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broad 08-26-2010 12:56 AM

adhd not on meds
Any suggestions for working with a lst grader, adhd, not on meds sometimes? Instead of calling out his name constantly I want to have a method, system, program for helping him follow procedures. Can I move his desk so he is apart from group? I don't like this idea but may have to as he disturbs others. Thanks for any ideas.

AddieJ 08-26-2010 04:46 PM

I agree that having a signal for him will be much better than calling out his name. Maybe a direct look with one quick touch to the lips and one quick touch to the ears would help him refocus. Or maybe a thumbs up/move to side/back up signal could ask, "do you need a break or are you okay?" If he needs a break, he could scoot back from the group (if seated on the floor) or put his head down (if at tables) or go sit at the "reflection table" (kind of like time out but he wouldn't be there for behavior.) I use "take a break" a lot for my students (everyone) when I see they are getting fidgety or they bother a neighbor or they are talking out of turn; I use my pointer finger and move it down and that's the signal to scoot back for a quick break to refocus. They come back on their own (usually about a minute or less.) The great thing about take a break is that it comes before "time out" and the kids are still with the group. The kids aren't necessarily in trouble; they just need a quick break so they can return to learning.

As for seating arrangements, it helps ADHD kids to sit in rows because there are less distractions than sitting in groups. He could sit closer to the teacher desk or right up front with back to other kids. A horseshoe shape may work also because it's kinda like a row but also promotes more group discussions. He should sit by students who are good role models.
Would it be possible for him to have multiple work stations? Maybe his desk, a back table, a study desk (with "privacy shields" on the sides), etc.

Also make sure he's not sitting by big distractors like windows, doors, heaters, or high traffic areas like pencil sharpeners or garbage cans. It's best to keep him close to the group but if everyone's learning is being compromised, then I'd say move him away and make a way for him to earn his seat with the group back.

Another thing to remember is that he may not handle transitions or changes in schedule very well so letting him know of changes in advance will help him adjust better. Maybe a picture schedule on his desk he can follow along with and a quiet verbal reminder, "In two minutes I'm going to tell everyone to put final touches on so we can clean up."

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