• (08) 6153 4535
  • Suite 1, Level 1, Medical Centre, SJOG Hospital

STRATEGIES AND OTHER RESOURCES

  • Recognise and respond to any positive behaviour however small. If you search for good things, you will find them. Seek out something the student do well and demonstrate this in front of the class. Publicly recognising good behaviour reinforces to the behaviour and increases the likelihood of it to sustain longer.
  • Reward entire class for the target child’s positive behaviour. Like saying ‘I have been very pleased with everyone’s behaviour this morning, you all have been working well especially you “the target student”.
  • Give responsibility and foster accountability.
  • Acknowledge all students on task behaviour and negotiate a secret signal with the student such as a wink, squeeze or tap on the shoulder for teacher to acknowledge the student every time he is working well. The conspiratorial nature of this secret signal increases its reinforcing value.
  • Ensure the student is aware of disciplinary consequences. Best results are achieved when these are clear and graded. 1 tick, 2 tick, 3 tick and time out. Keep consistent rules and disciplines.
  • Try to reduce the negative attention student is receiving, punish only major disruptive or defiant behaviours. If in doubt, ignore rather than punish. Punishments become ineffective when they are overused.
  • Read pre-explosive warning signals. Quietly intervene to avoid explosions by distracting or discussing the conflict calmly.
  • Environmental modification and Teaching Strategies
    • Arrange for preferential seating. This provides better visual and auditory access to the teacher; the child may also be seated away from adverse noise conditions.
    • Provide a personal FM amplification system. This improves access to targeted sound above the noise level at the child’s ears. This may be helpful to the APD subtypes of auditory decoding deficit, integrative deficit, and output organization deficit. A trial period should be implemented to assess the benefits of the system for the individual child.
    • Improve the acoustic quality in classroom. Reduce echo and unwanted background noises such as chair shuffling in the classroom, by having wall-to-wall carpeting, acoustic ceiling tiles, thick curtains, and foam baffles to absorb these background noises, thus improving the child’s access to targeted auditory information in class.
    • Provide lecture notes prior to lessons. By having lecture notes in advance, the child can become familiar with the new topic before a lesson; this allows him/ her to focus on listening in class.
    • Pre-teach new vocabulary and concepts. Pre-teaching enables the child to gain familiarity with the new topic, which in turn aids comprehension and learning in class later.
    • Appoint a note-taker. By having another student in class to assist in note taking, the child with APD is able to focus on listening.
    • Provide a quiet conducive work area at home. A child with APD will need a quiet corner, away from the television or radio when studying at home.
    • Have earplugs available. Putting on earplugs or earmuffs may help in minimizing distractions and background noises when self-study is required.
    • Allow the child some time before responding to your questions. Be patient and positive: an anxious and self-conscious child will experience even more difficulties in coming up with a reply to questions.
    • Provide ‘listening breaks’. A child with ADHD may often feel over-loaded with auditory information. Keeping instructional periods short and giving the child breaks between learning will improve his/ her attention and retention of auditory information.
    • Be positive and encouraging. Be sensitive to the child’s feelings and give praise generously.
    • Be positive about the child’s learning and celebrate all progress made, no matter how small.
  • Giving instructions
    • Gain the child’s attention before speaking. Call the child’s name, remind him/ her to listen, make sure that you have the child’s attention (e.g. eye contact) before speaking.
    • Stand close and keep still when talking. Standing close by and keeping still at the child’s eye level helps him/ her to hear better and be less distracted by movements.
    • Speak in a clear, animated, and audible tone of voice. Speaking slowly and using simple words and sentences in an animated manner may be especially helpful to these children.
    • Keep instructions brief, explicit and precise. Use simple sentences and make all instructions clear and concise.
    • Break long instructions down into small chunks and present one activity at a time.
    • Reinforce instructions with visual cues like pictures, graphs and illustrations or checklist on the board if possible.
    • Provide prompts or signals to get back on task and positively reinforce on-task behaviour.
    • Use cues words like look, listen and non-verbal cues like obtaining eye contact or tap on shoulder.
    • Check for understanding. Make sure the child understands what is being said: observe his/ her facial expression and ask him/ her. Alternatively, request for the child to rephrase or repeat given instructions.
    • Ask to repeat the instructions. Repeating or rephrasing of information in simpler terms may work better than mere repetition for clarification.
  • Organisation and Planning
    • Help student to break down a task or problem in small parts and teach to structure a plan to reach the goal.
    • Help student to complete an outline or plan to practice organising an activity and make the goals of the tasks explicit.
    • Devise a step by step plan that can be followed to complete a task.
    • Provide with written checklist which can be ticked off.
    • Provide structure when teaching by first teaching a broad outline and then providing details.
    • Establish structured routines that can be learned for everyday activities.
    • Teach memory chunking strategies and encourage to relate newly learned information to previously learned concepts.
    • Provide colour coded material for each subject.
    • For younger students –
      • visual timetables where images can be removed when tasks are completed. This gives the student a sense of achievement and encourages independence.
      • Take pictures of items the student needs to remember to take to school. Attach the pictures to their school bag.
    • For older students – encourage use of diary, timetables, electronic devices, or calendars to organise things such as appointments, school events, assignments, schoolwork.
  • Teaching strategies
    • Schedule important and demanding activities early in the day or after an extended break.
    • Start lessons with easily achievable tasks and increase the task demand incrementally.
    • Regularly alternate activities, particularly between demanding and less challenging or physical tasks.
    • Develop and stick to a daily classroom routine.
    • Keep activities brief or structure longer tasks into short blocks, providing a clear beginning and end, and suggest times and expectations for completion.
  • Teaching strategies
    • Schedule important and demanding activities early in the day or after an extended break.
    • Start lessons with easily achievable tasks and increase the task demand incrementally.
    • Regularly alternate activities, particularly between demanding and less challenging or physical tasks.
    • Develop and stick to a daily classroom routine.
    • Keep activities brief or structure longer tasks into short blocks, providing a clear beginning and end, and suggest times and expectations for completion.
  • Books
    • ADHD – Go to guide
    • Understanding ADHD – by Christopher Green
    • Taking charge of ADHD: The authoritative guide for parents – by Russel Barkley
    • You and Your ADD Child: Practical strategies for coping with everyday problems – by Ian Wallace.
    • Smart but Scattered Kids – by Peg Dawson, Richard Guare