How to Set up Rules and Profile for ADHD Pupils in the Classroom

Try keeping a collaborative profile to reflect the pupil’s academic skills in addition to personal interests, qualities and achievements. It is important that an equal number of positives and negatives are presented in a sensitive manner.

For each difficulty it is critical that a method or strategy is outlined to help overcome the problem. Focus on the differences in strengths and difficulties across contexts and at different times of the day. For example:

I can concentrate better after sports class.

ADHD Pupils Classroom

I can pay attention for a lot longer if I’m an active participant or I’m really motivated,

I get really distracted when I am hungry,

I work better on the computer.

If possible develop a ‘Signs that I need help’ and ‘Action plan’ component to the profile.

There are many ways the profiles can be presented to make them more engaging and pupil-centred. You might consider using typewritten booklets and photo diaries. Imaginative ideas like this can provide the basis for negotiations about particular ‘contracts’ that can be drawn up to help identify specific boundaries and desired behaviour from both parties.

Try specifying with the pupil what needs to be negotiated to ensure that ‘contracts’ are not broken, and emphasize that the pupil’s views are equally as important as those of the staff. Identify a safe and secure place for the storage of the profile in order to maintain confidentiality and to minimize the chances of the document being lost or damaged. It is beneficial for a range of different people to have input into the profile, but this should be done in consultation with the pupil.

Aim to have as few rules as is necessary in the classroom. Make sure they are visible and the child knows them and is clear about the consequences of compliance or non-compliance. Rules should be phrased clearly and positively, for example: ‘Be kind to others and listen when the teacher is speaking.’ Don’t make them too long. Praise and reward appropriate behaviour and achievements – try to ignore minor bad behaviour. Set boundaries for the child in the classroom and playground.

The child with ADHD may need help in appreciating rules and procedures in the classroom and find them hard to remember. Enforce rules consistently and quickly – children with ADHD cannot await rewards and will forget why they are punished if there is a delay. They don’t like the rules to change.

ADHD Pupils

Recognize that ‘being fair’ might not necessarily require that all children are treated identically. Rules and expectations may need to be individualized, but should be applied fairly and consistently. This does not mean that children with ADHD should not be accountable for their actions; you will also have other children in the class who have special needs and require specific support. They should have to comply with the rules, which have been tailored to their needs, and be able to achieve what is expected of them. The threat of punishment actually has very little influence on deterring the child with ADHD from breaking the rule, since his understanding of cause and effect is poor.

Filed Under: Education & Training


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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