Children with ADD: School Success Tips

For children diagnosed with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), school can be challenging and frustrating on a daily basis. However, you may be able to help your child be successful in the classroom by using some of the ideas provided below.

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Tips to Promote Success in School for Children with ADD

Communicate with Teachers

Communicate with your child's teacher about the specific needs your child has due to ADD. Many teachers are aware of effective strategies and practices to assist these students. However, you may want to ask your teacher to consider these special accommodations to help your child:

Sit Close to Instruction
Children who struggle with ADD are easily distracted, so sitting them close to instruction - and away from distractions - helps them pay attention to the lessons presented in class.
Group with Reliable Students
It may be difficult for children who have ADD to focus on what's being taught, so it helps if they are paired or grouped with students who are reliable and take school seriously.
Allow Extra Time
Depending on the situation, students with ADD may require more time than the other children to finish their work. They may also need more time when answering questions out loud.
Provide Breaks
Students diagnosed with ADD may need to be given short breaks (3-5 minutes) to move around, which may improve their ability to concentrate.

Get Organized

Children with ADD typically have trouble staying organized, and they often forget to bring home important papers or get assignments completed on time. One way to help your child become better organized is to label his or her folders and binders. Your child may also benefit from using a daily planner. You may need to show your child how to use the planner properly, which may involve enlisting the teacher's help.

Establish a Behavior Plan

Impulsivity is also a major component of having ADD, so children with ADD may be inclined to interrupt instruction, distract others or fidget excessively. A good way to deal with this tendency is to establish a behavior plan. With a typical plan, you outline the behaviors you expect from a student and identify the behaviors you want the student to develop.

Behavior plans are based on positive reinforcement. When children demonstrate the appropriate behavior, certain rewards and privileges are given. When they display the undesired behaviors, the rewards are withheld. It may not be possible to completely eliminate a child's impulsive actions this way, but a behavior plan can help reduce the occurrences.

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