Strategies mental, neurobiological condition defined by the presence

for Teaching Students with ADHD


We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now














literature review focuses on the different strategies teachers can implement in
the elementary classroom in order to improve ADHD students’ behavioral,
academic, and organizational skills. ADHD students tend to have behavioral
problems in the classroom due to the inability to stay attentive throughout the
entire school day. The literature review focuses on two behavioral strategies: creating
positive teacher-student relationships and implementing the token economy
system in the classroom. Not only do ADHD students struggle with behavior skills,
but ADHD students also struggle with academic skills as well. The literature
review discusses three academic strategies: task instructional modifications,
peer-parent tutoring, and physical activity. Lastly, ADHD students lack
organization skills which effects their overall academic experience. The
literature review talks about the HOPS intervention and how HOPS has been
proven to help ADHD students improve on organizational skills. Teachers are
able to provide successful learning environments for ADHD students if they find
strategies that will benefit all three skills.










for Teaching Students with ADHD

“Attention deficit hyperactivity
disorder (ADHD) is a develop- mental, neurobiological condition defined by the
presence of severe and pervasive symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity and
impulsivity American Psychiatric Association (APA) 1994” (Daley &
Birchwood, 2009, p. 455). Individuals who have
ADHD usually begin to display symptoms during early childhood, especially
during the primary school years. There are three different types of ADHD. The
first type is predominately inattentive ADHD. Predominately inattentive ADHD is
when individuals struggle with paying attention rather than
hyperactivity-impulsivity. Individuals who are diagnosed with this type of ADHD
usually have a difficult time sitting through lectures and keeping track of
items or schedule. The second type is predominately hyperactive-impulsive ADHD.

Predominately hyperactive-impulsive ADHD is when an individual only displays
hyperactivity or impulsivity. Individuals who are diagnosed with this type of
ADHD are the ones who have a hard time sitting or standing still, constantly
squirm and talk excessively. The third and last type is called combination
ADHD. Combination ADHD is when an individual is both inattentive and
hyper-impulsive. An individual who is diagnosed with this type of ADHD
experiences all three of the behaviors: inattentive, hyperactivity, and
impulsivity. While some individuals are able to manage ADHD symptoms, others struggle
with ADHD for a lifetime.

            The purpose of the paper is to
explore strategies teachers can use when having a child who has ADHD in the
classroom. There are many different types of strategies that could impact the ADHD
student in their academic environment; however, the influence for the ADHD
student all depends on if the teacher will make the effort to come up with
strategies for the student to manage their behavioral, academics, and
organizational skills.

Behavioral Strategies

            Many ADHD elementary
school children have the tendency to display inappropriate behaviors during the
eight-hour school day. The inappropriate behaviors, such as interrupting the
teacher during instructional time, distracting peers, or not following
directions can really test a teacher’s patience. Instead of giving up on the
ADHD student who is exhibiting disruptive behaviors, the teacher should seek
out alternative instruction methods that will keep the student engaged and
motivated throughout the day. One strategy that has been proven effective in
improving the behavior of a student with ADHD, is establishing a positive teacher-student
relationship with open communication. According to Geng (2012), “If the teacher has a positive attitude towards their students, and
they believe and act as if all their students will be successful, then students
will live up to those expectations” (Geng, 2011, p.17). The importance of
understanding that every student learns and behaves differently is crucial for
teachers. The more teachers take the time to get to know the ADHD student, the
more teachers learn the ADHD student’s behavioral strengths and weaknesses.

Knowing the ADHD student’s strength and weaknesses, will allow the teacher to
research different strategies to implement in the classroom such as a token
economy system. A token economy system is a positive reinforcement technique in
which teachers or parents award tokens or points when a child is exhibiting a
desirable behavior (Coelho et al., 2015). If the child is exhibiting a non-desirable
behavior, the teacher or parents will take away tokens or points which reduces
the child’s chance at receiving a reward (Coelho et al., 2015). The token
economy system has been implemented by many teachers’ due to the fact that students
enjoy receiving rewards. When students know they are working towards a reward, they
are more likely to be motivated and engaged during classroom instruction. If a teacher
forms a positive teacher-student relationship with the ADHD student, he or she
will be able to easily determine what kind of reward the ADHD student will strive
to work toward. Coelho et al. (2015), conducted a research study in order to
prove whether or not the token economy system is beneficial for students who
struggle with ADHD. Coelho et al. (2015) reveals, “This study showed that using
TE technique as part of CBT effectively diminished externalizing (impulsivity,
hyperactivity, disrupting routine, low frustration tolerance, and antisocial
behavior) and internalizing behaviors (poor self-care and disorganization)” (Coelho
et al., 2015, p.7). The positive result of the study managed by Coelho et al.

(2015), adds to the previous evidence-based strategies teachers can use when
dealing with a student with ADHD. Therefore, forming a positive-student
relationship plus the implementation of the token economy system, could be
effective strategies for teachers to incorporate in the classroom when dealing
with an ADHD student.

Academic Strategies

            During school, an ADHD
student encounters numerous challenges which can affect his or her academic
success. For instance, due to ADHD students’ low attention spans and
hyperactivity, many miss important information that was taught during the
school day. ADHD students struggle, which hinders their ability to perform at their
maximum potential on assignments and/or assessments. If a teacher begins to
notice one of their ADHD students is struggling on a specific topic or
assignment, he or she should attempt to improve the students learning
experience by implementing task instructional modifications. For instance, “Manipulations
include reducing task length, dividing tasks into sub-units, giving explicit
instructions, and modifying the delivery or modality of instruction according
to the pupil’s learning style (Raggi & Chronis 2006)” (Daley &
Birchwood, 2009, p. 460). During class, many ADHD students have the tendency to
take a longer time completing tasks due to the length of the assignment and the
short amount of class time. Therefore, teachers should equip their assignments
by reducing the number of problems or extending the time given to work on the
specific assignment. Another strategy that could help an ADHD student improve
on his or her academic performance is peer tutoring. According to Daley &
Birchwood (2009), “Peer tutoring is a strategy whereby an ADHD individual is
paired with a peer tutor to work on a certain academic activity, with the peer
tutor providing one-on-one instruction and assistance at the ADHD individual’s
own pace” (Daley & Birchwood, 2009, p. 460). Peer tutoring could be
extremely beneficial for ADHD students because of the one-on-one time
instruction. Many ADHD students tend to get distracted in a whole group setting
which causes their academic performance to decrease overtime. One-on-one
instruction allows the ADHD student to focus on the task without distracting
stimuli surrounding them. A good time to incorporate peer tutoring would be before
or after school because both students would not miss important classroom
instruction time during the school day. One last strategy that would be
effective on ADHD students’ academic performance would be incorporating
physical activity during classroom instruction. Many students with ADHD tend to
have a hard time sitting in class for long periods of time. For example, ADHD
students become restless, which causes them to completely miss the important
information the teacher is discussing during class instruction. Many ADHD
students need physical activity during class instruction that will keep them
preoccupied yet attentive as well. If a teacher begins to notice his or her
ADHD student fidgeting or getting up from their seats during class instruction,
he or she should find effective ways implement physical activity in the classroom
for the ADHD student. Kercood & Banda (2012), conducted a research study to
investigate whether or not fine motor or gross motor physical activities improve
both ADHD non-ADHD students’ academic performance (Kercood & Banda, 2012). The
Kercood & Banda (2012) study allowed their four elementary student
participants to sit on a bouncy ball (gross motor) or doodle (fine motor) during
the listening comprehension task (Kercood & Banda, 2012). Both tactics involve
the use of physical activity. The results of the Kercood & Banda (2012)
study reveals, each of the four elementary student participants spent less time
completing the tasks and had made significant progress in performance accuracy
during both gross and fine motor activities compared to the control condition
(Kercood & Banda, 2012). With this in mind, teachers should look into implementing
physical activities in the classroom for their ADHD students. Not only will
teacher see improvement on academic performance, but teachers will also see improvement
on time management on assignments as well.

Organizational Strategies

One major skill ADHD students lack is the ability to stay
organized. For example, ADHD students have the tendency to not complete or
misplace their school work which effects their academic learning experience. Instead
of ignoring the ADHD student’s disorganization skills, teachers should look up
evidence-based interventions that have been proven to help ADHD students systemize
their school work and materials. One intervention that has proven to be
effective in helping ADHD students with their organizational skills is HOPS. HOPS
is an intervention that focuses on teaching students different strategies on
materials organization, planning skills, impairment due to organizational
skills problems, and homework management and completion behaviors (Langberg,
Becker, Epstein, Vaughn, & Girio-Herrera, 2013). Landberg et al. (2013), conducted
a research study using HOPS intervention on a group of middle school students
with ADHD who struggled with organizational skills in school. During the HOPS
intervention, ADHD students were specifically taught how to organize their
binders and backpacks, record homework assignments and tests in an agenda book,
break down assignments into small manageable pieces, and plan out a schedule
for after school events (Landberg et al., 2013). The results of the Landberg et
al. (2013) study, indicate that the participants benefited from the binder
organization system implemented by HOPS intervention (Landberg et al., 2013). For
the purpose of improving ADHD students’ organizational skills, HOPS
intervention should be highly considered by teachers to implement in the
classroom. Organizational skills are crucial for ADHD students to learn and execute
in order to be successful both in school and in the real-world.


The implementation of effective research proven strategies is
extremely beneficial in helping ADHD students strive to reach their maximum
potential in the elementary classroom environment. A strength of the research
on ADHD is the significant amount of evidence based strategies that have been
created to impact ADHD students behavioral, academic, and organizational skills
in the classroom. However, not every ADHD student will respond the same way for
all evidence-based strategies. Due to the fact that every ADHD child is
different, teachers must attempt various strategies in the classroom on order
to see which ones work best for the ADHD student. The weaknesses in research on
ADHD allows researchers to find future areas of research on ADHD. For instance,
one future area of study researchers can further look into is how teachers can
best manage their stress levels when dealing with the ADHD students in the
classroom (Geng, 2011). Teachers have the tendency to become overwhelmed with
emotion when having to deal with ADHD students which can affect a research
study’s outcomes. Therefore, researchers should investigate how to implement strategies
for teachers that will help reduce stress when dealing with an ADHD student in
the classroom. One other future area of research on ADHD to consider looking
further into is examining data taken from larger sample populations (Coelho et
al. 2015). Many past studies on ADHD have been conducted on a small sample of
the ADHD population (Coelho et al., 2016, Landberg et al., 2015, & Kercood
& Banda, 2012). Weak populations fail to include a variety of diversity
between age groups, region, race, and ethnicity which can hinder outcomes of a
study. Overall, research on ADHD has thoroughly impacted ADHD students in the
classroom setting and will continue to impact ADHD students in the future.


Teachers need to understand ADHD students’ struggle with behavioral,
academic, and organizational skills on a daily basis. Developing a teacher-student
relationship with ADHD students and enforcing a token economy system in the classroom
could potentially encourage ADHD students to engage in activities or lessons
throughout the school day. Knowing the ADHD student allows the teacher to find ways
to help the ADHD student and rewards to give the ADHD student when they are
behaving in an appropriate manner. Reducing the work load, extending due dates,
and implementing peer tutoring and physical activity could help the ADHD
student pay attention and understand the academic content more efficiently.

Lastly, supporting positive organizational habits through the use of HOPS will
allow ADHD students to stay on track with assignments, homework, and
assessments. Instead of giving up on the ADHD student who is displaying
disruptive behaviors, teachers should take their actions as a challenge to
become a more effective teacher.




American Psychiatric Association (1994) Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), 4th edn. American
Psychiatric Association, Washington, DC, USA.

Coelho, L. F., Barbosa, D. L.

F., Rizzutti, S., Muszkat, M., Bueno, O. F. A., & Miranda, M. C. (2015).

Use of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Token Economy to Alleviate
Dysfunctional Behavior in Children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Frontiers
in Psychiatry, 6,167.

Daley, D., & Birchwood, J.

(2010). ADHD and academic performance: why does ADHD impact on academic
performance and what can be done to support ADHD children in the classroom?.

Child: Care, Health & Development, 36(4), 455-464.


Geng, G. (2011). Investigation
of Teachers’ Verbal and Non-Verbal Strategies for Managing Attention Deficit
Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Students’ Behaviours within a Classroom Environment.

Australian Journal Of Teacher Education, 36(7), 17-30.

Kercood, S., & Banda, D. R. (2012). The effects of
added physical activity on performance during a listening comprehension task
for students with and without attention problems. International Journal
Of Applied Educational Studies, (1), 19.

Langberg, J. M., Becker, S. P.,
Epstein, J. N., Vaughn, A. J., & Girio-Herrera, E. (2013). Predictors of
response and mechanisms of change in an organizational skills intervention for
students with ADHD. Journal Of Child And Family Studies, 22(7),
1000-1012. doi:10.1007/s10826-012-9662-5

Raggi, V.

L. & Chronis, A. M. (2006) Interventions to address the academic impairment
of children and adolescents with ADHD. Clinical Child and Family Psychology
Review, 9, 85–111.



I'm Morris!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out