October 11, 2021
We recently asked a group of Smart Kids readers to offer suggestions for making the classroom a more student-friendly environment for children with LD and ADHD. Some of these items can be included in your child’s IEP; others may be worked out directly with the teacher.
- Don’t make my child read aloud, if he struggles—or, if he must read aloud, give him advance notice, so that he can be prepared.
- Don’t call on my child unless she raises her hand. This goes a long way toward easing her fear of humiliation in class.
- Set up a way my child can signal when he needs a break, then give him a classroom task or errand allowing him to move around before refocusing on schoolwork.
- Seat my child near the front of the room, and find an unobtrusive way to recall her attention if she appears distracted (e.g., resting your hand briefly on her desk).
- Be flexible about giving my child the extra time he’s allowed for tests —maybe 10 or 15 minutes during another class period, in the resource room or library.
- Believe my child when she says, “I can’t,” and figure out an alternative way for her to approach a task or modify the assignment.
- Teach my child to monitor and recheck his work—preferably at a later time—to help minimize the mistakes he’s likely to make because of his limited attention resources.
- Don’t increase my child’s frustration by assigning a task she can’t handle like repeating a handwriting exercise when she only writes upside down and backwards.
Share Your Ideas
Let us know your ideas for how teachers and staff can make the classroom experience better for students with LD and ADHD.