Currey Ingram Blog

Strategies for Helping Your ADHD Child

Posted by Eric Vinson, Assistant Lower School Division Head on May 3, 2019 4:32:09 PM

ADHD is a multifaceted biological condition that affects the management system of the brain, as well as social, emotional, organizational and cognitive development. Though such problems may not transfer to every environment in which a child operates, ADHD undoubtedly affects the ins and outs of daily life at home, school and in the neighborhood.

There are three distinct types of ADHD. First, the Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation typically presents in the student who exhibits a need to move constantly and may struggle with impulse control. Second, the Predominantly Inattentive Presentation, commonly referred to as ADD, encompasses those students who have consistent difficulty attending to directions and details. The final type, the Combined Presentation, is the most common, and represents both sets of criteria described in the first two types. Generally speaking, most symptoms of ADHD fall within the realms of inattention, distractibility, and impulsivity, including descriptors such as impatient, fidgety, uninterested, and forgetful, just to name a few.

But despite the enormity of challenges and variety of behaviors that may arise from ADHD, there is much that can be done to support students and consistently promote potential. Because many symptoms of ADHD are observable and outward expressions, teachers and parents have greater insight into how to prevent or manage such predictable problems.

At Currey Ingram, there is an intentionality with regard to how students are placed in both homeroom and academic groups. By keeping class sizes small, students with ADHD stay in closer proximity to the teacher and have less students competing for attention. Additionally, ability grouping in the major academic subject areas, such as math and language arts, is an effort to meet the student at his or her academic level and increase engagement through direct, explicit instruction.

Specifically for those students who possess the impulsive and hyperactive profile, positive behavior support systems assist in maintaining attention, celebrating desired behaviors, and increasing awareness within the classroom environment. Rather than penalizing or criticizing problematic behavior each and every time it occurs, such as interrupting a group discussion, teachers proactively acknowledge expected and appropriate behaviors as frequently as possible using succinct and purposeful phrasing to establish the desired classroom climate. Furthermore, this creates an underlying system of peer modeling, where students can continually learn from each other how to best operate within the setting in which they find themselves. Sometimes, Daily Report Cards are used with students who exhibit problematic or inconsistent behavior. These visual aids have proven successful in helping students and teachers track targeted behaviors throughout the entire school day, analyzing the student’s performance in small increments, while working toward predetermined and motivating rewards.

Much of the research connected with ADHD presents a recurring emphasis on the need for routines. By constructing predictable routines for students, there is less stress on executive functioning skills and working memory. Reducing the number of items that students must consistently attend to helps them focus and sustain effort over a longer duration of time.

These are just a few of the many accommodations that Currey Ingram is designed to provide for students with ADHD. By supporting children in this manner, the hope is that they will build confidence and acquire knowledge in more productive ways, unlocking their potential and a greater sense self-awareness. Though symptoms may change over time, children are never able to completely outgrow ADHD; however, uncovering and implementing the right strategies can go a long way in helping them achieve consistent success. By learning the skills necessary to live more productive lives, students will navigate academic, family and social circles with heightened confidence and an increased awareness of their own behavior.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Currey Ingram hosts the ADHD Summer Treatment Program (STP), an intensive six-week program for students ages 8 to 12 with ADHD. Campers work on social skills, problem-solving, and self-regulation strategies within all camp activities, learning skills and resources that prove beneficial in both the home and school setting. Learn more here.

Neuroscience and Education: The Connection: Now in its sixth year, our two-day summer symposium is designed to bring together parents, educators and healthcare professionals to hear about the latest brain research as it relates to learning. This year’s symposium includes more than 24 sessions and a keynote by Dr. Russell Barkley who is an internationally recognized authority on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD) in children and adults.

Learn More: ADHD Summer Treatment Program 

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