Helping Students and Children with ADHD

A diagnosis of ADD/ADHD does not mean a life sentence of failure to succeed. People with ADD/ADHD can be successful, and parents and teachers can help these kids on their journeys toward a successful life. Here are some tips that may help.

Specific Directions

One of the things that can be challenging for kids with ADHD is not knowing how to make things happen. Children with this disorder are not acting willfully, experts assure us; rather, they simply don’t know how to do the things they’re asked to do.

They may also find it hard to remember directions. So when you’re asking a child with ADHD to do something, remember that he or she may need really specific advice on how to get that task done. For example, instead of saying, “Clean your room,” you could break it down into simple steps. Instead, you might say something like, “Let’s clean your room. First, let’s pick up the Legos off the floor, put them in the bin, and put the bin on the shelf.” This language also includes you as the overseer and helper, which can help motivate a child with ADHD to stick to the task.

It’s Okay to Help

While most experts agree that it’s not a good idea to do everything for a child, your active participation may go a long way in helping an ADD/ADHD child complete his or her tasks. As you’re breaking things down into manageable steps, follow through and encourage the child along the way. It may help to show him or her how it’s done (without taking over and doing it all yourself).

Structure and Routine

Whether at home or in school, sources note that routines and structure can be a tremendous help to those with ADD/ADHD. While it’s a good idea to be somewhat flexible and know when to compromise, a routine and structured activities can help a child with ADD/ADHD feel calmer and better able to focus.

Communication between Teachers and Parents

Parents should remember that teachers are busy – there’s more than just their child in the classroom! But parents can help their ADD/ADHD child succeed by meeting with the teacher and accepting feedback from him or her throughout the school year. It can help your child do better in school if you the parent are involved and actively working with the teacher and staff of the school.

Goals and Reinforcement

Children with ADD/ADHD need clear directions and daily goals, say experts. As you make a behavior plan with your child, make sure your expectations are clear and that you reward success with positive reinforcement.


Did you know?  Fidget toys are not only designed to satisfy people’s urge to fidget.  They can also be used with children who have sensory or anxiety disorders as fidget toys help promote deep breathing and other meditation techniques, such as focusing and calming anxieties.

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