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5 Ways to Tackle ADHD in the Classroom and Beyond

Many a time, teachers have had to deal with students who are preoccupied with other things while the class is going on or are bubbling with enthusiasm, which is mostly misdirected. This not only hampers the development of that particular child, but also affects the concentration of others in the class. Poor performance, mischievous behaviour, incomplete homework and inattentiveness are typical of children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), which unfortunately results in scolding and punishment. But, a teacher should realise that instead of helping the child, such punitive measures might further worsen the situation with the child feeling discouraged and perplexed.

‘Give your best to bring out the best’

a. Hands-on Learning is a Hit:

The evil of rote learning furthers the problematic system of sit and learn. It’s time to re-evaluate the system altogether because it is better to ‘do’ rather than ‘listen’. Whether it is performing science experiments, designing computer programs or trying to perfect enunciation, hands-on activities can help children with ADHD to concentrate and learn better. Children are forever seeking novelty in their daily course of action; surprise them with an extracurricular activities period once in a while.

b. Importance of Completing a Task:

Because of short attention spans, children with ADHD often leave their tasks incomplete. In such a scenario, encourage them by marking them partially for the part they have attempted, and establish the importance of completing a task. You need to define completion of a task to them. For instance, state that only when you have completed 6 maths problems, you can move to computer programming.

c. Quizzes and Visuals go a Long Way:

Again, theory mode of learning is tedious, and summative way of assessment can only partially assess the performance of a kid. Audiovisuals can enrich classrooms, and especially help students with short attention spans. A projector explaining the theory with examples can captivate the students and help them grasp the concepts better. Formative assessments, the ongoing process of evaluating a student, can help teachers understand the strengths and weaknesses of their pupils, and address those better. Evaluation through games such as quizzes can be an interesting way to assess kids.

d. Individual Attention:

Managing students with ADHD is a challenging task, but refrain from scolding them in front of their peers. If you want to convey their shortcomings, talk to them separately after class. Moreover, all students deserve special attention and more so those with ADHD conditions. Student–centred learning experience and one– on– one attention can help keep a track of their progress.

e. Inculcate Mindfulness amongst Students:

Mindfulness can help students relax, reflect and understand lessons better. You can introduce the  students to interesting mindfulness developing techniques. For instance, ask the  students to  put a stuffed toy on their belly, lie down on their back and watch the rise and fall of the toy, and thereby concentrate on their breathing.

Stephen Tonti, a writer and director, who suffered from ADHD as a child asserts that students with this condition can successfully focus on tasks, provided the tasks interest them. Instead of terming the condition as a disorder, he characterises it as a ‘difference in cognition’. All students are not alike, and they bring in their own unique experience into the classroom, and reaching out to them and conveying the lessons differently is a  task teachers have to stand up to.


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