       Allow take home tests
·       Provide readers or scribes for tests
·       Promote self-evaluation

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