How To Deal With Kids That Have ADHD

Give Them Something To Hold

This is one of the most basic accommodations you can provide, but it goes a long way with many students. My favorite “fidgets” are Yuk-E-Balls (super durable and easy to clean), but there are tons of less expensive options out there, like bean bags or stress balls. Just make sure you set clear expectations about using the fidget, such as no throwing. (Source:


Assign Them Class Timer

A class or activity can seem like it is going on forever to a student with ADHD, so a concrete reminder of the amount of time left can be helpful. Your assigned timer can use a handheld timer to clock everything from independent work time to bathroom breaks. This also helps keep him or her busy and feeling helpful.


Use tape To Create Clear Boundaries

If your students sit at shared tables, try using masking tape to divide up the space. This has saved me so much squabbling! Students who have trouble keeping their hands to themselves have a clear, visual reminder when they see the tape.


Provide Visual Behavior Reminders

When a student is displaying a “no” behavior, you can simply point to the corresponding image rather than having to verbally redirect each time. You can also make a mini T-chart for the student to tape on his or her desk.


Use Privacy Shields

You can buy packs of them or easily make your own by cutting a tri-fold poster in half horizontally. These are primarily used to prevent cheating during tests, but they’re also great for lessening distractions! I love using them during computer time because it’s so difficult for some of my students not to watch what their friends are doing.

Hopefully these tips have helped you just as much as they helped me! Remember: patience is key!

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