Students with ADHD should have a safety plan that includes emergency procedures and protocol in a personalized handbook that is accessible and detailed with their disability in mind. A student-centered plan will teach students with ADHD how to respond in case of a school emergency.
Tips on Creating an Effective Safety Plan
In most school communities, each classroom has a District or school directed emergency plan that requires everyone in the school community to be compliant and participatory. Students with ADHD have a disability that involves episodes of hyperactivity, distractions, inability to remain on task for extended periods of time, disruptive behavior and the list goes on. By having them construct their own emergency plan which is compliant and involves their active participation, ADHD students can become involved in a project that reinforces their safety planning and appropriate response.
Tips for an Effective Safety Plan
- Provide students with colored construction paper, pencils, markers and stencils to draw out the letters for the title of their handbook, the content page and headings. Teachers can have students determine the size of their handbook (i.e. portable or poster sized for posting somewhere in the classroom).
- Teachers can have IA (Instructional Assistants) help students with cutting out the letters and gluing them to the desired handbook pages.
- Have students read the current District emergency procedures and write one-two line summaries for their emergency handbook. For example, the student should get a collection of the following headings for the handbook; Fire Drills, Lockdowns and Earthquake drills are some of the more common headings for the handbook.
- The student's handbook should include the expected behavior that he/she should follow as part of the safety plan. Have the student put the expected outcomes in his/her own writing and go over the plan with the student.
- Once the student has completed his/her handbook, have him/her share with a smaller group settings of 3-5 students and then have the student present out to the class. The safety plan project could be a whole class learning objective as well.
- Make sure that the safety plan is accessible and placed where the student with ADHD can review it and keep the expectations in mind and practice. Students can practice the expectations with an IA (Instructional Assistant) before a fire drill or an earthquake drill using their personalized safety plan handbook.
All students should know and be able to implement the safety plans in a school emergency. For students with ADHD, it is imperative to make sure that they know what to do in case of an emergency. By including them in the creation of a personalized safety plan, students with ADHD will respond effectively during any school emergency situation.