About ADD/ADHD Learning Disabilities Attention Deficit Disorder

Rick Pierce, The Hyperactive Teacher.  is a regular ed teacher with ADHD.  Treat your teachers to an entertaining and highly practical keynote or inservice

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              The best way to ensure a great,(or at least better), year is to prepare for the year about to begin two weeks before it begins. A.D.D. children do not handle change well and school is a major change in routine.
        One good place to start to prepare the childfor school is readjusting the daily schedule two weeks prior to beginning school. Start getting up at the time you would for school, getting the student running through the morning routine of getting ready for the day, setting aside homework time, serving meals at the appropiate time and putting the child to bed at school bedtime. This exercise alone will help alleviate many of the problems associated with the first week of school of school. For homework time, I suggest reviewing math concepts and having the child read.
        Also, if you haven't done so, see if you can influence which teacher your child gets. The perfect teacher for an A.D.D. student runs a predictable, structured classroom, is even tempered, finds creative ways to teach, consistantly applies correction and rewards, and monitors classwork frequently. Since there are very few teachers perfect teachers, try to get the teacher that best fits this description. This teacher may or may not be the most popular teacher, so be careful when asking your child who they want.
        If your child is taking medication and has not used it during the summer, now is a great time to start that routine too.
        Children are often excited about going back to school. Use this excitement to your advantage. Buy a student calender and teach your child how to use it. Hint: it is better for a student to put work on the date its due rather than the date assigned. Also, set up a homework folder. A homework folder


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has a flap on both sides. Label the left flap with unfinished work/notes home and the right flap with finished work/signed notes. Train your child to put ALL unfinshed work into the flap regardless of subject, due date, class work, ect. By having one place for all papers, the child will may develop a habit of getting thier work home.
        Once school begins check the calendar and folder daily. Encourage them to keep up with this routine. Talk to your student, find out rules and expectations that the teacher sets down. If possible make your rules and expectations as similar to the school as possible. Predictability is a powerful tool in helping the A.D.D. person be successful.
        It is also a good idea to talk with the teacher before serious problems arise. However, talking to the teacher before they have met your child may not be effective because they would not be able to put the issues in proper perspective. I suggest waiting a week and then calling the teacher. Even after a week teachers may not see the A.D.D. , but they would probably be open to information.
        Be ready to provide the teacher with the necessary information. On the Ch.A.D.D. website(www.chadd.org) you can find two excellent, two page information sheets, "The Disability Named ADD" and "Attention Deficit in the Classroom." These are excellent, easy to read articles. I have an audio tape you can order for $5.00 or 3 for $10.00 that is perfect for helping a teacher both understand the A.D.D. child and provide an appropiate classroom environment.
        After three weeks, check back with the teacher again. By this point the teacher will realize the need for intervention. Offer to help. Please remember that teachers have many students, each with their own issues.  They will probbly be more willing to work with you if you avoid trying to tell them how to teach, just offer to help in any way possible.
        So before school starts get the routine going; monitor their work and communicate with the teacher and student; and be ready to provide anyinformation and help needed. I hope this gives you some ideas on how tohelp your child succeed in the new year.
        Rick Pierce, author of How To Help an A.D.D. Child to Succeed in  Life and speaker on A.D.D. issues. Rick Pierce has A.D.D. himself and has taught A.D.D. children in the regular classroom. hyper@ns.net

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