16 Practical Ideas for students with ADD

Hello my friends!

Thank you very much for your kind emails!!! After twenty years in education (with students who experience dyslexia, reading, spelling, handwriting difficulties, ADD) and counselling, I know that teachers and other educators are VERY BUSY people with many responsibilities. Many teachers emphasized the need for practical ideas easy to implement in the classroom and not overly time consuming.

These practical ideas are for students who have attention disorder difficulties that interfere with their ability to learn:

Discuss the issues involved with your colleagues and ensure that in general you have got their support for the approach to ADD that you are adopting.

Seat the student away from windows and put the student right in front of your desk.

Develop an two-way agreement in the form of a Contract. A two-way agreement specifies precisely how a student will behave or what task the student will accomplish. It also specifies what support a teacher or administrator will provide in order to assist the student in meeting his/her goals. Ask the student to select a reinforcer that he or she would like to earn if the criterion of the agreement is met. Once the student meets the criterion immediately provide the reinforcer. Each week this Contract need to be reviewed. It may be necessary to modify the requirements made in the Contract.

Some students with ADD may need school accommodations. Some accommodations include extended time on tests, shortened assignments, note taking. Provide worksheets with fewer questions and problems. Break long assignments into smaller chunks and do not grade for neatness.

Use timers or verbal cues to show how much time the student has remaining for an activity.

Students with ADD can learn better by listening. You can provide help for students by reading aloud to them or letting them work with partners or in a group.

Keep your instructions simple.

Do everything possible to avoid background noise while working on language activities. Do everything possible to avoid interrupting. Listen intently and show that you have heard and understood. Encourage your student to complete the task and give lots of praise.

Allow student frequent physical breaks to move around, to hand out or collect materials, run errands to the office, erase the board, etc.

Always begin the question with a student’s name. This focuses the student’s attention before you ask the question and keeps him or her “with you”.

Ask both open-ended and specific types of questions.

When a student makes a correct statement students say “Good job.” If the answer is incorrect, someone says “Good try! or Nice try! or You can do it!”

Use a token system to make sure everyone takes a turn answering your questions and no one monopolizes the conversation.

Students with ADD often have poor short-term memories. Strategies can be taught to improve short-term memory and increase concentration span for example, self-discovery techniques or memory aid systems for remembering specific items.

Teach students to organize their materials. Have students color code by choosing one color per subject. Or suggest that students buy Post It flags in each subject color. Graphic organizers can help all students take a step-by-step approach to solving problems and memorizing information. These organizers can be used to solve math problems, arrange historical events in chronological order or complete any sequence of important facts.

It is very helpful if you can give the attention deficit student some responsibilities which that student will manage to achieve. It helps the child improve self-esteem and gain greater understanding of the sequences of cause and effect.

ADD is unrelated to intelligence.

When these strategies are applied more regularly in the classroom, they will benefit not only students with ADD but the entire learning environment.

Love always,

Vassiliki xxxx

The positive side of negative emotions

Hello my friends!

Emotions can influence behavior, but they have other implications, as well. One important function of emotion is to provide information (Schwarz & Clore, 1983). Emotion regulation is driven by epistemic motives when people are motivated to experience emotions to attain certain information. Emotions provide information about oneself and about the world. People are motivated to attain two different types of information about themselves. First, given the need for positive self-regard, people seek out information that enhances their self-images (Rogers, 1951). Second, given the need for consistency and predictability, people seek out information that verifies their self-images (Seann, 1987). When emotional experiences reflect negatively on themselves, people may be motivated to avoid these experiences.

Emotional acceptance refers to the willingness and ability to accept and experience the negative emotion, to acknowledge and absorb it. Acceptance offers several advantages. By accepting your emotions, you are accepting the truth of your situation.

We’re living in a “cultural age that’s decidedly pro-positivity,” MacLellan writes, which makes the “pressure to suppress or camouflage negative feelings” all the more pronounced. In the West (especially in the U.S.) “happiness and positivity are seen as virtues,” MacLellan notes. Anger, fear, resentment, frustration, and anxiety are emotional states that many people experience regularly but try to avoid. And this is understandable—they are designed to make us uncomfortable. These negative emotional states can create extra stress in your body and your mind, which is uncomfortable but also can lead to health issues if the stress becomes chronic or overwhelming. Managing negative emotions means not allowing them to overrun us; we can keep them under control without denying that we are feeling them. A study on emotional acceptance, from the University of California, Berkeley, found that putting pressure on yourself to feel upbeat when you are actually feeling downtrodden or dejected can take a psychological toll. The latest UC Berkeley study reaffirms the benefits of this explanatory style. The researchers found that accepting negative emotions or thoughts in the moment helps individuals avoid catastrophizing or dwelling on temporary negative mental experiences. Research has suggested that acceptance  whether it is embracing our good and bad attributes, or accepting the way we look – is associated with better psychological well-being.

Prof. Ford and team sought to determine how acceptance of negative emotions – such as sadness, disappointment, and anger – might influence psychological health. Accepting negative emotions without judging or trying to change them helps people cope more effectively with various types of stress. Negative emotions serve a purpose and have a positive intention. As Ford explains, “acceptance involves not trying to change how we are feeling, but staying in touch with your feelings and taking them for what they are.”

Iris Mauss, an associate professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley and director of the Emotion and Emotion Regulation Lab said: “We found that people who habitually accept their negative emotions experience fewer negative emotions, which adds up to better psychological health. Maybe if you have an accepting attitude toward negative emotions, you’re not giving them as much attention. And perhaps, if you’re constantly judging your emotions, the negativity can pile up.”
The researchers found that subjects who reported trying to avoid negative emotions in response to bad experiences were more likely to have symptoms of mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression, 6 months later, compared with those who embraced their negative emotions.

Dr. Ronald Siegel, another psychologist with Harvard Medical School, he discusses proven strategies for cultivating mindfulness and self compassion. He share this insight:
“When we are hurting, when we notice that we’ve had a disappointment, we’ve had a failure, something hasn’t turned out well, which [it] inevitably will. Inevitably, we’ll have these moment of defeat, that we can just be nice to ourselves and give ourselves a hug, feel the feeling of vulnerability, feel the feeling of failure, and trust that that’s okay too, that it’s just part of the cycle and we don’t have to identify with that or believe in it. Because as it turns out, none of us are so great and none of us are so terrible.”

There are several strategies that have been explored and recommended as a means to accepting and processing negative emotions:

Observe your emotions. Remember, you are not your emotions, you are the watcher of your emotions (Tolle, 2010).

Label the emotion you are experiencing.

Acceptance increases your own self-compassion and tolerance for frustration (by Practicing Mindfulness). Feeling with non-judgment and non reaction is healing and a necessary part of the self-growth process.

Re-appraise and re-frame.

Choose your action.

Thank you for reading.

Love always,

Vassiliki xxxx