Instructional strategies

At a Glance: Classroom Accommodations for ADHD

By Amanda Morin

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For kids with ADHD, difficulty with focus, hyperactivity and impulsivity can make it harder to learn in the classroom. Here’s a look at some accommodations that can help.

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At a Glance: Classroom Accommodations for ADHD

What classroom accommodations can help students with ADHD? Here are some things teachers can try:

For Classroom Learning

• Sit close to the teacher and away from windows and doors.
• Increase space between desks.
• Have teacher stand near student when teaching.
• Provide foot rests, seat cushions or resistance bands on chair legs to help satisfy need to move and improve focus.

For Organization
• Use assignment notebook.
• Provide an extra set of books to keep at home.
• Provide folders and baskets of supplies to keep desk organized.
• Color code materials for each subject.
• Written schedule for daily routines.

For Classwork and Taking
• Provide worksheets with fewer questions and problems.
• Give frequent short quizzes, rather than one long test for each unit of work the teacher goes over.
• Give extra time and quieter space for work and tests.
• Allow student to answer questions out loud, or fill in the blanks
• Allow word processing on computer.
• Give credit for work done instead of just taking away points for late or partial assignments.
• Break long assignments into smaller chunks.
• Don’t grade for neatness

For In-Class Learning

• Give directions out loud and in writing.
• Use pictures and graphs.
• Have a buddy take notes for the student.
• Give the student the lesson outline.
• Check to make sure the student understands the lesson.
• Keep instructions simple and clear.
• Create a “signal” to get the student’s attention. This could be a sticky note on the desk or a hand on a shoulder

For Behavior
• Use a behavior plan with a reward system.
• Praise good behavior. Ignore other behavior as long as it isn’t disruptive
• Talk through behavior problems one-on-one.
• Monitor frustration. Check in with student to understand his mood.
Graphic of At a Glance: Classroom Accommodations for ADHD
Graphic of At a Glance: Classroom Accommodations for ADHD

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About the Author

Portrait of Amanda Morin

Amanda Morin

A parent advocate and former teacher, Amanda Morin is the proud mom of kids with learning and attention issues and the author of The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education.

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Reviewed by Ginny Osewalt May 17, 2014 May 17, 2014

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