10 Tips for ADHD Kids | Improve your after school classes
10 Tips for ADHD Kids
Simple ways to connect with your ADHD kids and engage them in activities, for after school classes that better serve their needs and the needs of the rest of the class!
1. Eye contact. There can never be too much.
2. Signal the start and end of activities with an aural cue, such as a bell, horn or piece of music.
3. Clearly communicate a few non-negotiable expected behaviours for the child during your after school classes, and provide as much support as possible to set them up for success. Talk with the parents and child about strategies they have found successful to stay focused and calm, and use them.
4. Frequent reminders and repetition are a way of life. Make them into a game!
5. Establish a supportive peer environment, where other children are aware of and involved in helping positively influence behaviour alongside the child and staff.
6. Change up the energy in your activities often. Provide frequent "energiser" opportunities during prolonged sedentary or mental tasks.
7. Recognise when the ADHD behaviours are ok. If it is appropriate and safe to be doing their own thing instead of what the group is doing, there is no reason to correct behaviour. Establish certain outlets that are permissible at any time, e.g. squeezing a stress ball, silent star jumps or moving to a different part of the room.
8. Create discrete signals between the child and staff to communicate without interrupting activities. For example, staff can touch a child's shoulder or give them a sticky note to remind them to stay on task. The child can use a hand signal to request extra attention, with the understanding that it will be given as soon as practical
9. Encourage and promote emotional expression, through both your activities and by frequently checking in on how the child is feeling. Diffuse frustration before it builds.
10. Develop patience...then double it! What ADHD kids ask for in energy and attention they repay in vibrant personalities and unusual gifts. Exercising patience and compassion to support them to successfully participate in in your after school classes is always immeasurably rewarding!
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