Understanding ADHD and Helping Students Succeed


October is ADHD Awareness Month and since nearly all school staff members – not just teachers – interact with students with ADHD, it’s a good time to make sure that they have a foundational understanding of ADHD and are familiar with the strategies and interventions that can be used to help these students be more successful. For many school staff members, disruptions and challenges caused by a child diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – or ADHD – are a common occurrence. Children who have the added challenge of ADHD often fall short academically and socially. The good news is that there are actions you can take to help students with ADHD achieve more success in both academics and behavior. If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to work with a child with an ADHD diagnosis, chances are you will. Understanding the disorder, how it manifests in children, and learning techniques to help children with an ADHD diagnosis will enable you to help them succeed in school.


The keys to success in helping students with ADHD are persistence and patience. When an intervention doesn’t work, it’s time to modify it or try something else. It’s not time to stop providing interventions for the student. Behavioral interventions or behavior modification can be defined as a set of procedures in which antecedents, consequences, and the environment are manipulated to increase positive behaviors and decrease negative behaviors. This includes praise for appropriate behavior, use of rules and routines, removal of distracting materials in the classroom, and removal of privileges for inappropriate behavior.

In addition, using interventions involving organization skills, study skills and interpersonal skills has shown promise for working with children and adolescents with ADHD.

Classroom Management Strategies

Here are a few classroom management strategies that can produce a positive and productive learning environment for all children, including those with ADHD.

  1. Use praise to increase behaviors you want.
  2. Use procedures to establish routines.
  3. Use classroom rules to establish good behavior.
  4. Use effective instructions to help students succeed.
  5. Use response-cost to reduce negative behavior.
  6. Partner with parents.

The supports listed above are important contributors to student success, but many students with ADHD require additional interventions that are more individualized to their needs. The Daily Report Card is one example of an effective intervention that can help improve competencies for elementary students. The combination of the Daily Report Card and other self-management and organizational interventions can be effective in helping adolescents with ADHD develop independence and self-reliance skills.

About Exceptional Child

With the Exceptional Child Online Professional Development System, you can easily deliver evidence-based special education-related training to all staff who support students with exceptionalities. Our 70+ course library includes an ADHD category that offers 4 courses designed to help educators understand the disorder and learn techniques to help children with an ADHD diagnosis.

Each engaging, multimedia-rich course includes:

  • Interventions
  • Actionable ideas
  • Assessments
  • Helpful reference materials
  • Certificate of Completion

Sign up for a demo or call us at 800.434.0154 to learn more!

Want to Know More?

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