The Hyperactive/Impulsive type of ADHD is typically what people think of when they hear ADHD. It’s more commonly thought about because this type of ADHD is more visual, aka you can actually see there body doing things caused by ADHD. An important thing to remember though is that just because you have a hyper student in your class or a child with tons of energy, does not mean that child has ADHD. While that is a large portion of ADHD, there are many more underlying signs and symptoms that go along with it. But what are they?
Symptoms or Signs of Hyperactive/Impulsive ADHD:
- Fidgeting or squirming (not being able to sit still)
- Nonstop talking
- Trouble sitting still and doing quiet tasks, such as reading
- Running from place to place; acting like he’s driven by a motor
- Constantly leaving his seat, jumping or climbing on furniture and other inappropriate places
- Not having patience
- Blurting out comments at inappropriate times
- Interrupting conversations or speaking out of turn
- Trouble waiting for a turn or standing in line
In today’s world, so many of our children and students are being diagnosed with ADHD. There are many reasons why that number might be increasing, but how do we help those student be successful with a body and mind that are working against them?
Strategies to help students in the classroom:
- Allow movement and flexible seating
- Give students tools to minimize distractions – maybe a quiet corner in the classroom
- Provide lots of positive feedback – helps motivate students to want to focus
- Give small rewards for completing tasks throughout the day.
- Allow students to feel good for accomplishing simple and small tasks – Check box to do lists are great motivation for a lot of ADHD students and they could have a small reward for finishing all of their tasks for the day
- Don’t get frustrated if they are not on task right away – sometimes it takes a while for children with ADHD to settle their minds down enough to focus.
- Ask questions instead of telling them they’re not focusing or getting their work done – sometimes it might not look like they are working when they really are
- Provide visual reminders – writing instructions on the board, pictures of tasks etc.
- Talk to the parents of the children – often the parents will have successful strategies that work at home. Try to bring those strategies into the classroom to bring consistency for the child.
- Active class participation – ask them to hand out materials, or be the teacher’s helper. Having the student moving around will help them learn best!
- Offer choice – give your students different options for completing their work. This could be as simple as allowing them to choose where they will be able to complete their work best. It could also be the option of completing the assignment in a different way.
- If they need help getting started, give it to them! – Sometimes students with ADHD can become very overwhelmed by the task they are supposed to be doing and don’t know where to begin. It doesn’t mean they can’t do the task, but when they don’t know where to start they will start being distracted by other things happening. Also, remember that you need to be very specific in your instructions.
- Give your students time chunks – Time management is one of the hardest things to do when you have ADHD. When you give your student a task and 30 mins to complete, they will think that it’s only going to take them 10 mins to do so they will spend the first 20 mins messing around and they don’t have enough time to finish it. Breaking down the assignment for them in manageable chunks will help them complete their work. You could say you have 5 mins to do the first 2 questions, 10 mins to do part b, and 15 mins for the last question. Then the student will know how much time they have to do their work.
Tools to help students in the classroom:
Wobble Stools – these are one of the best inventions on the market. They allow students to move around while they are seated and get rid of that energy they have in their bodies which allows them to focus on what they are doing.
Privacy Boards – These are a great tool for students with ADHD. They are put on the student’s desk which blocks all of the chaos going on around the classroom. This paired with some noise canceling headphones will do wonders for your students!
Headphones – This is another great tool for students with ADHD. They block the very distracting noise going on in the classroom. They are also a good tool for students with noise sensitivities so they can have multiple purposes.
Standing Desks – This is another great tool for students with ADHD. It allows them to move their feet while still having a space to work. they can walk around the desk while thinking and then come back to their work to write down their thoughts.