Tips for High School Teachers with ADHD Students: Impulsive Behaviors

Douglas Cowan, Psy.D.
 


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Thank you to all of our professional educators who dedicate themselves to our children! We know how difficult it can be working with ADHD children, so here are your teacher tips for the week, brought to you by the ADHD Information Library and ADDinSchool.com. This is a sampling of over 500 classroom interventions for your use at http://www.ADDinSchool.com .

Here are some tips on improving social skills with your ADHD students. Remember, the best interventions are the ones that will help all of your students be more successful, not just the ADHD students.

Give your ADD ADHD students a break once in a while. Know the difference between big things and little things, and don't confront attention deficit students on each little thing. It is hard for ADD ADHD students to control themselves all of the time.

Students with attention deficit disorder experience many difficulties in the social area, especially with peer relationships.

ADD ADHD students tend to experience great difficulty picking up other's social cues, and often act impulsively. Attention deficit stuents usually have limited self-awareness of their effect on others. They are likely to over-personalize other's actions as being criticism. They tend not to recognize or respond well to positive feedback. In fact, ADHD may be directly related to a deficit in recognizing rewards.

Students with Attention Deficit Disorder tend to get along better with younger or older students when their roles are clearly defined. ADD ADHD students tend to repeat self-defeating social behavior patterns and rarely learn from experience.

In conversations ADD ADHD students often ramble and say embarrassing things to peers.

Students with ADD ADHD tend to get into the most trouble during times with little structure or little supervision.

Enlisting the support of peers in the classroom can greatly enhance the ADD ADHD student's self-esteem. Students with good social awareness and who like to be helpful can be paired with the attention deficit student. This pairing can take the form of being a “study buddy" while doing activities/projects. Cross-age tutoring with older or younger students can also have social benefits. Most successful pairing is done with adequate preparation of the paired student, planning meetings with the pair to set expectations, and with parental permission. Pairing expectations and time commitments should be fairly limited in scope to increase the opportunity for success and lessen the constraints on the paired students.

Students with ADD ADHD tend to do well in the cooperative group instructional format. Small student groupings of three to five members, in which the students “sink or swim" together to complete assignments/projects, encourage students to share organizational ideas and responsibilities, and gives an ideal setting for processing interpersonal skills on a regular basis.

Hopefully these will help the ADHD students in your classroom to be more successful. You can learn more about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder at the ADHD Information Library.

Douglas Cowan, Psy. D. , is a family therapist who has been working with ADHD children and their families since 1986. He is the clinical director of the ADHD Information Library's family of seven web sites, including http://www.newideas.net , helping over 350,000 parents and teachers learn more about ADHD each year. Dr. Cowan also serves on the Medical Advisory Board of VAXA International of Tampa, FL. , is President of the Board of Directors for KAXL 88.3 FM in central California, and is President of NewIdeas.net Incorporated.

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