Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) often face unique challenges when it comes to learning. The combination of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity can make it difficult for them to focus and succeed in traditional learning environments. However, with the right strategies and support, children with ADHD can thrive academically.
In this article, we'll explore ways to help children with an ADHD learning disability, from creating urgency to utilising ADHD-specific tools and resources.
ADHD often makes it challenging for children to prioritise and stay on track. Therefore, one of the keys to helping children with ADHD is to create a sense of urgency around their tasks and assignments.
To address this, parents and teachers can set clear and specific deadlines, provide a timeline for completing tasks or assignments, and emphasise the importance of meeting those deadlines.
Breaking tasks into smaller, manageable steps can also help reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed, and using timers and alarms can encourage children to work on tasks for a set period, followed by short breaks to maintain focus.
Children with ADHD often struggle to engage with subjects or activities that don't capture their interest. It’s therefore, important for parents and teachers to make subjects and concepts as interesting and captivating as possible.
To help spark their enthusiasm for learning, educators and parents can incorporate hands-on activities, utilise interactive learning methods that involve physical or creative elements, and relate topics to children's interests by connecting lessons to subjects or hobbies they are passionate about.
Encouraging exploration and allowing children to ask questions can foster their curiosity and engagement in learning.
Allow for Breaks and Movement
Sitting still for extended periods can be particularly challenging for children with ADHD. Incorporating regular breaks and movement can help them stay focused.
It can also be useful to implement time management techniques such as the Pomodoro method, where children work in short, focused intervals followed by brief breaks. Providing opportunities for physical activity during breaks to release excess energy and allowing the use of fidget tools, such as spinners or stress balls, can help children stay focused while seated.
Use an ADHD Planner
ADHD planners or organisational tools can be incredibly beneficial in helping children manage their time and responsibilities. It’s therefore, important to teach time management skills, and show children how to use planners or digital calendars to schedule tasks, assignments, and activities. Parents and teachers can make planning ADHD-friendly by creating visual schedules with aids like colour-coded calendars or task lists. This will help children stay organised and accountable for their tasks and responsibilities.
We have created a homeschooling planner that can easily be printed and colour-coded to help ADHD children stay organised. Find out more about the homeschooling planner and download this resource here.
Invest in an ADHD Chair
Sitting comfortably is crucial for maintaining focus during tasks. Consider investing in an ADHD-friendly chair with features like ergonomic design and sensory support.
Ergonomic chairs with adjustable features can accommodate a child's unique seating preferences, and sensory-friendly options may offer sensory input through built-in features like rocking, swaying, or gentle vibrations, promoting a more comfortable and focused learning environment.
For example, the Pipersong Chair is said to be a fantastic option for children with ADHD as it allows them to easily and comfortably switch their seated position while promoting a healthy posture.
Utilise Brown Noise for ADHD
Background noise can often be distracting for children with ADHD. For example, if a child with ADHD is sitting in an area where they can hear a TV in the background, they’ll more than likely find it difficult to tune out the noise and focus on the task at hand. However, some find that certain types of noise, like brown noise, can be beneficial.
Providing noise-cancelling headphones to block out distracting sounds or playing brown noise or white noise to create a calming environment, can help children focus better on their tasks.
Make use of ADHD Apps
Technology can be a valuable tool for children with ADHD and there are a range of apps designed to enhance focus and organisation.
Task management apps like Trello or Todoist can help children organise their tasks and track progress. Focus and meditation apps like Headspace or Calm can introduce mindfulness practices that improve concentration.
Furthermore, educational apps and games can make learning engaging and interactive. For example, Duolingo is a fantastic way for children to learn a new language or improve their current linguistic skills.
Supporting children with an ADHD learning disability requires patience, understanding, and a tailored approach to their unique needs. By utilising the tips and tricks we have provided in this article, parents and educators can help these children overcome challenges and achieve academic success. Remember that each child is different, so it's essential to adapt strategies based on their individual preferences and requirements to foster a positive learning experience.