Children who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD have special needs. They have difficulty in handling their emotions, which is why they can act weird in front of other kids. ADHD is a mental health disorder, which can be treated at an early age. This kind of illness makes the children involved to become insensitive to the needs and feelings of the people surrounding them. At the same time, they may also find it challenging to control their impulses. Most importantly, they will have a hard time paying attention in class. According to Melissa David MSW, LICSW, “Children with ADHD have poor attention spans, impulse control, etc. Having an adult who can redirect them without disrupting the whole classroom makes a huge difference.”
As an educator, your primary role is to ensure that the classroom setting is ready to cater to ADHD students. This is necessary especially if you are teaching in a school for children with special needs. Do not fret because it is easy to prepare your classroom and lesson plan to cater to children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Here are some of the things that you could do:
- Give Clear Instructions
“When students are curious about something, they seek an explanation. This motivates them to persevere in seeking the information they now WANT to learn, what they need to be taught,” said Judy Willis M.D., M.Ed. School activities are essential for every student. You need these so that the kids will have fun while learning something new. To ensure that those with ADHD can enjoy the activities, make sure to give clear instructions on how to go about it. If possible, use images or graphics to convey the directions that the kids must follow. Otherwise, you will only make things confusing on their part.
- Be Patient
Dealing with students that have a personality disorder is quite challenging. It is exhausting to follow them wherever they go and to see to it that they are safe from any harm. Because of this, it is necessary that you exert more efforts in increasing your patience. Avoid shouting and nagging during classes. Never make the kids feel that they give you too much burden to carry. Terry Matlen, ACSW said, “Spend time with her and ask her about her day, her dreams, her goals. Really connect with your child and show you’re interested in who she is as a person.”
- Put The Kids In Front
Monitoring the conduct of students with ADHD is difficult. Because of this, it is highly recommended to let them sit in the front row. This way, you can easily see whenever they would act strange or hyperactive. Aside from this, it is also an excellent way to encourage them to focus on your lessons or teachings. As much as possible, do not place these children near the door or window.
- Do Not Put The Children In A Spotlight
Asking questions during class is only reasonable during the times when you want to check if they are paying attention. Just remember to make an exception to kids with mental health problems. Putting them in a spotlight can have adverse effects. They may run away in front of the class or feel embarrassed to be called out. Therefore, never ask questions to them in a public setting nor scold them in front of other students.
Do not panic once you encounter a class with some students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. Instead, take it as a challenge to become a better educator. You now have a chance to change your students’ lives for the better. Stop pressuring yourself and just do what feels right.