7 Ways Teachers Can Help Learners with ADHD in Their Classroom

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects how people think, act, and focus. It can make learning challenging for students, especially in a traditional classroom setting. Students with ADHD may struggle with attention, organization, impulse control, hyperactivity, and emotional regulation.

As a teacher, you play a vital role in supporting learners with ADHD. You can create an inclusive and supportive classroom environment that helps them thrive and succeed. In this post, we will share 7 strategies that you can use to help learners with ADHD in your classroom.

7 Teaching Strategies Teachers Can Use To Help Learners With ADHD in Their Classroom.

1. Understand ADHD

The first step to helping learners with ADHD is to understand what ADHD is and how it affects them. There are three types of ADHD: inattentivehyperactive-impulsive, and combined. Each type has different symptoms and challenges.

Some common symptoms of ADHD include:

  • Difficulty paying attention and staying focused
  • Trouble following instructions and completing tasks
  • Losing or forgetting things
  • Being easily distracted or bored
  • Fidgeting or moving constantly
  • Acting impulsively or without thinking
  • Interrupting or talking excessively
  • Having difficulty regulating emotions

These symptoms are not a sign of laziness, defiance, or low intelligence. They are caused by differences in the brain’s structure and function. ADHD is not a choice or a character flaw. It is a real and valid condition that requires understanding and support.

To learn more about ADHD, you can check out these resources:

2. Create a Structured and Predictable Environment

Students with ADHD benefit from a structured and predictable environment that helps them stay organized and focused. You can create such an environment by using the following strategies:

  • Establish and follow consistent routines and schedules. For example, you can have a morning routine, a daily agenda, and a closing routine. You can also use timers, alarms, or music to signal transitions between activities.
  • Use visual aids and graphic organizers to help students understand and remember information. For example, you can use charts, posters, calendars, maps, diagrams, or outlines. You can also use color-coding, labels, or symbols to highlight key points or categories.
  • Break down tasks into smaller, manageable steps. For example, you can divide a long assignment into sections, or a complex problem into subproblems. You can also provide checklists, rubrics, or models to guide students through the steps.
  • Clearly define expectations and rules. For example, you can post and review the classroom rules, procedures, and goals. You can also use cues, reminders, or prompts to reinforce the expectations and rules.

3. Minimize Distractions

Students with ADHD are easily distracted by external or internal stimuli. They may have difficulty filtering out irrelevant or unimportant information. You can minimize distractions by using the following strategies:

  • Choose a quiet location in the classroom for students to work. For example, you can seat them away from windows, doors, or noisy areas. You can also provide headphones, earplugs, or white noise to block out background noise.
  • Limit clutter and unnecessary items in the classroom. For example, you can remove or store away any materials, decorations, or equipment that are not needed for the current lesson. You can also encourage students to keep their desks and backpacks neat and tidy.
  • Use clear instructions and avoid multi-tasking. For example, you can give one instruction at a time, and repeat or rephrase it if needed. You can also ask students to repeat or write down the instruction to ensure they understand it. You can also avoid asking students to do more than one thing at a time or switching between tasks too frequently.
  • Provide fidget toys or other sensory tools for students to use. For example, you can offer stress balls, putty, rubber bands, or bracelets for students to squeeze, stretch, or twist. These tools can help students channel their excess energy and improve their focus.

4. Encourage Movement and Activity

Students with ADHD often have a lot of energy and need to move around. Sitting still for long periods can make them restless and bored. You can encourage movement and activity by using the following strategies:

  • Allow students to stand up and move around during lessons. For example, you can incorporate movement breaks, games, or exercises into the lesson plan. You can also let students walk, pace, or stretch while they work or listen.
  • Incorporate physical activities into the learning process. For example, you can use hands-on, interactive, or experiential activities that involve movement and manipulation. You can also use gestures, actions, or role-plays to demonstrate or reinforce concepts.
  • Offer flexible seating options for students. For example, you can provide standing desks, wiggle cushions, balance balls, or stools for students to choose from. These options can allow students to adjust their posture and position according to their comfort and preference.

Related Read: How to Use Movement Breaks, Active Games, and Collaborative Activities to Transform Your Classroom

5. Provide Frequent Feedback and Positive Reinforcement

Students with ADHD need frequent feedback and positive reinforcement to help them stay motivated and engaged. They also need guidance and support to help them improve their behavior and work. You can provide feedback and reinforcement by using the following strategies:

  • Offer specific and actionable feedback on behavior and work. For example, you can praise students for what they did well, and suggest what they can do better. You can also use descriptive language and examples to illustrate your feedback.
  • Use a reward system to encourage positive behavior. For example, you can use stickers, points, tokens, or privileges to reward students for following the rules, completing tasks, or showing improvement. You can also involve students in setting the goals and choosing the rewards.
  • Acknowledge and celebrate students’ successes. For example, you can display students’ work, share their achievements, or give them certificates or awards. You can also express your appreciation and admiration for their efforts and accomplishments.

6. Collaborate with Parents and Other Professionals

Students with ADHD need consistent and coordinated support from all the adults involved in their education. You can collaborate with parents and other professionals by using the following strategies:

  • Communicate regularly with parents about students’ progress and challenges. For example, you can use phone calls, emails, notes, or meetings to share information and feedback. You can also ask parents for their input and feedback.
  • Develop a collaborative plan to support the student’s needs. For example, you can work with parents and other professionals to create an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a 504 Plan for the student. These plans outline the accommodations, modifications, and services that the student needs to succeed in school.
  • Seek advice from school counselors, psychologists, or specialists. For example, you can consult with them about the best strategies, interventions, or resources for the student. You can also refer the student to them for further evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment.

7. Practice Self-Care

Supporting students with ADHD can be rewarding but also challenging and stressful. You need to take care of yourself to maintain your own well-being and effectiveness. You can practice self-care by using the following strategies:

  • Recognize the challenges of supporting students with ADHD. For example, you can acknowledge and accept the difficulties and frustrations that you may face. You can also remind yourself of the positive aspects and outcomes of your work.
  • Take time for yourself to manage stress and maintain your well-being. For example, you can engage in activities that relax and rejuvenate you, such as meditation, exercise, or hobbies. You can also set healthy boundaries and limits for your work and personal life.
  • Seek support from colleagues and administrators. For example, you can share your experiences and challenges with other teachers who work with students with ADHD. You can also ask for help or advice from your mentors, supervisors, or leaders.


Teachers can make a big difference in the lives of learners with ADHD. By using the strategies discussed in this post, you can create an inclusive and supportive classroom environment that helps them thrive and succeed. You can also continue learning and growing in your understanding of ADHD and how to best support your students.

We hope you found this article helpful and informative. If you did, please share it with your fellow teachers and educators. You can also leave us a comment below and let us know what you think. Thank you for reading and happy teaching!


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