HELPP

a charity supporting parents & carers of challenging children




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The ideas mentioned below  are mostly geared towards teachers, but equally may be relevant to any learning activity at home. They may help you to influence how the school approaches teaching your child.

Classroom strategies for children with ADHD/ADD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder)


Social Stigma

Behaviour Modification

Students with ADHD are "delay aversive"

ADHD children have working memory problems

Children with ADHD - concentration

Students with ADHD have difficulty inhibiting responses

ADHD children are easily distracted

Partnership between teachers and parents

Social Stigma


Children with ADHD are often seen as naughty and badly parented

They are often judged unfairly.

They are subject to angry and negative comments, a downward spiral, and the erosion of self-esteem.

Suggested approach:


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Behaviour modification


Behaviour modification for students with ADHD means that rewards should be salient, immediate, and tailored to fit the individual person.

Use a token or point system to organize consequences. Response cost is the most effective method with ADHD children, but it seems to work best if you give the child the reward first and he/she works to keep it.

Suggested approach:

Thus, to maintain their points students must avoid breaking the rule.

At the end of the period or day, students are typically allowed to exchange the points they have earned for a tangible reward or privilege.


These systems typically involved giving students tokens (e.g. tickets) when they display appropriate behaviour.

These tokens are in turn ex-changed for tangible rewards or privileges at specified times.


This should not be seen as a punishment but as a place for the student to go for a few minutes to calm down.

One teacher has a huge colourful umbrella in the corner of her classroom, and she gently but firmly tells the student "It's time for you to take a break at the beach."


Colour cards can be given the teacher to indicate the need to go to the calm down venue.

The time-out area should be a neutral environment, free form distractions, and a student should be placed in it for only a short time. Time-out is ended based upon the student's attitude. At its conclusion a discussion of what went wrong and how to prevent the problem in the future takes place

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Students with ADHD are “delay averse”


These students have a hard time waiting, and they get bored very easily.

Suggested approach:

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ADHD children have working memory problems


ADHD children are likely to forget rules and instructions and have a poor sense of time.

Suggested approach

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Children with ADHD - concentration


ADHD children can concentrate on things that they find interesting, positively challenging, and stimulating

Suggested approach

Students with ADHD have difficulty inhibiting responses


Suggested approach

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ADHD children are easily distracted


Suggested approach

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Partnership between teachers and parents


Suggested approach

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Ideas for teaching ADHD children in schools