How To Manage ADHD In The Classroom

By Timothy Taylor

ADHD, or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, affects nearly five million children in the USA only. This brain disorder causes difficulties with concentration, attention and self-control, but it also affects children's self-esteem. The largest problems start in school, with children with ADHD in the classroom, especially when teachers are not adequately prepared to deal with them.

There are many early symptoms of this disorder, and most usually start in early ages. Children easily get distracted, they tend forgetting things, often have troubles finishing different tasks, mostly because they usually switch from one activity to the other too quickly. They talk too much and often lose their things. Some run around all the time and cannot control their emotions. This can be hard to control at home, and especially in the classroom.

The lack of patience is another thing common to kids suffering from ADHD. All these things greatly affect their school success, and this really is a pity, because a great deal of these children might be highly intelligent. Their medical problems affect their success, and there is no cure for this. There are certain therapies, yes, and there are medications, but there is no cure. Combining different therapies is considered to be the best.

Anyway, there are some things the teacher can do to make their learning more successful. Creating positive, calm and predictable environment in their classrooms is something that will certainly have a very good effect on such children. Ordered environment and the teacher who is aware of their needs and provides clear and understandable rules and instructions, this can make a great difference.

Knowing every kid and understanding all specific needs and characteristics is the best start for every teacher. Individual approach is a must. The parents should also be involved, because they may help in finding the best approach. Starting with this might require more time in the beginning, but makes all future interactions much easier.

Recognizing child's talents or skills and rewarding every effort adequately could be a big step ahead in animating children with similar problems for learning. Using various methods, such as stars or point system, for reinforcing appropriate behavior and for rewarding efforts could also improve the quality of classroom environment as well as this child's success in school. A nice calming music background could also be of a great help.

Involving physical activities during classes is another proven method for keeping children active and motivated. Just a simple exercise during the class may be a good thing to distress them. The teacher has to explain them why now is a good time for stretching the muscles a bit and after that will be a good time for learning. Simple and understandable rules with appropriate explanations are easier to accept.

The teacher has to use a calm, gentle tone, not commands, and should never punish or blame children for something they cannot do at once. Divide lessons and tasks into smaller, simpler units, and insert a few questions now and then, just to provoke their interest. When dealing with hyperactive child, you may also assign some special assignment for this child to do, just to satisfy his or hers need to move.

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