Strategies for
Students with
Danette Sack
American School of The Hague
[email protected]
 Characteristics
vary greatly
of students with ADD / ADHD can
/ ADHD is different from a learning disability
– it does not effect one area, but all areas of the
child’s life
 The
variety of behaviors associated with
ADD / ADHD can make it difficult to know
where to start!
 Therefore,
a systematic approach to
behavioral interventions helps both the
teacher and the student
Effective Problem Solving
Isolate Problem Behaviors
 Limit
your problem solving to behaviors
that interfere with a student’s academic
achievement or disrupt the ability of
others to do their work.
 Example:
Jason calls out when the
teacher is giving directions to the whole
Analyze the Behavior
Antecedent-Behavior-Consequence (ABC) Analysis
 When
and where does the behavior take
place and what typically happens as a
 Antecedent: Teacher is giving directions to
the class. Jason is fishing through his desk for
his agenda and misses some of what the
teacher says. He raises his hand, but when
teacher doesn’t call on him immediately…
Behavior: …he interrupts the teacher with his
Consequence: The teacher asks him to wait
until she is finished giving the directions. He
persists. Teacher knows he has a hard time
staying focused. Since his question is on the
topic, she answers it so he’ll be up to speed
with the rest of the class.
Determine the Function of the
Behavior that is repeated generally serves
some function. It might not be socially
acceptable or expedient, but it does help
the student meet a perceived need.
 Students
may have considerable insight
as to why they act in certain ways. Talk to
the student!
 Example:
Jason’s questions usually come
up when he misses some piece of
information. The teacher spoke to him
privately and asked him why he doesn’t
wait until she’s finished with her
instructions to ask a question like everyone
else. He said it’s hard for him to focus
because he’s worried about what he
missed. He thinks that if he waits, he’ll
forget his question. The teacher
determines that when he calls out, he is
alleviating his anxiety and getting the
help he needs.
 By
examining the antecedents and
consequences of the behavior, a teacher
may find ways to reduce the frequency of
the behavior.
 Changes
in the environment may reduce
the student’s need for the behavior.
 Changing
the response to the behavior
may make it less effective in meeting the
perceived need.
 Example:
After talking to Jason, the
teacher realized that she could record
the steps to be done on the board as she
gave instructions. This way he won’t get
lost so often. When he does call out, the
teacher needs to make sure that she
doesn’t answer his question immediately
(delay gratification).
Formulate a Replacement
Ideally, the replacement behavior should
serve the same function as the problem
behavior while allowing the student to
benefit from instruction.
 Be
positive. Spell out what the child WILL
do rather than what he won’t do.
 Example:
Jason will write down his
question or a word to remind him of his
question so he’ll be able to ask when the
teacher finishes with the instructions. This
doesn’t meet his need as quickly as
before but if he knows the teacher will
answer his question later, it may reduce
his anxiety.
 Punishment,
or negative reinforcement,
while perhaps immediately effective, is
often counterproductive in the long run.
 It
works only to suppress problem
 The
net result is stifling to the student
rather than empowering.
Teach and Reinforce the
Replacement Behavior
 Be
explicit, concise, and consistent. It may
be necessary to break the desired
behavior into smaller, manageable
pieces, building up to it in realistic
 Example:
When Jason enters class, the
teacher reminds him to put a piece of
scratch paper and a pencil on his desk.
The teacher reminds him of the strategy
they discussed. When he raises his hand
and calls out, the teacher holds up her
hand signaling him to wait, makes eye
contact, and points to his paper. When
she has finished with instructions, she walks
by his desk to make sure he understands
what he’s required to do.
Before assuming attention is
the problem…
Both teachers referred students for
“attention” problems.
Can you identify the Antecedent – Behavior –
What is the real problem?
Reflect on the Progress
Exercise patience while recognizing that there
is a certain degree of trial and error inherent
in this process.
Remember, a student cannot change his
behavior until the teacher changes her
Teach the student to THINK differently, in
order to BEHAVE differently.
These are effective and long lasting.
Students may not respond immediately, so
be patient!
 Memory
Self-monitoring strategies (checklists,
behavior plans)
 Behavior
 Mnemonics,
acronyms, memory shortcuts,
 Cooperative
learning: assign roles,
provide input regarding interaction within
the group
 Social
skills training: use “teachable
 Teach
study & organizational skills
 Provide
student insight into his learning
style and teach to his strengths
 Teach
time management strategies: use
calendars, reminder techniques
These manipulate the environment to
promote success.
They are effective and short-term.
Teachers can judge the effectiveness
 Establish
consistent routines
Use special signals
 Use
positive reinforcement
 Teach
your rules: they are few, clear, and
comprehensive; explain the rationale for your
rules; make them visible in the classroom
 Impose
clear consequences for not following the
 Employ
“time outs”: these are often needed to
help students regain self-control
 Monitor
homework carefully: communicate with
parents, give consistent feedback
 Utilize
non-verbal signals agreed upon by you and
the student in advance
 Use
 Provide
 Allow
different seating arrangements
for appropriate movement
Intervention List
 Think
about a student you work with who
has attention difficulties
 Can
you find 2 – 3 interventions you might
try with this student?
 Talk
to your neighbor
Ideal Classroom for Students
with ADD / ADHD
 Structured
routines in place
 Organized
classroom environment
 Positive
feedback is frequent and
 Immediate
consequences for noncompliant behavior implemented
 Teacher
proximity is used
 Minor
disruptions are ignored
 Materials
are appropriately leveled
 Assignments
 Tasks
are brief or chunked
are mixed interest and level
 Multisensory
teaching methods are used
 Transitions
 Problems
are supervised
are anticipated
 Communication
with parents is frequent
 Study
skills teaching is part of the daily
 Movement is allowed – current brain research
says to add +2 minutes to a student’s age to determine
amount of time before break needed
ABC for Fitness
Sports Galore
 Shooting
a jump shot
 Batting a baseball
 Serving a tennis ball
 Skiing downhill
 Spiking a volleyball
 Swinging a golf club
 Throwing a football
 Juggling a soccer ball
 Shooting an arrow
 Swimming underwater
Teacher Don’ts
 Don’t
assume the student is “lazy”.
 Don’t
be fooled by inconsistency.
Students with ADD / ADHD can do the
work one day. The next day they may
 Don’t
give up on a student. These
children need your persistence and belief
in their ability in order to succeed.
 Don’t
give up on behavior modification
techniques. They take time!
 Don’t
forget to talk to others. Networking
with your colleagues eases your load.
 Don’t
forget to involve parents. Be
sensitive to their frustrations and fears.
 Don’t
be afraid to adapt, provide
accommodations, and alter assignments
for students as needed. It is okay and fair
to provide accommodations for students
with special needs.
Resources Included
 PowerPoint
 Effective
Strategies When Teaching
Students with ADD / ADHD
 Sample Observation Forms
 Peter/Ben Observation Notes
 ABC for Fitness Handbook

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