ADHD (Attention Deficit and / or Hyperactivity Disorder) is a disorder that affects all areas of children's lives, and perhaps it is at school that this disorder is most evident.
Children with ADHD often present difficulties in their learning, and in many cases, they can also present behavior problems in the classroom, especially when the disorder occurs with impulsivity-hyperactivity. On many occasions, teachers do not know how to handle or respond to these behaviors and they can run the risk of labeling these children as rude, disobedient, disruptive ... Guiainfantil.com we have compiled a list with some discipline tips for kids with ADHD.
Within the ADHD table we can distinguish between children who are predominantly inattentive and those who are predominantly impulsive-hyperactive. Some of the traits that we can observe in the classroom in these children are:
- They tend to have disorganization of notebooks and tasks.
- They often lose or do not bring the necessary materials to class.
- They don't finish homework.
- They interrupt frequently.
- They move and get up for no apparent reason.
- They have difficulty accepting the rules.
- They get confused and do not pay attention. They don't seem to listen.
It must be borne in mind that the child is not always aware of these behaviors and therefore It's fundamental do not penalize him for it. You have to help him and teach him to become aware of his behavior so that he is able to correct it himself.
The educational response that we give from the classroom will be essential to improve the behavior of children with ADHD, and at this point it will be important to know the nature of the disorder and that problematic behavior in the classroom.
Once we know the diagnosis of the student with ADHD, we must respond in the classroom to the needs of that child, understanding that if he interrupts, gets confused or "bothers us" it is not voluntary or willful.
We must understand that ADHD is a disorder that affects attention and executive functions, which are the mental capacities that allow the person to control their own behavior, anticipate the possible future and, at the same time, prepare and direct their behavior towards accomplishing your plan or task. Therefore, these children find it difficult to regulate their behavior, and to anticipate the consequences.
Let's say they act and then they think.
That is why it gives the feeling that they do not respect the rules or the limits and within the classroom. And one of the things that most worries teachers is precisely that: compliance with the rules and discipline in the classroom.
To know how to handle situations in the classroom we need to understand that we must help them in something that they cannot do on their own. Just as we help them solve a math problem, we must help them regulate themselves.
Some guidelines that we can follow in class to help the child with ADHD are:
1. Sit him near the teacher's table
Put him near our table so that we can have better control of the student. This way we can speak to you directly and get your attention more easily.
2. Make it clear what we expect of him in the classroom
We agree on the rules and the consequences when they are broken. We can put on the table a sheet with two or three objectives to meet in the classroom (I ask permission to get up, raise my hand to speak, etc.). This should be visible so that you can use it to remember what to do.
3. Get direct and personal communication
We can establish with it a signal that indicates to the child that something is not right, for example, we can approach and touch him on the shoulder, use colored cards to indicate how the behavior is (green, red, yellow, like the traffic light technique).
4. Evaluate positive
Evaluate the child positively (this activity you have done well, you have been a bit confused but you have known how to return to tasks, etc.) and avoid excessive or little instructive punishments that do not serve the child to learn about their behavior.
5. Give you special "missions"
As the child with ADHD is more impulsive and finds it difficult to be still, we can give him "missions" that involve moving and taking responsibility for something. For example, appointing him the person in charge of distributing notebooks, sharpening pencils, going on an errand, etc. We keep him active and send him the message that we count on him and are confident that he can do it.
On the other hand, these are other guidelines that we should always avoid:
6. Fill the agenda with negative comments about their behavior
"Pedro does not attend class" is a truism that does not serve to improve his behavior, in any case it serves to make him feel bad and to be scolded when he gets home. It is better that we write that in math he has managed to finish the task or that he has helped a classmate.
7. Punish every annoying behavior
You have to put consequences on those that are really serious and serious and try to redirect those that are inherent to the disorder.
8. Give only importance to what you do wrong
It is a mistake not to reinforce what he does well, because even if we think that it is what it has to be (be attentive and quiet in class) it is something that the child with ADHD finds very difficult.
In general, to work with a child with ADHD in the classroom you need to know the disorder and to be sensitive to him, to understand that the child does not do things just because, but because of an underlying cause that he cannot control without training.
Not only detection and diagnosis will be essential, but the joint work that parents, teachers and specialists do with the child. As far as possible, there should be communication with the specialist who works with the child individually (generally outside the center) and with the specialists and guidance departments that can provide effective tools and strategies to work with these students in the classroom.
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