ADHD/ADD – Is Medicine the Only Solution?

ADHD students may talk when it’s not their turn and move around the classroom. Following instructions is not their forte, and they may have trouble turning in their homework. Their fine motor skills may be lacking, as well, which makes handwriting hard to read. If no one directly supervises long-term projects, they are likely to have difficulty completing them. If this sounds like a student in your class, here are some solutions to help you more successfully teach them from HelpGuide.org.

First, keeping a positive attitude about finding and implementing strategies that work is necessary. Give the student honest praise immediately when they accomplish good work and behave well. A reward or point/token system may also be effective.

Additionally, develop some warning signals with your ADHD student. For example, you might have a certain hand signal or sticky note on the student’s desk to indicate behavior is heading south. Talk to the student in private about their behavior, not in front of the class. Focus on correcting behavior that is unintentional and that is distracting to the other students or the lesson.

You can also use visuals, like charts, color coding, and pictures to help when you deliver lessons. Try to do more difficult work earlier in the day, and make outlines for note-taking to organize lesson information.

For student work, make worksheets and tests that have fewer questions, and give regular short quizzes instead of long tests. Cut down on timed tests as well. When you give assessments, let ADHD students test the way that works best for them, which may be orally or by filling in the blanks. Break up long projects into pieces with a defined goal for each part. Give partial credit for late work instead of just handing out zeros.

Help a student develop their organization skills by having a master binder with separate sections for each subject. Color-code each subject. Give students a notebook with a section for homework to do, completed homework, and parent paperwork. Ensure students have a way to write down assignments.

When you start a lesson, use a clue the student can hear, like a timer. Make eye contact with students with ADHD. Put the activities of the lesson on the board, and tell students what they will learn and what materials they’ll need. Make instructions short and organized with visuals.

Add in some various activities, particularly fast games or intense activities. Give the ADHD student breaks and let them squeeze a rubber ball or tap something that isn’t noisy to have a physical release.

Summarize key points at the end of the lesson, and have a few students repeat what the assignment is if you give one, and then put it on the board. Tell students exactly what they need to take home to do their homework.

 

Super Hero Teacher On Staff

My Child Is Being Tested? Labeled?

When your child is failing in school, it is a stressful time for both student and parent. If you get a message from the school that they want to test your child, it just adds to the fear that there is something wrong. Take a deep breath, though, because the school just wants to help your child learn, and testing is a good way to identify the best way to do that. According to Pamela Wright and Pete Wright, Esq. of WrightsLaw.com, “If school employees know or have reason to suspect that a child has a disability, these school employees have an affirmative duty to act on the child’s behalf” (emphasis in the original).

Laws

Let’s start with two laws you need to be familiar with. They govern how the school handles children with learning differences and their testing. The first is Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of1973 (also called “504”). This law makes public schools provide a “free appropriate public education” to every student with a disability within the school district’s boundaries. That is true, no matter the type or severity of the disability.

The other law is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which necessitates that schools have a process in place for assessing disability. This can be early intervention services for children under the age of 2 or special education services for those between the ages of 3 and 21. According to a New York Times blog by Jessica Lahey, “The definitions of what is or is not a disability, and whether those disabilities qualify vary wildly. ‘Qualified’ simply means that your child has been determined to have a disability that is covered under the law.”

Next Steps

Communicate with the school to find out what, specifically, they are concerned about. This can help you figure out what kind of testing will be done. They may be more intelligence or academic ability-related or behaviorally-related. There is no way to tell initially whether the testing will determine if your child will have a permanent label or whether there are some regular classroom-based interventions that will probably suffice to help your child succeed outside of more in-depth special education services.

If testing has identified that your child has a disability, the school will create an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The IEP process is one in which you, as the parent, should participate, so that you have a clear understanding of what the interventions are that your child will receive and know what goals your child is trying to reach based on the IEP. The end goal is to help your child learn in the way that is most meaningful to them. Advocating for your child and participating in discussions along the way with the school is vital to your child’s success.

Parent Rights

You may choose to have your child evaluated privately by a professional you choose, which is called an Independent Educational Evaluation. You can also refuse testing. Even if your child is in private school, the state still has some responsibilities toward your child. They are different in each state, however, so understand your state’s laws by contacting your state’s Parent Center. When you know your rights as a parent, you’ll be better prepared to advocate and assist your child in getting the right support to help them succeed. You can also visit the Center for Parent Information and Resources page for more information about how you can help your child through the special education identification process.

 

When your child is failing in school, it is a stressful time for both student and parent. If you get a message from the school that they want to test your child, it just adds to the fear that there is something wrong. Take a deep breath, though, because the school just wants to help your child learn, and testing is a good way to identify the best way to do that. According to Pamela Wright and Pete Wright, Esq. of WrightsLaw.com, “If school employees know or have reason to suspect that a child has a disability, these school employees have an affirmative duty to act on the child’s behalf” (emphasis in the original).

Laws

Let’s start with two laws you need to be familiar with. They govern how the school handles children with learning differences and their testing. The first is Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of1973 (also called “504”). This law makes public schools provide a “free appropriate public education” to every student with a disability within the school district’s boundaries. That is true, no matter the type or severity of the disability.

The other law is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which necessitates that schools have a process in place for assessing disability. This can be early intervention services for children under the age of 2 or special education services for those between the ages of 3 and 21. According to a New York Times blog by Jessica Lahey, “The definitions of what is or is not a disability, and whether those disabilities qualify vary wildly. ‘Qualified’ simply means that your child has been determined to have a disability that is covered under the law.”

Next Steps

Communicate with the school to find out what, specifically, they are concerned about. This can help you figure out what kind of testing will be done. They may be more intelligence or academic ability-related or behaviorally-related. There is no way to tell initially whether the testing will determine if your child will have a permanent label or whether there are some regular classroom-based interventions that will probably suffice to help your child succeed outside of more in-depth special education services.

If testing has identified that your child has a disability, the school will create an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The IEP process is one in which you, as the parent, should participate, so that you have a clear understanding of what the interventions are that your child will receive and know what goals your child is trying to reach based on the IEP. The end goal is to help your child learn in the way that is most meaningful to them. Advocating for your child and participating in discussions along the way with the school is vital to your child’s success.

Parent Rights

You may choose to have your child evaluated privately by a professional you choose, which is called an Independent Educational Evaluation. You can also refuse testing. Even if your child is in private school, the state still has some responsibilities toward your child. They are different in each state, however, so understand your state’s laws by contacting your state’s Parent Center. When you know your rights as a parent, you’ll be better prepared to advocate and assist your child in getting the right support to help them succeed. You can also visit the Center for Parent Information and Resources page for more information about how you can help your child through the special education identification process.

M.L. Page, M.Ed.