According to a national survey, one in 10 children in the U.S. between the ages of three and 17 have been diagnosed with attention-deficit/activity disorder (ADHD). However, only about one in three children with ADHD receive behavioral classroom management.
This is concerning because children with ADHD symptoms – such as an inability to pay attention, difficulty sitting still, and trouble controlling their impulses – experience more obstacles to doing well in school.
To meet the needs of children with ADHD, schools and parents must work hand-in-hand to provide:
- Behavioral classroom management or organizational training
- Special education services
- Accommodations to lessen the effect of ADHD on learning
- Professional psychiatric therapy
Treatment Strategies for ADHD Students
There are a number of school-based management strategies shown to be effective for ADHD students. These include:
- The behavioral classroom management approach, which encourages a student’s positive behaviors in the classroom through a reward system or a daily report card, while at the same time discouraging their negative behaviors.
- Organizational training, which teaches children time management, planning skills, and ways to keep school materials organized. This is designed to optimize student learning and reduce distractions.
- Special education services and accommodations as governed by The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which includes individualized education programs (IEPs) and a 504 plan to provide individualized special education services to meet the unique needs of children.
IEP and 504 Plans offer accommodations for students to help them manage ADHD that include:
- Additional time on tests
- Instruction and assignments that are tailored to the child
- Positive reinforcement and feedback
- The use of technology to assist with tasks
- Permitting breaks or time to move around
- Changes to the learning environment to limit distraction
- Extra help with staying organized
Most children diagnosed with ADHD are not enrolled in special education classes, however, they need extra assistance on a daily basis. As such, teachers can help students manage their ADHD symptoms by:
- Providing attention and frequent feedback to positive behavior
- Being sensitive to the impact of ADHD on a child’s emotions, such as self-esteem issues or difficulty regulating feelings
- Understanding that children with ADHD may become hyper-focused on activities that interest them and need extra assistance shifting their attention
- Making assignments clearer and checking that the student understands what they need to do
- Providing choices, such as letting the student choose whether to write an essay, deliver an oral report, complete an online quiz, or work on a hands-on project
- Avoiding long and repetitive assignments
- Allowing breaks and time to move and exercise
- Minimizing distractions in the classroom
- Using organizational tools to limit the number of things the student needs to track (e.g., a homework folder)
Of course, close collaboration between teachers, parents, and healthcare providers can help ensure a child with ADHD gets the right support. Parents can best advocate for their child by understanding their diagnosis, how it impacts their education, and what support can be provided at home. That entails:
- Speaking with your child’s teacher and communicating, as necessary
- Understanding your child’s IEP by asking questions, as necessary
- Obtaining written documentation from educators, administrators, and other professionals working with your child when possible
- Knowing your rights as the parent of a special needs child
- Playing an active role in the creation of your child’s IEP or 504 Plan
- Keeping records of communication between home and school, progress reports, and evaluations
- Maintaining a good working relationship with your child’s school
- Promptly communicating any concerns you may have about your child’s progress or their IEP or 504 Plan
- Consistently encouraging your child and helping with homework and other school projects
ADHD Treatment in White Plains, New York
At Psyhance, integrative and innovative psychiatry is the cornerstone of our approach to treating ADHD in both children and adults. Our expert team of professionals partner with you to create and implement a customized treatment plan to help overcome the difficulties of ADHD. Our highly trained team provides medical and psychiatric attention that is tailored to your individual needs.
Our integrative psychiatric treatments include:
- Dedicated listening time – a minimum of 60 minutes during the initial appointment and 30-minute follow-ups
- Genetic testing
- Medication management
- Organic ADHD supplements package
- Health and wellness coaching
- Nutrition management