How to Deal with Pupils with Apparent Attention-Seeking Behaviour

Impulsive behaviour can result in apparent attention-seeking behaviour. These children seem to always ‘be in your face’, can’t wait their turn, blurt out answers and can appear quite insatiable until they get your attention. It helps to agree with the pupil how often you will work with him – be aware that you may need to do this more frequently than with other pupils to help keep the child with ADHD on task and interested – and to reward only appropriate behaviour with your attention.

Try to minimize the time between the achievement or problem occurring and the praise or punishment that ensues. The longer the time delay the less relevant to the situation it will be for the pupil because of difficulties with understanding cause and effect and short-term memory problems.

Seeking Behaviour

Try to bring out the best in the child by rewarding his effort as much as the actual achievement. He will be more likely to cope better if you break down the tasks into manageable chunks and review his progress and new skills learned as much as possible, kindly and encouragingly. Remember that school can be such a struggle for the pupil with ADHD, with little opportunity to escape from what he cannot do well and the expectations on him. Very often this struggle can result in silly behaviour, class clowning, interrupting other pupils and so on, to deflect from a difficult (for him) task or activity and to avoid the fear of failure or humiliation. It is important to read the subtext of this behaviour rather than punish the pupil.

Try focusing on teaching children a set of skills and adaptive behaviours to replace the problem, for example, teach pupils to use materials properly and store them in a desk or locker. Teach aggressive children to develop their sporting talents – replace problem behaviours with positive alternatives.

Filed Under: Education & Training


About the Author: Darlene Aronson holds a degree in English literature and is a college teacher in Texas, USA. She likes to help others by sharing her experiences in education and training field. She has written for many blogs as well as local magazines.

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