Strategies for ADHD

Dec 6, 2021 by Mary Kate | ADHD

Many students struggle in the classroom due to ADHD. Even though school can be challenging,  it’s important to remember that ADHD does not affect intelligence; it changes how a person processes information. We can help ADHD students find different organizational strategies that work for how their brain functions. These strategies can help both inside and outside of the classroom with inattentiveness, focus and organization.


Handling Distracting Thoughts with Self-Monitoring

ADHD students routinely are not linear thinkers. They may be physically in one place but their brain is thinking of other ideas which can lead to them getting distracted. One of the best ways to help an ADHD student recognize distraction is self monitoring. This can be in the form of a chart or visual cue that helps them be reflective and notice when they are becoming off task. offers a clear breakdown  of self monitoring that can help a student become more aware. Also here are some great behavior chart printables to use at home or share with teachers school!


Keeping Active & Unstructured Time

Hyperactivity may be one of the most visual signs of ADHD. Allowing time for activity is very important by creating time to get energy out. This can be as simple as parking farther away at drop off for a longer walk into the building or by being involved in a sport. Schedules are always helpful for students but planning unstructured time is also very helpful. Knowing that there will be a time in the schedule that they can “do what they want” can help them keep focused rather than trying to figure out how their own activities will fit in a busy schedule. 


Color Coordination & Sometimes Two is Better Than One

One challenge for ADHD students can be executive functioning or the ability to plan and prioritize. This can sometimes manifest as forgetfulness when bringing items to and from school. Creating a simple color coded system can truly help with memory. Student’s can say to themselves, “the red folder always goes home.” Keath Low from also suggests the concept of “two is better than one” when it comes to ADHD students and school supplies. If the item is something simple & inexpensive, purchase one for school and one for home. This way it eliminates the extra process to remember to bring the item back and forth. Many schools also offer digital copies of textbooks which can avoid forgetting books as well. This practice can also help teachers and parents differentiate between an academic need (struggling with a concept) or an executive functioning issue (continuingly forgetting homework).


Students with ADHD can work on these strategies of self monitoring and organization to help improve focus both inside and outside of the classroom.

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