Accommodation for Students with ADHD | ADD | Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

(For more complete information on assessment and treatment please go to my web page at www.adhdhelp.ca)

Often parents wonder if their school is actually providing ADHD or ADD accommodations that make sense. Or they ask what accommodations they should consider. Recently there was an extensive newspaper article about research that showed British Columbia, including Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Maple ridge, New Westminster and other local school districts were some of the worse when it came to providing support services for students with ADHD. While there are always trainings and supports for students with autism, ASD, Asperger's, physical and other cognitive deficits, there are very few trainings, consultations or other supports for either the students with ADHD of for their teachers. Check out your school district's list of training programs on a teacher professional development day. You are very unlikely to find any programs relating to ADHD. (I do many speaking engagements and trainings for autism, Aspeger's and social cognitive deficits in the Burnaby/Vancouver area, but only one time was I asked for training or consultative support for a student with ADHD.) This seems odd, as these are the students teachers feel are the most difficult for them to support. Speak to your school's principal and parent association about providing this kind of support.

Here are some common ADHD accommodations. You might want to just print this list off and use it as a check list for your child's school:


(Environmental Accommodations for ADHD | ADD)
PHYSICAL ARRANGEMENT OF ROOM:
__A. seating student near the teacher
__B. seating student near a positive role model
__C. having the teacher standing near the student when giving directions or presenting lessons
__D. avoiding distracting stimuli (air conditioner, high traffic area, etc.)
__E. increasing the distance between the desks
__F. providing an alternative (but positive) work space for the student to move to to complete tasks


LESSON PRESENTATION:
__A. pairing students to check work
__B. writing key points on the board (always in the same place!)
__C. providing peer tutoring
__D. providing visual aids (schedules, what to do next and what to do first visual lists)
__E. providing peer notetaker who share his or her notes
__F. making sure directions are understood by asking the student to repeat what has been said
__G. including a variety of activities during each lesson, including some that are hands on and physical
__H. breaking longer presentations into shorter segments with clear starts and finishes
__I. using computer assisted instruction
__J. providing written outline before the class
__K. allowing student to digitally record lessons
__L. having student review key points orally with a model if necessary
__M. using a system that clearly asks pivotal questions such as: "What do we need to do first"


ASSIGNMENTS and WORKSHEETS
__A. giving extra time to complete tasks
__B. simplifying complex directions, breaking them into components 
__C. handing worksheets out one at a time
__D. reducing the reading level of the assignments
__E. requiring fewer correct responses to achieve grade
__F. allowing student to tape record assignments/homework
__G. providing a structured routine in writing form
__H. providing study skills training/learning strategies
__I. giving frequent short quizzes and avoiding long tests
__J. shortening assignments; breaking work Into smaller segments
__K. allowing typewritten or computer printed assignments
__L. rewarding time on-task rather than task completion
__M. using self-monitoring devices such as visual checklists
__N. reducing or removing the need for homework
__O. not grading handwriting

TEST TAKING
__A. a1lowing open book exams
__B. giving exams orally (ie reading test items to student)
__C. giving take-home tests
__D using more objective items (fewer essay responses)
__E. allowing student to give test answers on tape recorder
__F. giving frequent short quizzes, not long exams

ORGANIZATION
__A. providing peer assistance with organizational skills
__B. assigning volunteer homework buddy
__C. allowing student to have an extra set of books at home (critical!)
__D. sending daily/weekly progress reports home (with an emphasis on positives!)
__E. developing a reward system for in-school work and homework completion
__F. providing student with a homework assignment notebook
__G. additional accommodations:


BEHAVIORS
__A. praising specific behaviors
__B. using self-monitoring strategies (visual if possible)
__C. giving extra privileges and rewards
__D. keeping classroom rules simple and clear
__E. making "prudent use" of negative consequences
__F. allowing for short breaks between assignments
__G. cuing student to stay on task (nonverbal signal)
__H. marking student's correct answers, not his/her mistakes.
__I. implementing a classroom behavior management system ( a token system)
__J. allowing student time out of seat to run errands, etc.
__K. Ignoring inappropriate behaviors not drastically outside classroom limits
__L. using an individualized token system
__M. allowing legitimate movement
__N. contracting with the student
__O. increasing the immediacy of rewards
__P. implementing time-out procedures