With a child with ADHD, it is important to:
✓ have structure and routines
✓ be consistent
✓ set clearly defined rules and boundaries
✓ make deliberate eye contact
✓ break down tasks in achievable chunks
✓ try to resolve problem behaviours together and think of strategies
✓ build in as much regular exercise and activities as possible to burn off excess energy
✓ give fair and pre-agreed sanctions when behaviour deserves it
✓ talk about situations afterwards in a calm manner
✓ give instant rewards and postive praise for the times when they get it right, stay quiet, etc.
✓ inform other family members and friends about ADHD so that they understand the implications and how they can manage behaviours
A child is born with ADHD. Confrontation is not an effective way to change behaviour. Expectations must be realistic. The most important input is patience and time, but most of all a child will learn if they feel valued and loved.
A structured environment is essential so that these children have fewer problems with starting and completing tasks, making transitions, working with others, following directions, organising multi-faceted projects and maintaining attention. They need predictability, structure, short work periods, more individual instruction, positive reinforcement and an interested curriculum. It is important to appreciate and accept that the child cannot help themself: their behaviour is not prompted by naughtiness.
Here are a few examples of good practice that have proved valuable:
✓ give directions clearly and frequently, and wherever possible, visually (i.e. timetable)
✓ display classroom rules which are unambiguous and written in a positive way
✓ break down each task into its smaller component parts
✓ make clear lists - children need reminders they can access themselves
✓ use deliberate eye contact when speaking to a child with ADHD
✓ make sure a child knows the boundaries
✓ avoid long discussions about what is right or wrong in their behaviour
✓ avoid timed tests; they will not tell you what they know
✓ do not set lengthy tasks; go for quality
✓ allow time out if required and regular exercise
✓ be consistent, firm, fair and patient and give constant feedback and rewards
✓ monitor progress regularly throughout
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