How to Manage a Child with ADHD – Having a Coach or Mentor


Having a coach or mentor is a very important strategy in managing a child with ADHD. This person could be another teacher, an older pupil, or possibly someone from outside the school environment.

A coach or mentor needs to be a person who believes in the child with ADHD, has some understanding of the condition and is able to meet him either in person or by phone on a regular basis, to encourage and to help with planning and progress generally.

Because children with ADHD tend very much to think in the ‘here and now’ and not plan ahead, one of the key roles of the coach is to structure, think ahead, organize and foreshadow forthcoming events, and to help the child think his way through them – remember his PE kit or the directions for football games, and so on. The coach can also be very helpful in reminding, encouraging and helping the child stay focused and on task.

How to Manage a Child with ADHD – Having a Coach or Mentor Child with ADHD

When the child has a bad day, the coach has a role to play in providing encouragement, helping to avoid procrastination, and getting organized and minimizing negative, destructive thinking. All this helps to boost the child’s self-esteem and promote social skills.

Pupil and coach should have a regular, at least weekly, meeting in the same time slot, for between 15-30 minutes. There needs to be an agenda and this is often best done using a notebook where items discussed are written down, and these can then be reviewed at the next meeting. The previous week needs to be looked at and analysed as to where problems occurred, what might have been done to help, and general encouragement given. The next week is then planned, potential pitfalls identified, and as much praise and support provided as possible.

Working with a coach or mentor can provide a ‘stepping stone’ effect; it can be very useful as a non­medical strategy for ADHD and is very effective in promoting self-esteem, organizational and social skills.

Often pupils with problems with working memory also exhibit word and information retrieval difficulties. They frequently experience the ‘tip of the tongue’ phenomenon, or may produce the wrong details within the correct concept. These pupils may need additional time to retrieve details when answering a question. They often benefit from presentation of information in several different modes.

Give verbal instructions accompanied by visual cues, demonstration and guidance to increase the likelihood that new material will be learned.

Use mnemonic devices (memory strategies) to help the pupil learn, and later recall, basic skills and facts.

Rehearsal is often a helpful method of increasing the amount of information encoded into memory. Have the pupil repeat or paraphrase what he has heard or understood in order to check for accuracy and to provide an opportunity for rehearsal. Remember, little and often is best.

Try to help the pupil learn how to actively listen. Get him routinely to stop what he is doing, then focus his attention, ask him questions and get him to restate the information or question and take notes.

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  4. How to Stop a Child with ADHD from suffering Bullying
  5. How to Teach an ADHD Child to Type

Filed Under: Lifestyle & Personality

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About the Author: Alan Kennon lives a very happy life with two kids and a lovely wife. He likes to share his life time experiences with others about how they can improve their lifestyle and personality.

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