Fighting the ADHD Students’ “Boredom”

written by: Mayflor Markusic • edited by: Amanda Grove • updated: 7/5/2011

One of the difficulties faced by teachers is the “boredom” exhibited by some students who have been diagnosed with ADHD. These students would begin a task and then immediately lose interest. What can a teacher do?

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    The ADHD students’ apparent disinterest in the lesson and classroom activities might be interpreted as boredom. But it is not “boredom” in the real sense of the word. The ADHD-diagnosed students, unlike regular classroom students, have to contend with inattention and hyperactivity as symptoms of their medical disorder. Such symptoms can be lessened by medications but it is up to the teacher to help these students achieve better academic performance despite the presence of ADHD. The following ideas can help the teacher carry out his/her responsibility.

    • Hands-on activities are better than passive listening – Hands-on activities are decidedly more attractive than lectures. For the ADHD-diagnosed students, hands-on activities can engage greater attention because more parts of the body are involved. It is also advised that teachers first demonstrate the task required from the students.
    • Colors are better than plain white – If an exposition of a topic is unavoidable, then teachers should occasionally use colored chalk when writing on the chalkboard. The colors will attract and hold the attention of ADHD students far stronger and longer than plain white chalk writing. This is why important words and terms should be in color. But too much color may present too many distractions. Thus, an aesthetic balance should be maintained.
    • Eye contact is the key – Always establish eye contact with the ADHD students, especially when providing instructions or directions for an activity. Without eye contact, the student will most likely pass off the teacher’s words as unimportant. With eye contact, the teacher increases the likelihood of having the students understand the task at hand.
    • Give one instruction at a time – Due to the nature of their medical disorder, the ADHD students could not process a series of instructions. These special students can remember only the first part of the instructions and the rest are forgotten. To ensure the students’ successful completion of a task, the teacher must instructions one step at a time. If necessary, follow-ups and reinforcements should be given. A simple follow-up is to ask the ADHD student to describe in his/her own words the task that he/she is about to do.

    The appearance of boredom in ADHD students is the result of the symptoms of their medical disorder. The teacher can help the students perform better in school if the presentation of the lessons and tasks takes into consideration the easy distractibility and frequent inattention that beset these students.

    Source: author's experience

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