How to Teach ADD Children: Ideas for Helping Kids with ADD

Children with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) often have difficulty concentrating on one task for long periods of time. Use the following techniques at home if your child has ADD and struggles with focusing in class and learning new concepts.

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Techniques for Overcoming ADD

Manageable Chunks

Break assignments into shorter, more manageable segments. You may even reprint assignments so that there are fewer problems on the page, resulting in fewer distractions. Alternatively, cover the page with a blank sheet of paper so that your child focuses on one problem at a time.

Interactive Lessons

If you're re-teaching a concept at home, use visual aids to maintain your child's attention. Keep the lesson student-centered, which means you should include hands-on activities. For instance, if you're teaching your child to add fractions, have him or her draw circles representing the fractions on a piece of paper. Similarly, if your child is learning about liquid conversions, allow him or her to experiment using containers, such as milk cartons and bottles of soda.


Provide a routine for your child to follow. It often helps if you work with your child's teacher to establish a routine at school as well. Routines provide students with organized steps that they must follow, which can help eliminate other distractions. In addition, help your child create lists. Similar to the routine, lists help students with ADD categorize what they need to do in a straightforward way.

Provide Breaks

To avoid frustration, allow your child to take frequent breaks while completing homework. You may have him or her run an errand for you, such as getting something from the garage. Short breaks can help ADD students because they reduce the amount of time that the children have to sit in one place. You may also encourage your child to work while standing.

Talk with Your Child's Teacher

Some ADD students have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) at school, which addresses the accommodations that your child needs because of his or her disability. Remain in contact with your child's teacher so you can find out if these accommodations are working in the classroom. Additionally, the teacher may send progress reports home indicating how your child has behaved in school that week. These progress reports can help hold your child accountable for his or her actions and social behavior.

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