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Communicating with Students with ADHD

written by: Kathy Foust • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 9/11/2012

For students with ADHD, success in communication is especially important. The tips provided here will enhance the chances of success in effectively communicating with ADHD students.

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    ADHD Issues and ADHD Student Success

    ADHD success depends in part on knowing what kind of issues come with ADHD. If you don't know the issues then you can't very well deal with them can you? ADHD can be as frustrating for the student as it is for the parent and teacher. Below are some of the problems that students with ADHD face.

    • poor impulse control
    • lack of ability to focus
    • high anxiety
    • poor memory
    • short attention span

    The best way for an adult to relate to ADHD in a child is by thinking of how it feels when they have a million things to do and have just drunk an extraordinary amount of coffee. The adult knows they have a ton of things to do, but may have problems focusing their energy on exactly what it is they have to do. Use the tips in the next section to help develop good communication with children who have ADHD.

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    Communication Tips for Students with ADHD

    ADHD success in communication depends largely on having a good plan. The tips below will help you to develop a plan and relieve the tension that comes from a lack of communication.

    • Be sure to have to good eye contact. To do this without being intimidating, kneel down so the child's eyes are level with your own. Do not lean down because this is physically intimidating to children.
    • Ask the child to repeat back what you just said. As the child repeats back what was said, they will be confirming that they understand what you are telling them or asking from them.
    • Take notes. Either you or the child should make written notes so that there is no question of what was communicated.
    • Ask if there are any questions. Make sure the child is comfortable asking you to clarify any requests and/or statements you have made.
    • Use a schedule. Most people function better on a schedule, but the child with ADHD really needs one to keep on track. Take the guesswork and time for the mind to wander out of the day by making a schedule and sticking to it.
    • Remove stimulation. If you are trying to communicate with a child who has ADHD, you really need to make sure their is nothing to draw their attention away from the conversation at hand. You can do this by removing other forms of stimulation that may get in the way of effective communication.

    ADHD success in communication is not only a possibility, but is a certainty if the proper steps are taken to ensure the success of the student. It's up to the adults in the students life to enforce these strategies. Make sure you are doing your part!

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