Teaching students are now receiving some education on ADHD and other behavioral disorders. They are also learning differentiated instruction methods that can reach kids of all learning styles and disabilities. Unfortunately though, this is not a focus of a teacher certification program, and existing teachers aren’t required to keep their knowledge of different abilities current. And so, many of our ADHD/LD/SPD/ODD/OCD/PDD/FAS/etc., etc., etc. children are not getting the understanding and accommodations in school they require deserve.
We need to raise our teachers’ awareness about ADHD. Educating the teacher and school administration a bit more about ADHD will resolve many issues. In order to not underestimate someone’s intelligence and inadvertently offend, I approach it from the standpoint of how ADHD affects my child and what his specific needs are relating to ADHD, sensory processing, and his writing disability.
- My #1 fav! Of all places in this great land, it comes from the city schools right here in my town. (Of course, my child is in the County school district.) A link to all their school OT documents and guides is here. However, my favorite is the “Classroom Strategies” series. These are charts for the teacher that say “if you see this…” then “try this” and gives them several interventions for all sorts of difficulties:
- Addressing Sensory Needs at School, SensorySmarts.com. Most of our ADHD kids also have sensory processing issues. This guide gives many accommodations easily implemented in the classroom that will make a child with sensory needs more comfortable.
- Helping Children with ADHD Succeed in School, Helpguide.org, a non-profit resource for understanding, preventing, and resolving challenges. This article contains several tips for parents and teachers alike.
- Checklists for Teachers: Getting Students’ Attention, LDOnline.com. A bulleted list from Sandra Rief of ways to keep an attention-challenged child engaged in the classroom.
- Examples of Accommodations from State Assessment Policies, LDOnline.com. A long list of potential classroom accommodations great for taking to an IEP or 504 Plan committee meeting (I used this to formulate the list of accommodations I requested for Luke’s 504 Plan initially.)
- Modifying Instruction for ADHD, TeacherVision. Simple strategies to make the mainstream classroom more conducive to the success of an ADHD student.
- Deep Pressure and Heavy Work Activities for Children, LiveStrong.com. 70+ activities kids can do throughout the school day to get sensory input and feel more grounded (which will make them feel more calm).
- Attention Deficit Disorder: Ritalin or Recess?, David Katz, M.D. Studies show physical activity helps children when they get back into the classroom (i.e., don’t use recess as punishment).
- National Association of Special Education Teachers: ADHD Series
- Differentiated Instruction, National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials. An overview of differentiated instruction, including how it makes learning accessible and some implementation strategies for the classroom.