Coping strategies and aids

Here is some useful advice based on tips from, a trusted non profit resource. These should help you when supporting or working with someone who struggles with ADHD.

  • Communicate more clearly. Be concise, giving instructions and making requests one at a time
  • Be consistent and have high expectations – don’t give in because the child is nagging or you’re tired
  • Set a good example – be a model of patience, healthy habits, and good manners and at least as organized as you want your child to be
  • Head off trouble before it starts, know your child’s triggers and what situations lead to problems. Anticipate and avoid problems
  • Praise is a powerful tool; give it where it’s due. Make every effort to acknowledge and acclaim good behavior and performance
  • Avoid being a sergeant major; don’t bark orders at your child. Start a dialogue, negotiate, consult, and ‘listen’
  • Pace yourself; pick your battles – not every situation requires intervention. Sometimes, let the little things slide. If you don’t, your home will be a battleground
  • Be reasonable and realistic when asking your child to do something
  • Give clear instructions and ensure your child has heard you
  • Don’t make empty threats – follow through
  • Educate siblings about ADD/ADHD
  • Establish a clear set of rules that everyone in the home must follow
  • Spend quality time with all your kids. Plan activities that are enjoyable for the whole family

Useful ideas for the classroom

If you’re teaching attention deficit children, here are some useful classroom ideas from the Child Development Institute.

  • Pause and create suspense by looking around before asking questions
  • Signal that someone is going to have to answer a question about what is being said
  • Use the child’s name in a question or in the material being covered
  • Ask a simple question (not even related to the topic at hand) to a child whose attention is beginning to wander
  • Walk around the classroom as the lesson is progressing, and tap the place in the child’s book that is currently being read or discussed
  • Decrease the length of assignments or lessons
  • Alternate physical and mental activities
  • Increase the novelty of lessons by using films, tapes, flash cards, or small group work or by having a child call on others.
  • Incorporate the children’s interests into a lesson plan
  • Structure in some guided daydreaming time
  • Give simple, concrete instructions
  • Accept that some children may benefit from standing up and walking around when they are meant to be seated
  • Use a soft voice to give direction