Tips for students with LD and/or ADHD

1. Maintain eye contact with your child while giving directions and require that she “look at my eyes” while listening, unless this is awkward and culturally inappropriate for her.

2. Limit the number of directions presented at one time (two at a time is good, then build up as you see progress). Have him repeat the directions you give him.

3. Give written directions as well as oral directions (on paper, poster, or slides).

4. Let your child observe you or a sibling performing a new task before she attempts it.

5. Use plenty of visuals and hands-on experiences to teach and reinforce each concept; see Multisensory Instruction

6. Use gentle touch to get the child’s attention when he does not hear you. For example, place your hand gently on their shoulder as a prompt.

7. Place the student away from distracting noises and visuals (hallway door, noisy children, windows, or other visually distracting items).

8. Build a study carrel/booth or find a nook for privacy, if possible.

9. Divide independent work (paces, workbooks, written assignments) into smaller segments. For example, if they are assigned a two page essay, let them take a small stretch/snack break in between each paragraph. Movement is critical to increase attention.

10. Teach your child self-regulation strategies.

  • use of a silent timer for completion of independent work;
  • check-off lists for different task (laminate for reuse);
  • use headphones to block excess noise;
  • monitor speed of work and on-task behavior;
  • use of calendar on a device to alarm before due dates;
  • provide outlines, study guides and guided notes to use when reading; and
  • provide students with graph paper to help line up math problems.

11. Alert student’s attention to key points with phrases such as, ‘This is important’; use highlighters or sticky notes in text.

12. Teach typing and allow him to do written assignments on the computer.

13. Use high interest material (the student’s interests).

14. Use humor frequently during instruction.

15. Develop non-verbal signals for off-task behavior, essential points and upcoming directions to help diminish negative verbalizations.

16. Establish a daily routine and maintain it.

17. Color-code folders and make a simple one-binder system for all work to be kept.

18. Streamline paperwork by having your child submit work online.

19. When teaching handwriting, begin with large, whole body writing for muscle memory, then miniaturize to regular paper and pencil.

20. Concentrate on the child’s strengths to help her discover something in which she excels.

21. For vocabulary, use homemade flashcards, pictures paired with words. Use terms in personalized sentences as much as possible; label objects with note cards.

22. Allow test questions or other assignments to be answered orally, especially if the rate of writing tends to be slow. See accommodations

23. Practice role-play for social situations if necessary (i.e. preparing for good behavior during field trips and other outings).

24. Recreational Therapies

Strategies to Increase Memory

  1. Routine, schedules, and organization of materials and belongings helps prevent the frustration of loosing things, forgetting where he put them. This applies not only to children, but disorganized adults. You don’t have to be rigid, but consistency is a life saver. Automating tasks to increase memory
  2. Visual cues like photographs, drawings, diagrams, color coding, and video increase memory especially if they are created by the child/student.
  3. Verbal cues come in the form of songs, raps, poems, jingles and rhythmic beats can enhance memory in all subject areas. Think about commercial jingles you still remember 20 years later!
  4. Play games and cards helps strengthen memory while learning a wealth of other skills and information:
    • Crossword puzzles, Chess, Jigsaw puzzles, Rebus puzzles, Sudoku, Concentration and games that require multi-tasking. Games to improve memory
    • Crazy Eights, Uno, Go Fish and War require players to remember what cards have been played as well as which cards they have, while keeping up with the rules of the game.