When a good friend told me his 13-year-old daughter had been diagnosed with ADHD, I began giving him some tips since I knew they were homeschooling. I realized it had been a while since I shared teaching and tutoring techniques specifically for students with ADHD.
Goals for students with ADHD
Very short-term goals. I mean what you may think are ridiculously short-term goals. My 6 1/2-year-old in-home tutoring student in Mililani, Hawaii gets two almonds every time he finishes a page of work. If you need to make them even shorter, do it.
Short-term goals can become rewards for long-term goals
Say, for example, you're using gold stars on a calendar and your student or child earns five gold stars. Maybe he/she gets that video game or sleepover.
Never use in a row for a reward
I went to a convenience store late one night. It had a sign in the window that stated open 24 hours. As I got there, the store owner was closing up.
I said, "What are you doing?"
He said, "I'm closing up and going home."
I said, "But your sign says you're open 24 hours."
He looked at me funny and said, "Not in a row." 😁
Never ever use "in a row." Let's say you tell your student or child,
"If you get five A's in a row, we'll go to blah."
Your student or child gets four A's and a B. No blah, big reward. By the way, this isn't a good example of using very short-term goals with short-term rewards.
Now, all the work your student or child has put in for those four A's becomes meaningless. Whereas if you'd have just said,
"When you get five A's, you can blah."
Your student or child wants that reward as quickly as possible. "In a row" is not only detrimental, it's meaningless.
Keep rewards and consequences separate
Those of us with ADHD are going to act out. I still do, though I've learned to control myself through recognition of symptoms and martial arts training to where 99% of my behaviors are masked.
If your student or child has earned a reward, never take it away as a consequence. Otherwise, the student eventually just gives up knowing that anything he/she earns will eventually be taken away. I also tend to believe rewards removed are often due to frustration from the parent or teacher, not as part of a behavior management program.
In conclusion to Goals Rewards and Consequences for ADHD Students
Use very short-term goals.
Built up short-term goals can become rewards for long-term goals.
Never use in a row for rewards.
Keep rewards and consequences separate.
Following these guidelines will give you a good foundation for a rewards and consequences program for your ADHD child.
Mr. Kirkham has two openings for in-home tutoring students on Oahu
Text or call 808.224.1870
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