How teachers can motivate students with ADHD

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Rick Lavoire, posted an article in ADDitude Magazine, How to Motivate (Not Demoralize) a Student with ADHD. Lavoire provides tips specifically for teachers to help with motivation. The following list provides teacher strategies that can be used to increase motivation.  These tips are great for students with ADHD but can really be applied to all students:

  • Provide a structured and predictable environment.
  • Give simple single-step instructions.
  • Simultaneously provide verbal and visual input.
  • Clearly outline rules, limits, and expectations. Post them.
  • Allow for occasional breaks to let student relax and reenergize.
  • Legitimize the student’s need for movement and activity by designing classroom activities/lessons that allow for movement.
  • Ensure the student’s attention before giving them directions/instructions.
  • Use a cue or a private signal that you can send the student if their behavior/attention is beginning to deteriorate.
  • Do not emphasize quality and quantity at the same time.
  • Provide the student with several (10-15 seconds) to respond to a verbal question due to the amount of time it may take them to process the request.
  • Avoid attributing judgmental reasons for the student’s inconsistency and impulsivity.
  • Remember that hyperactive behavior during seatwork (self-distracting behaviors) are a release for the child’s hyperactivity.
  • Provide the student with ADHD opportunities to show divergent, creative, and imaginative thinking and to receive recognition for their originality.
  • Follow difficult activities/lessons with more interesting or rewarding activities/lessons
  • Try alternative methods of assessments
  • Never take good behavior for granted, praise and reinforce the student’s good behavior.