Teaching ADD kids

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Tess Thompson



The greatest challenge for a teacher is to understand that some of the disruptive behaviors that she may be observing in her students may not be deliberate but may be caused due an attention deficit disorder. Ignoring assignments and staring into blank space may not be signs of a slow child but may actually be caused by ADD

The ADD treatment may be a responsibility of the parents but a teacher plays a key role in the adjustments that the child makes with the environment and the manner in which he copes with the world and its requirements. Irrespective of the fact that the parents may be providing the best child ADHD treatment or using alternate herbal remedies for ADD, the teacher needs to adopt certain techniques to be able to help the ADD child cope with the curriculum.

Identifying an ADD child is the first task. Understanding the various symptoms of ADD and the manner in which they manifest themselves can go a long way in aiding the process. The next step is to devise ways and means of enabling the ADD child to flower and perform to his best.

Schools that have a separate program for managing ADD children are the best places for such children. Concepts like ‘paired leaning’, ‘no time tests’ and ‘correct behavior for the day’ are adopted by these schools and provided to teachers to aid them in their teaching.

These schools also give checklists of things to do and avoid so that the teachers are well equipped with classroom management strategies. Those who teach children with ADD should ensure that they consult experts like psychologists and special educationists to ensure that they are using the latest and most advanced techniques available for these special children.

A teacher needs to ensure that the curriculum is structured with little surprises. Tasks need to be broken down into manageable modules and timed tests should be avoided for ADD children. Paring ADD children has proven to be a good strategy for better performance.

Teacher should also keep in mind that repetition and constant reminders work well with their wards. Even though each ADD child is different and unique and a teacher will need to customize the techniques as she goes along, there are certain specific aspects that need to be kept in mind.

Too much excitement or distraction can prove to be harmful and shall mar the concentration capabilities of an ADD child even further. Techniques like eye contact, starting a question with the name of the ADD child and usage of imagery will lead to better success.

Handling emotional situations becomes a must for a teacher who teaches ADD. At no point in time should the teacher lose her cool and resort to angry words or frustrated actions.

Behavior modification techniques such as rewards can help. It should be noted that instant gratification is required for younger children though delayed rewards can be used with older ones. It is also important that the child understand what you are punishing him for. This is extremely important because many times the ADD child does not know what he is being punished for since his brain works in a different manner.

Make sure that you communicate with the parents and understand key achievements of the child at home to be able to modify your techniques as you go along.

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