20 helpful/behavioral accommodations for teachers, parents, and play therapists to make for a child with ADHD to ensure academic success*:
- Written and posted daily schedules and assignments
- At least one day notice (when possible) for schedule changes
- Consistent schedules (as much as possible)
- Allowing time for movement during classroom "seat" time (all students benefit from this!)
- Supplement verbal directions with visual instructions (task cards, demonstration, etc.)
- Chunk assignments or test questions with breaks and positive feedback in between
- Develop and private signal or cue to the student (imagine if the principal called a teacher out when not giving 100% at a staff meeting :)
- Examine expectations and compare data with same age peers. Sometimes our expectations for students with ADHD behaviors begin to exceed our expectations for other students.
- Provide opportunities for hands-on learning
- Allow the student to stand while working or listening
- Use a yoga balance disc (wiggle seat) on the student's chair
- Use transition activities, songs, bell, timer, etc., so the student can clearly identify a change in activity
- Provide cue (1-2 minute notifications) before an activity is about to end or begin
- Color is very effective in getting attention. Make use of colored dry-erase pens on white boards, colored overhead pens for transparencies and overhead projectors, and colored paper to highlight key words, phrases, steps to computation problems, spelling patterns, etc.
- Be aware of competing sounds in your room environment (such as noisy heaters or air conditioning unit.)
- Alter the way students are called on to avoid calling on students one at a time. Instead, have students respond by "telling their partner," writing down or drawing their response, or other alternative way.
- Be careful when always seating the student by the teacher. This may actually increase student anxiety thus increasing inappropriate behavior.
- Read aloud test questions. Although the student may have average or above average reading ability, have to questions read aloud helps maintain focus.
- Provide outlines of the lecture and discussion. Student discusses and share with other students (thus reading, discussing and learning by doing!)
- Allow headphones to drown out distractions. When I worked at an alternative high school, many of the students scored higher on tests and assignments when listening to music. I had two rules. I had to listen to ensure it was music. The other rule was the student was the only one who should be able to hear the music through the headphones - not the entire room!
Key step to implementing an accommodation:
- Select only 1-2 to implement at at time.
- Teach the accommodation to the student.
- Determine how you will know if it is successful - target goals.
- Collect data over time (Not just a couple of days - remember sometimes the behavior gets worse before it gets better)
- Evaluate progress
- Make team decisions to keep, change, or try something else!
*For more information, visit http://www.promotingsuccess.blogspot.com/?m=1
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