Helping a child with ADD succeed at school

Many parents are afraid to get their distractable child assessed for Attention Deficit Disorder (or 'ADD') as they fear their child may become overmedicated and labelled as a trouble maker. However, getting your child assessed and formally diagnosed can be a start in helping your child to succeed at school. Here are some things that can be done at school to help your child focus. 

Sitting away from doors and windows

People with ADD are easily distracted by movement, sounds and light changes so it's a good idea to place them in the quietest part of the classroom. This can help them to focus on the work tasks rather than their surroundings. In some cases. children also benefit from being able to put on ear muffs during quiet tasks to help them stay on tracks. 

Behaviour management programs

Children with ADD often misbehave less due to mischief making and more because they lose focus on the way that they are supposed to be behaving in different settings. Having formal behaviour management in place with stamps and rewards for problem free days can help them to get back on the right track. Once the teachers know about the ADD they can also give your child some more specific instructions on how they need to behave in new situations, such as reducing their voice volume or sitting down during presentations. 

Written instructions

As children get older they can often need to carry out complex multi-stage tasks. Having a set of written instructions can help them to stay on track and check that they have done everything that they need to do. This can be as simple as writing the instructions on the board and allowing the children time to write these down before starting the tasks. 

Technology solutions

It can often be hard for students with ADD to participate in group sessions and assignments as they can get distracted by other students. Allowing students to collaborate using technology such as online chat and forums can help them respond in a useful way and contribute to the group work. 

Once you have gotten your child formally diagnosed by a medical professional with a disorder such as ADD you can move away from worrying about symptoms to starting to devise solutions for the issue. By working with your child's teacher, you can start to devise solutions that can help your child succeed at school