Educators expect students to stay still, listen attentively and quietly, follow instructions and finish tasks. However, that is not always the case. Have you encountered a student who cannot finish tasks, who moves around a lot, and is forgetful, inattentive, impulsive and hyper? If your answer is yes to all of these, chances are you are dealing with a student with ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

A person with ADHD has differences in brain development and brain activity that affect attention, the ability to sit still, and self-control. Signs and symptoms of ADHD can be detected before the age of seven. ADHD is one of the most common mental disorders among children, affecting an estimated 3 to 5 percent of the population aged 0 to 14 years in the Philippines. Adults can also manifest signs and symptoms of ADHD.

Students with ADHD may have a hard time learning in school especially if they are not reaching their maximum learning potential. Here are a few tips on how we can help them:

  • Use positive reinforcements regularly. Students with ADHD may be stuck in the “victim cycle” because they feel like they are misunderstood. Be on the look out for behavior that can be rewarded.
  • Do not be afraid to use negative reinforcement. These students will also have to know that their misbehavior have consequences.
  • Allow them to move around. A student with ADHD may move around a lot but that doesn’t mean that they are not listening. You may also let them use stress balls or other manipulative or hand exercisers.
  • Break down tasks so they can finish it one at a time. They can feel frustrated if the tasks they need to do look overwhelming. They may also work with peers to help them finish their tasks.
  • Put their seat in an area far from distractions, preferably front and center.
  • Create a list of the things that they should do to keep them reminded. You may also use color codes (i.e. Red for the most important tasks). If possible, let them do the heavy workload first then finish with a lighter workload.
  • Play beat the clock. Put some fun into their work by letting them compete with themselves. It will make them feel accomplished when they did their work ahead of time.
  • Be patient.

Given the number of students with ADHD nowadays, we are bound to encounter one in our lives. It is important for us to be aware and educated so that we will know how to react and manage.

 

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