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"Teacher's Reference Page"
A teacher's job is hard enough, dealing with 30 - 40 children for 6-8 hours each day. The job is made doubly difficult when faced with a child that has ADHD.
To make the task of dealing with an ADHD child easier, it is important that you do a couple of things.
1. Educate yourself:
· A. What is ADHD?
· B. What treatments are available?
· C. What is your role in the ADHD diagnostic process?
(Do not simply limit yourself to ADHD. Educate yourself on other behavioural/learning disorders as well, also Contact your nearest Support Group for up to date information)
2. Maintain a close relationship with the parents/guardian:
Successful management of ADHD is a team effort. If you have any ADHD children in your classroom, you are automatically part of the treatment process. Therefore you have to maintain a close/"working" relationship with the other members of "the team" (namely the parents).
This can be achieved simply by:
· A. Weekly updates on behaviour/work in class (in a written form or simply a friendly phone call).
· B. Keep an eye out in the playground for the child and make sure that they a making and maintaining friendships.
· C. Alert the parents immediately if you being to notice an changes in behaviour.
3. Learn and use behavioural techniques and classroom management tips:
Learning simple behavioural principles that underlie behaviour modification techniques that you can apply in class.
There are generally a few rules/"do's-and-don'ts" when dealing with children with ADHD:
A. Consistency is the key to helping ADHD children.
Children with ADHD do not deal with change very well, even if it is positive change. They need to have a sense of external structure, as they tend to lack a sense of internal structure.
B. ADHD kids have two kinds of time...plenty and none.
They are usually poor at organizing their time and need you to help them break tasks down into small components.
C. Placing ADHD kids at the front of the room.
DO NOT LET THEM SIT DOWN THE BACK OF THE CLASS
Seat them nearest the blackboard or close to where the teacher gives instruction. If the child is right handed, placing them at the right front of the class minimizes the number of children that could distract them while they write.
D. Try to avoid placing children with ADHD at tables with multiple children.
This only maximizes their distractibility.
E. Use colours and shapes to help them organise.
F. Try to provide a quiet study area, free from distraction, when seat work is required.
G. Try to work within the child's attention span.
Keep changing the type of work frequently and the child can continue to work productively.
H. Many of these children are VISUAL learners.
Try making things more visual or tactile and they may grasp them better. Instead of memorizing words, ask them to "make a movie in their head and play it back".
I. Don't worry if you feel frustrated...so do their parents and so do the kids.
Do not take their behaviour as personally directed and do not vent your frustration on the children.
J. Encourage creativity.
Above all, know that these child are (by their very nature) extremely creative. Try to encourage an artistic (or musical) abilities. But to avoid chaos, keep any creative sessions structured.
The internet is one of the most powerful tool in the 21st century. And there is a wealth of information on the world wide web regarding ADHD and how to manage children with ADHD in the classroom.
For further information we highly recommend looking at these websites:
© adders.org 2004
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