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.

The symptoms can be recognized quite early. They cannot concentrate on anything for a longer period of time, they switch from one activity to the other frequently, they rarely finish with any task given, or simply talk all the time. Some may run or jump in place, unable to control themselves, others lose their toys or other things all the time, or forget things.

Kids suffering from ADHD have no patience, and this might affect their success in school, even if they are highly intelligent, and most of them are. Different treatments are used for suppressing and easing their symptoms, including medications and psycho social therapies, but there is no real cure for this disorder. In any case, combining these two treatments might be the best answer for some kids.

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.

Children should never be yelled at, or blamed for something they didn't do correctly. Every teacher has to be gentle and kind, and rewarding good things is always better than punishing. Dividing lessons into smaller segments children can easily understand is much more productive. Asking simple questions every once in a while will keep children concentrated. At last, if some child simply has to move, send it to take a message to another teacher, for example, just to satisfy this need.

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