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Academic Accommodations and Interventions

By — Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall
Updated on Jul 20, 2010

For children with ADHD, it is important to accomodate differences in their attentional style, which is improved by highlighting global features and relevant task detail. The table below provides a brief summary of instructional practices for students with ADHD in specific academic areas.

Academic Areas Accommodations and Interventions
Listening comprehension
  1. Reduce the length, descriptiveness, repetitiveness
  2. Use visual models
  3. Provide visual response cards or dry-erase boards
  4. Allow active responses such as holding objects or doodling
  5. Provide the big picture, metaphors, and models before the details
  6. Require whole-class or choral responding
Speaking
  1. Teach verbal manners, turn taking, and specific times to talk
  2. Allow self-talking during problem solving
  3. Ask for reexplanations
  4. Ask students to draw pictures to provide a framework for talking (or writing) in logical sequence
  5. Use creative verbal assignments
Reading
  1. Phonological awareness training (ADHD + reading disabilities)
  2. Peer-assisted groups
  3. Stack of word cards (self-administered)
  4. Blue overlays
  5. Pictures at the end of stories
Reading Comprehension
  1. Frequent breaks
  2. Red overlays or colored highlighting at the end of passages
  3. Interesting stories that relate to student interests
  4. Story maps that include characters, setting, conflicts, major events, and outcomes
  5. Self-monitoring of attention
  6. Encourage self-talking and other active responses
  7. Silent reading of self-selected books
Spelling
  1. Coloring specific parts of spelling words that are irregular (nonvoiced) after initial exposure to regular print
  2. Use the "deaf alphabet" (finger spelling), magnetic letters, and so on
  3. Choice of order of spelling activities
  4. Peer practice sessions with reversible roles (tutor/tutee)
Math Calculations
  1. Highlight changes of operation
  2. Require active responses (speak answer before writing, hand calculators, or computer practice)
  3. Use peer tutoring or games
  4. Add color or movement within math calculation practice sessions
  5. Provide music during practice
Math Problem Solving
  1. Emphasize big ideas
  2. Verbally engage and question the child about his or her use of strategies and reasoning
  3. Allow working in pairs or small groups
  4. Allow standing while working out problems
Handwriting
  1. Reduce the quantity of written work
  2. Allow printing, as it is faster and easier
  3. Lower standards of acceptable work for some assignments and keep samples of quality work in a portfolio (as models)
  4. Add color stimulation to those parts of letters that children fail to close ("kity fog pads") and provide specific practice with difficult letters
  5. Require self-monitoring and self-evaluation and the use of mirrors
  6. Teach children as early as preschool how to keyboard or use a shorthand note system when computers are unavailable
Composition
  1. Use computers instead of handwriting
  2. Have children write stories from a series of self-generated pictures rather than from group discussion
  3. Ask for poetry or work done in segments rather than one long report
Self-Acceptance and Avoidance of Failure
  1. Teach nonverbal methods to ask for help (e.g., a help magnet)
  2. Teach verbal methods to ask for permission and the use of apologies
  3. Provide high-status jobs, responsibilities, and cooperative learning experiences
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