Intervention Suggestions for Parents/Teachers with a Distractible Child

If your child or a child you work with has difficulty paying attention in a way that adversely impacts his or her ability to learn, they may have ADHD. Look for these symptoms below:

Easily Distracted by Noises

Difficulty Sitting Still

Displays excessive excitement/protestation at changes in the routine

Has difficulty transitioning from one task to another

Leaves assignments incomplete

Has difficulty coping with physical distress such as hunger, thirst, and mild bodily pains

These symptoms listed above are common symptoms that kids with ADHD may evidence in a school or home environment. A child with ADHD will experience these types of symptoms across environments meaning their symptoms will not be confined to just ocurring at home, or just ocurring at school.

The following are suggestions for helping children presenting with these types of symptoms to function more effectively and adaptively:

Clear the child’s desk between assignments to minimize distractions and promote organization

When working on math problems, give the child one problem at a time, gradually increasing the amount to two or three at a time, rather than a full page of problems. Presenting many problems at once may overwhelm a child with attention problems.

Limit choices in problem solving techniques to one’s that the child has already demonstrated successfully, thereby teaching the child to rely on his or her strengths.

Schedule time outs to allow the child to release pent up energy

Always make and maintain eye contact when giving simple, direct instructions. This promotes attentiveness

Provide incentives for completing assignments and also reward the ABSENCE of maladaptive behavior patterns. This creates an effective pattern of reinforcement.

Let the child know what is expected of him/her when giving assignments thus helping the child to focus on what is crucial to successfully completing the assignment.

These suggestions can help a child with attention problems to function more effectively on in class assignments as well as homework assignments. These suggestions can help manage the child’s difficulties, but do not represent successful treatmentof their attention problems. In order to treat your child’s attention difficulties effectively, contact a mental health professional such as a Clinical Psychologist or Psychiatrist to begin the assessment process.

One Reply to “Intervention Suggestions for Parents/Teachers with a Distractible Child”

  1. You are correct to assume that there is a problem–lack of communication or miscommunication. If your child has been diagnosed with a learning disability it is the responsibility of the school to explain the disability to your understanding. There are several rights accorded to parents when they agree to have their child labeled and enrolled as a student within Special Education. One of your rights includes the right to request and Individualized Educational Planning meeting. You can request that the School Psychologist attend and that they explore, in detail, what evaluations were conducted to diagnose your child. Furthermore, in their explanation you can request that they include what are some real-world examples of how this disability will manifest and what you can do about it at home to facilitate his development. At that point, they will be able to provide various recommendations, sites, referrals, phone numbers that will relate pertinently to your request for more information. Final note, to ensure that parents understand the results of the meeting they are required to sign a legal document indicating understanding. If the entire meeting is held in English and you as a parent speak, Spanish, Chinese, Hindi etc. Please express your needs for an interpreter at the meeting, if one has not been anticipated as necessary for you and provided for you to understand. Do not undermine the limitations of language barriers. Concepts related to Learning Disabilities and academic topics are difficult to understand as it is without having them presented in a language native to you. Don’t be afraid to ask. Typically, these services are available. Good luck.

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