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Here are a few suggestions from the Relevant Children’s Ministry website on helping children with ADHD to connect with your teaching:

ADHD is marked by attention problems and impulsive behavior.

A recent report shows the number of children being diagnosed with ADHD is on the rise.

About 11 percent of children in the United States between the ages of 4 and 17 have been diagnosed with the condition at some point.  (6.4 million)

Boys (13.2%) are more likely than girls (5.6%) to be diagnosed with ADHD.  But I didn’t have to tell you that.  If you’ve ever taught a 3rd grade boys’ class, you already knew that.

The average age of ADHD diagnosis is 7 years of age.

But imagine creating an environment where kids with ADHD can effectively discover Biblical truth and grow in their faith.  Take these steps and you’ll see it happen:

  • Establish a relationship with the child’s parents.  Learn about their child’s strengths, weaknesses, interests and achievements.  Ask what teaching methods have been most effective with their child. Communicate often and send encouraging notes home.
  • Build a relationship with the child.  When you show the child compassion and he/she knows you care, he/she will respond to you much better. 
  • Connect with the child and let them set up a “secret” cue that you can use with them if they get off task.  It could be a hand signal, a sound, a touch on the shoulder, or some other cue.  Let the child decide what the cue will be.
  • Keep instructions simple and structured.
  • Don’t just use lecture-style teaching.  Include various kinds of learning activities such as competitive games or other activities that are rapid and intense.
  • Use props, charts, and visual aids when teaching.
  • Allow the child to take breaks as needed.
  • Give the child a physical outlet such as squeezing a ball.
  • Have the child sit near the front on the outside of the rows.   This way, if they move, they won’t bother others.   
  • Use rewards instead of punishment.  Kids with ADHD are constantly told “no.”  Instead use positive reinforcement. 
  • Don’t engage in power struggles with the child.  When you do…no one wins.
  • Avoid criticizing the child in front of others.
  • Divide the lesson into short segments.  This helps honor their very short attention span.  
  • Seat the child in an area that has the least amount of distractions. (windows, doors, etc.)

What are your suggestions for connecting with kids with ADHD?

Married to the amazing Sarah and raising Jakey, Daniel, Amelia, Josh & Jonah in our blended family. Passionate for Jesus, social work & sport.

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