How do you accommodate students with ADHD in the classroom? Here are some strategies that educators can use to support high school students—and some tips to share with students to take home. By creating a supportive, well-organized, and creative classroom environment, students with ADHD can flourish and thrive.
What is ADHD?
ADHD stands for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. It is one of the most common types of learning disabilities in childhood. Characteristics of children with ADHD can include impulse control, being overly active, easily overstimulated, anxious, over-talkative, and having trouble paying attention.
Strategies for Educators
- Research shows that children with ADHD work better and are more confident in their work when provided different options for learning. For example, suppose there is an assignment on Past Presidents of the United States. In that case, it can be beneficial to give students options on how they would like to demonstrate their knowledge, such as a presentation, short video, skit, written essay, or test.
- Visual aids can be a simple and effective way to help remind and motivate students with ADHD. These include writing important dates on the board or using engaging power points to support learning instead of lectures, etc.
- Hands-on learning allows students to engage with learning materials differently and apply them to their previous schemas. For example, acting out a skit or building a model instead of hand-to-paper learning.
- Setting specific guidelines and standards for how you want your classroom to operate can help students with ADHD thrive. Some suggestions include having a particular place to turn in classwork, demonstrating how to ask questions in class, and having a morning routine that lists out what will be happening in class that day.
- Accommodations can be helpful in aiding and supporting students with ADHD in their learning. Support can include offering extra time on tests and assignments, providing a quiet test area, or allowing students to listen to music during free work time.
- Be aware of your time.
- Time management can be hard with ADHD. One great way to combat this is to make a schedule and mark out when you will study or better yet, study at the same time every day to help build the habit.
- Take breaks when needed!
- One great way to implement breaks in your studying sessions is to use the Pomodoro method. The Pomodoro method allows you to work for twenty-five minutes and then you get a short break. This can help with fatigue and lessen distractions.
- Don’t take on too much at once.
- While those with ADHD can be very good at multitasking, too much work for anyone can become overwhelming and lead to decision fatigue. When studying for many different subjects, set times devoted to each subject and try to not let it all bleed together.
Our Smart Student Evening Routine can help parents work with their children to create a routine that supports them during the school year.
The Creating Effective Study Habits blog post can also help students with ADHD with how to study at home.
Coming soon! A new SEL program for secondary school students. Learn more about Emozi® High School or take a look inside Emozi® Middle School:
We hope that these resources and tips help you to support your students and finish the year off strong!