Working with Students with Special Needs: Part III – 13 Major Diagnostic Signs of ADHD/ADD

May 1st, 2009 by TC Bear

If a child exhibits eight (8) or more of these signs, it is likely that attention disorder is related to the observed behaviors.

1. Often moves his or her feet or hands, or squirms in seat.
2. Has a real need to get up and move.
3. Anything seems to distract this student.
4. Has a very hard time waiting for his or her turn.
5. Wants to give answers or comments immediately without thinking them through.
6. Has trouble doing what others tell him or her to do.
7. Has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities.
8. Often goes to other tasks even before the first one is finished.
9. Talks a lot.
10. Interrupts others or takes things from other children.
11. Doesn’t seem to hear you or pay attention when you talk to him or her.
12. Often loses things needed for school.
13. Often engages in dangerous activities without considering the consequences.

Modifying the Classroom Environment

The following are some key ways to modify the classroom environment for ADHD/ADD students. (See next post for a full checklist.)

  • Learn to realize what this student can and should be expected to do.
  • Change teaching strategies during the lesson.
  • Create contracts with specific behaviors.
  • Reward often and be able to change rewards every few weeks.
  • Give this person a place to work apart from others.
  • Allow this person some latitude in his or her responses.
  • Use specific consequences.
  • Give as much structure and consistency as possible.

2 Responses to “Working with Students with Special Needs: Part III – 13 Major Diagnostic Signs of ADHD/ADD”

  1. richie says:

    Great list. I might add one more. I have ADHD students self-monitor by writing tally marks for increments of paying attention. For example, one tally mark for five minutes. I reward a certain number of tally marks. Works very well. Knowing learner developmental characteristics is also very important. Check out High School Learners
    Pre-Teen Learners
    Middle School Learners
    Group Discussion Techniques
    for these characteristics.

  2. tracy hite says:

    i have been using tally marks and lots of rewards, but i have anywhere from 1-5 kids with ADHD or ADD in my classroom and i am really having trouble getting these kids to respect me and each other. There is lots of name calling and stomping and just blatten non-compliance. tried to give jobs to students and it may help for 5 minutes but not enough to keep them ingaged. they disrupt so much that i am having trouble keeping order to do the lesson.
    Please help.

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