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ADhD, Children

Educational Interventions and Other Behavioral Therapy Techniques

Instructional Strategies for ADHD :

Giving Directions:

Directions need to be given clearly, concisely and through multiple channels. For instance, the teacher should clearly state the directions as well as have written directions or a pictorial list of directions available. Complex directions need to be simplified. Teachers should patiently repeat directions if this is necessary. Make sure the student understands the directions before proceeding to the task. Ask them to repeat the directions back.


The teacher can help the child with ADHD feel comfortable asking for assistance. One way to do so it to institute a classroom wide method that all students can use rather than singling out the child with ADHD. Develop and discuss with the student private cues that can be used when the student gets off task. For instance, the teacher can quietly touch the student’s arm to remind him/her to refocus on the task.


Make sure that the student is writing down assignments correctly each day. If a student is too young or is not capable, the teacher should assist in providing a record of assignments to go home with the student. Assignments may need broken into smaller segments or steps to complete vs. an entire project. Make sure that the assignment is actually one that the student has the capacity to perform. Some assignments may need further modified or adapted for the student.

Test Taking:

Students with ADHD may need extended time to complete tests. Once more, be sure that test directions are understood and that the child is capable of what is being asked of him/her. Some children may need modifications in the way a test is delivered. For instance, the test perhaps should be given orally or perhaps the student can respond orally instead of in writing. Unique and individual needs should be considered at all times.

[Return to “Quick-Index” for Educational Interventions & Other Behavioral Techniques for ADHD]

Teaching Self-Monitoring:

Students with ADHD can often participate in planning for improvements in their own behavior, thus allowing them to hopefully experience more ownership for change and also pride in accomplishing improvements. First students need to be aware of the problem behaviors and the control they can exhibit to improve the situation.

To begin assisting a student with self-monitoring, teachers need to select a behavior and precisely explain to the student the nature of the problem and what exactly would consistute improvement. The teacher can then assist the student by developing a rating scale to rate behavior and document improvement. The student will need to learn how to use the rating scale and the scale should be age appropriate.

Teachers can demonstrate how they would rate the behavior and verbalize aloud their process of decision-making. Learning to use the rating tool with some reliable accuracy will be a precursor to implement the self-monitoring program. Make decisions on the time interval by which the child will record their “data” or rating of the target behavior. However, be careful to insure that whatever time interval is set that the child is capable of being successful.

An example used in one resource gave the example of a child using sarcastic remarks. If the child is known to use sarcastic remarks about once every 20 minutes, the teacher would want to set the time interval for 15 minutes, thus enhancing a child’s chance of experiencing successful control. Self-monitoring can be gradually faded out for the behavior as progress is noted. However, in some cases formal self-monitoring may be desirable for some time to come.

[Return to “Quick-Index” for Educational Interventions & Other Behavioral Techniques for ADHD]

Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support:

Positive Behavioral Support is different than traditional “behavior modification”. One key reason for the difference is that with Positive Behavioral Support we ask the question, “why?” Why is the child’s work so sloppy? Why is the child seemingly never in his seat? Why is this child having problems making friends? The adults in the situation observe the behaviors and observe the child in numerous settings in order to develop ideas on the function that the behavior is serving for the child.

Positive Behavioral Support has a focus on changing the environment and responses in order to enhance a child’s experience of feeling successful and teaching important skills that reduce the function of the problem behavior. Positive Behavioral Support is not one approach focused solely on reducing a problem behavior, rather, it garners a collective team vision and collaboration, creating a multifaceted approach to improve the circumstances for the child, their school and community.

Positive Behavioral Support was initially developed as an alternative to aversive procedures for those with the most severe and extreme behavioral challenges. However, more recently, it has been used successfully with a wide range of students and contexts and has been extended to apply to entire school environments, not just individuals.

via Treatments for ADHD: Educational Interventions and Other Behavioral Therapy Techniques.


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