Kids don’t grow out of ADHD with age. It’s a life-long condition. “It impacts patients through school and into their adult lives.” That’s why it’s essential for children with ADHD to have an effective life coach. “ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder) lasts a lifetime. It evolves and changes with time, environmental and emotional stressors, hormones, and age.”
ADHD Tips: Elementary School Students
Students in grades 1-5 need a solid learning foundation:
- Reading Acquisition: It takes a lot of energy to sit and read. It requires physical and mental pressure.
- Math Skills: Students with ADHD make “silly” mistakes. They miss a digit or add incorrectly.
- The Social Contract: Children need to control and regulate their emotions. They also need to learn how to express themselves with peers. And, how to moderate their behavior in the classroom.
The best strategy to help children with ADHD is positive reinforcement. Negative consequences “destroy self-confidence and self-concept.”
ADHD Tips: Discuss disruptive behavior outside the classroom.
- Place a sign on each student’s desk. Teachers can point to the sign that signals disruptive behavior. Students will not get singled out in front of the whole class.
- Use yellow index cards with black ink. This helps with memory retention.
ADHD Tips: Middle School Students
Students need help with schedules and executive functioning skills.
- Homework system: Know what is assigned, and keep track of all completed work. Physically write down assignments for memory retention.
- Break down the writing process: Coaches can help with writing and editing the first draft.
- Print out assignments, write things down, and combine study strategies.
ADHD Tips: High School Students
Students in high school need to learn to balance academics and social life. It’s important not to take away a student’s growing independence.
- Manage electronics: Put a basket at the bottom of the stairs for devices at bedtime. Or, make a charging station in the pantry. Sleep is the most important element of a growing teenager.
- Online grade book routine: Set a time to check report cards together. Review grades, listen to explanations and communicate with teachers.
- Create a goal tracker: This helps students practice organization and executive-function skills. Have teens create to-do lists, and then estimate their time of completion. Also, have them record how much time each task actually took. This teaches time budgeting and prioritizing.
- Discuss procrastination and avoidance.
- Create a defined workspace that’s quiet and cell phone-free.
- Define Pills and Skills: Explain how medication helps students focus on the task at hand. Coaches can also talk about medication adjustments and patience.
ADHD Tips: Taking a Gap Year
Taking a gap year can help students build essential life skills. “Students need a plan. They can apply to colleges, then defer acceptance for a year in order to participate in a career-focused internship, travel, or do volunteer work.”
ADHD Tips: College Students
Students with ADHD need a university that’s right for them.
- Choose a college that’s the best fit.
- Research the disabilities office.
- Ask professors to share notes ahead of the class.
- Get help choosing the right courses.
- Help students take classes that best suit them.
- Break testing into shorter sections.
- Record lectures.
- Organize and schedule the semester. Make a plan from the beginning.
- Encourage students to visit professors.
ADHD Tips: Post Graduation Adulthood
- Try cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
- Take a test to find an ideal career area of strength.
- Improve a resume.
- Practice interview skills.
- Coping strategies are essential for living a healthy life.
To learn more about ADHD in teens, click here.