Managing ADHD Symptoms At School
When at home, parents can help their child in managing ADHD symptoms by providing structure, clear expectations for behavior, a proper diet and drug-free treatments. However, when children are at school, parents have little ability to provide direct support during the school day. Instead, teachers take on the responsibility of helping children manage their symptoms.
An environment in which someone is required to be quiet, sit still and pay attention for seven hours a day can be a challenge for many people, but especially so for children who have ADHD. That’s why it’s important for parents to be aware of and supportive of the strategies teachers can employ to help manage symptoms of ADHD at school. Here are a few strategies your child’s teacher might use in order to help your child be successful in school.
Provide Clear Instructions
Children who have ADHD often have difficulty following directions. As a result, their work can be incomplete or wholly
incorrect. To manage this, teachers can break down instructions and assignments into smaller tasks. For example, rather than giving instructions for a four-step process all at once, teachers might provide instructions to your child in four individual pieces. By having your child complete one “chunk” before moving on to the next “chunk,” the likelihood that they will maintain focus and complete the task correctly is vastly improved.
Allow Time and Space to Move
Whether it’s tapping their foot or fidgeting with their hands, movement is a hallmark of ADHD. To help manage this, teachers might provide your child with an appropriate means to move around. Students with ADHD make excellent classroom helpers. Whether erasing the board or handing out papers, your child can burn off a little energy to help manage symptoms of ADHD, while also helping out his or her teacher. Teachers might also provide some sort of quiet and discreet toy your child can play with at their desk, such as a small, squishy ball they can squeeze when they feel the need to move.
Managing the distractibility of a child who has ADHD is mostly an exercise in spatial awareness. At school, kids who have ADHD will likely be seated away from the classroom door, windows, the pencil sharpener and other areas that have the potential to be distracting. In fact, your child should be seated near the front of the class so they can easily see directions written on the board and have easy access to the teacher should they need extra assistance or redirection.
Having an active and collaborative relationship with your child’s teacher can prove to be the difference in making school a place where your child finds success. Remember, everyone involved – you, your child and your child’s teacher – want the same thing: success. To make that happen, keep in contact with your child’s teacher, ask questions and offer your support for the strategies being used to help manage symptoms of ADHD at school.
For information about drug-free and alternative treatments for ADHD, visit https://learningbreakthrough.com/specific-challenges/drug-free-add/adhd-alternative-treatment.