Three Simple Steps and Tech Tips to Support Students with ADD/ADHD



Yes somethings are obvious,  the hyperactive child who can't sit still on the carpet, lacks self control and can blurt out compulsively, desk is completely disorganized with papers, drawings, and candy wrappers, you know these are behaviors of a child with attention deficit disorder (ADD).  





But what is not always obvious is what lies beneath the surface of a child with ADD/ADHD.  ADD/ADHD is much more than just a behavioral issue, and focusing just on what you can see and not what is going on emotionally and cognitively can have a negative impact socially and academically for students with this disability.  Students with ADD/ADHD are just as capable as other students, in fact they are likely to be good problem solvers, highly creative and have an abundant amount of energy (of course). 


What you need to know about ADD/ADHD in terms of what is going on behind the scenes (in their brain) should impact the way you teach and approach instruction. 

Students with ADD typically have weak executive functioning.  This means their working memory, (which is what kids use to remember information long enough to actually use it) is impaired and this will impact their ability to read and learn skills in math.  They are also likely to have a difficult time getting started and exhibiting effort towards a task.  Internalizing language is also an issue and that means they are probably less likely to ask for help.  
  
Other cognitive concerns includes having an impaired sense of time, so not only will they have difficulty getting started, but they will also lose track of time and have difficulty planning and executing long-term projects.

So what does all this mean for you the teacher, and how can you use this information, to get your incredibly capable and creative child to not only be, but feel successful (children with ADD/ADHD are also likely to have emotional issues including depression, anxiety and oppositional defiant disorder).

3 Steps to Support Students with ADD/ADHD
1. First start with planning: 

  • Be sure to include visuals, movement and graphic organizers to every lesson. 
  • Include learning apps such as studystack, spellingcity and quizlet to create flashcards and games to support recall and working memory. 

  • Make learning interactive with web-based games such as Kahoot and concept mapping such as Popplet to support making meaningful connections. 

2. Next Support the Student in Self-Regulation: 

  • Construct a weekly or daily monitor report that you and the  student can complete to monitor behavior and track growth. 
  • Use a secret signal such as a particular phrase or cue to attract and help redirect the students attention. 
  • Provide the student with a rubber ball or device that can be used to help them stay focused
  • Include regular busy body breaks such as stretching or using Go Noodle

3. Get Parents Involved: 

  • Create a website, blog or use Google Calendar to share important dates, homework, agendas and upcoming events.
  • Use the above monitoring form to let parents know how students are doing in your class. 
  • Share information about learning disabilities and strategies that can be used at home such as PBIS and IRIS

  • Use a webtool such as Remind to send quick messages and reminders.  

Schools should be a place where students grow and develop not just academically, but cognitively and socially as well.  Non-cognitive skills such as self-regulation, self-monitoring and reflection are extremely important to develop in young children especially before they transition to secondary schools.  For students with ADD/ADHD this requires teachers to do more than just plan for one standard but plan for all learners so they can be successful .  These strategies will benefit not just your ADD/ADHD students but every student that needs to be empowered and independent.

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Three Simple Steps and Tech Tips to Support Students with ADD/ADHD Three Simple Steps and Tech Tips to Support Students with ADD/ADHD Reviewed by Dr. Dickenson on 8:56 PM Rating: 5

16 comments:

  1. Thank you for this informative post, it offered me new strategies to better support my students. I especially like the section on self-regulation, do you have any specific curriculum you use with students to teach self-regulation and SEI?

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  2. I really enjoyed learning about ADD/ADHD. I have always heard about it, but have not had the chance/opportunity to work with a child who has this disability. I did not know that it can affect a child emotionally, create anxiety and depression. As I read, it was stated that teachers who have students come to them with ADD/ADHD have to do more than just plan for one , they must "Plan for all learners to be successful." Planning for all to be successful is an excellent way to run the classroom because we as teachers must all realize that every child that enters our classroom door have the potential for success. We just need to WORK HARDER to reach their potential.

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  3. I really enjoyed learning about ADD/ADHD. I have always heard about it, but have not had the chance/opportunity to work with a child who has this disability. I did not know that it can affect a child emotionally, create anxiety and depression. As I read, it was stated that teachers who have students come to them with ADD/ADHD have to do more than just plan for one , they must "Plan for all learners to be successful." Planning for all to be successful is an excellent way to run the classroom because we as teachers must all realize that every child that enters our classroom door have the potential for success. We just need to WORK HARDER to reach their potential. Shanti Anderson

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  4. I am thankful for great information that is put out about what and how to support our children with ADD/ADHD. So often they are misunderstood and mislabeled without getting the proper support they need. I wish when my son was in school more teachers had information like this on how to work and support children with ADD/ADHD. Take the extra step and work to reach every child!
    Thank you, Michelle Ahmad

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  5. I feel really lucky to have discovered the INK FOR ALL content tool. Well-designed functionality like the option to hide tips never distract me, it's helped make me super productive http://bit.ly/2DWi1K9

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  6. Hello Dr Dickenson,
    Thank you for presenting these important information in such easy to follow and positive way. I have a daughter with ADD and teachers that had a heart and understanding about her condition made a difference in her elementary years. Teachers can really make a difference in children's lives when the right perspective is gained with appropriate information. I will keep this information handy to share with others, as well as personally use it.
    Monica

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  7. Hello Dickenson,
    I appreciate the information and suggestions you give on this blog as the support to these children with ADD and ADHD is so important. I specially like the fact that you mention the involvement of parents as part of the child's success in school. I think that we are getting more children with these types of disorders and I personally can use tips and suggestions to try and do in the classroom to help all students as you mention on your blog.

    Sonia Montes

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  8. This is a very important topic to shine light on, being an educator is important to learn about ADD/ADHD. I have had the opportunity to work with children with this disability. Even though I know about the disability I didn’t know there were apps that supported communication among teachers and parents to better support the child. It is important that everyone involved in the child’s life is aware of how this disability can impact the child’s emotional state, increase their anxiety and depression. Those that understanding about this disability make a difference in the child’s life.
    Ana Ulloa

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  9. This is a very important topic to shine light on, being an educator is important to learn about ADD/ADHD. I have had the opportunity to work with children with this disability. Even though I know about the disability I didn’t know there were apps that supported communication among teachers and parents to better support the child. It is important that everyone involved in the child’s life is aware of how this disability can impact the child’s emotional state, increase their anxiety and depression. Those that understanding about this disability make a difference in the child’s life.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This topic is near and dear to my heart. My oldest daughter was diagnosed with ADHD when she was 9 years old. As a parent that works in the field of early childhood education I knew that my daughters hyperactivity and other behaviors were due to either ADD or ADHD. I find that the steps listed above to support children with ADHD are accurate but I also feel there are many ways to support your child. I do appreciate blogs that can support parents with children that have challenging circumstances.

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  11. This is great information not only for families but for the public. Without knowledge on ADHD/ADD certain people are quick to judge without thinking about that's going to affect the child. As educators we have the opportunity to work with a diverse group of children and it is great to share different techniques and strategies that help support our students. By learning about each child we can support them and see them succeed in our classroom. As a mom of a child with special needs I agree that these strategies can help all children. I find it to be extremely important to build a trust with families in order to be able to work with each other and meet the child's needs. I personally have used the app Remind and I approve of it. With so much going on with my daily schedule it is a perfect method to stay in touch with my son's teacher.

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  12. Thank you for sharing this information. You provided great strategies to ensure that ADD/ADHD students arewell supported in the classroom. Teachers can really make a difference inchildren's lives when they are provided with the appropriate information andtools to help their students. The types of accommodations that you provided aresimple yet effective to implement in any classroom setting. Especially when settingclear learning expectations that are supported through visuals and hands-onactivities, as well as communicating daily with parents using monitoring forms. 

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  13. Loved all the information. Thank you for sharing. You provided many great ideas to use in the classroom, especially a child with ADD/ADHD. I can see these strategies being used in a classroom with Differentiated Instruction and Universal Design Learning. This article shares great ideas and concepts for an inclusive environment. I really liked your three steps of supports. It really points a teacher in the right direction. As educators, we all know communication with parents is vital. Having so many options for communication via apps are a great way to keep open communication with parents and establish a strong partnership.

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  14. Brenda Castaneda

    I enjoyed reading this important piece. Thank you for sharing in this platform. You provided many amazing ideas to use in the classroom, especially with children with ADD/ADHD that can be implemented in an inclusive environment. I have worked with children with disabilities and it is imperative not to have a cookie cutter approach when it comes to teaching all types of learners and students. Your three steps support is a great blue print for educators to implement. As an educator involving parents in their children's education is crucial especially in today's era that technology is vital and an easy platform for communication with parents.

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  15. Thanks so much Brenda for your positive feedback :)

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  16. Hello Dr. Dickenson. Thank you for sharing these powerful teaching strategies to support students with ADD/ADHD in the classroom. I find these strategies very helpful for us educators to provide a more responsive environment, differentiate instruction, and target the needs of all learners by adapting and modifying our lesson plans. The three strategies are very important for children with ADD/ADHD to learn, grow, and develop academically, cognitively and socially in an inclusive classroom environment. This success can only be accomplished if the teacher is intentional, and desired to help children with ADD/ADHD and parents are involved in their children with ADD/ADHD education. I believe these strategies can also be shared with parent to try at home specially right now with the COVID-19 Distance Learning. Children with ADD/ADHD daily school routine was interrupted because of the virus. Therefore, parents will benefit from learning these strategies to help their children at home to self-regulate, and self-monitor. I will definitely share this blog with my colleagues, and parents along with the daily monitor report template.

    ReplyDelete

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