9 tips to help ADHD children perform better in school
For Alison Thompson, the path to her son Daniel being diagnosed with ADHD included two school exclusions in 4 years and a police interview on a potential assault charge. It was a traumatic experience for the whole family, and one Alison doesn’t want anyone else to endure. As author of ‘The Boy From Hell: Life with a Child with ADHD’, the founder of ADHD Kids and NLP Practitioner is on a mission to help parents and teachers support children with ADHD.
Children who have ADHD will find it more difficult to cope in school, because symptoms like inattentiveness, impulsiveness and hyperactivity can get in the way of learning. Yet despite this, with the right support children with ADHD can perform well in school and work at the same pace as their classmates.
Whether you are a parent, teacher or TA, you might find the following tips useful!
1. In order to provide a more effective way of helping children with ADHD succeed in school, parents and teachers should work in partnership. By collaborating and sharing ideas, then can create an environment that’s more appropriate for ADHD students.
2. Teachers should never try to shame children into learning. Children with ADHD can’t help their behaviour and shouldn’t be made to feel embarrassed about their condition because this can badly affect their self-esteem – which is often already very low.
3. The “fear approach” is also a big no no. Children should feel safe in their school because to them, it’s almost a second home. They need to feel secure inside the classroom and in the presence of their teachers. Parents can ensure this is happening by talking to their child about how they feel about school and their teachers.
4. If your child is good in a particular area, encourage him. Allow him to develop their talents or skills as this is a great confidence booster.
5. Have a daily routine for your child to follow. ADHD children often respond well to a regular schedule and it’s helpful if teachers avoid disrupting this as much as possible.
6. Break big tasks down into smaller steps. Give the child a checklist so they know what needs to be done and can tick it off as they go.
7. Set simple and easy to follow rules, and try to avoid being inconsistent.
8. If your child takes medication, make sure they always take it before school – if they stop then their symptoms will be more present and this could make it more difficult for them to cope in school.
9. Finally, always remember that a parent’s love, understanding and presence cannot be replaced by anybody or anything. Spending quality time with your children and building a strong relationship with them is the best thing you can do to help them!
This article first appeared on ADHD Kids in July 2015.