How can I help teach my child with ADHD at home?

Raising a child with ADHD can be a challenge – it takes patience, creativity and consistency. Positive reinforcement and your positive attitude towards activities is the most effective tool you have to use – so use it.

Other helpful activities that are easy to implement at home include:

  • Chewing gum for oral motor input
  • Jumping on a trampoline, swinging, playing tug-of-war or climbing (anything physical)
  • Heavy lifting, pushing, pulling – carrying groceries, moving furniture, pushing heavy boxes
  • Weighted blankets or vests (implemented under supervision of a Occupation Therapist with ADHD experience).

I must stress that the above are great for sensory integration. They will help your child gain the input their bodies / muscles need which in return can lead to a calmer child.

When it comes to doing homework or home school work a few accommodations will need to be made in-order for you to help your child cope and these would include:

  • Allowing for extra time (to complete an assignment, assessment or test);
  • Ensure that the curriculum work you are doing with your child is tailored to the child and that it addresses the difficulties he/she has;
  • Use a variety of teaching methods that include verbal and visual learning prompts and resources;
  • Use positive reinforcement and reward systems during your lessons or activities;
  • Use technology whenever you can;
  • Allow sensory break;
  • Allow movement breaks;
  • Change the physical environment in which you are working to one with very little distraction; and lastly
  • You will need to get organized! Plan your lessons with your child. Know what you want to teach and make sure you do not get frustrated or irritated with your child during the lesson.

For you as the parent it is very important to know that your child’s basic needs will need to be met first – in order for the child to accomplish their academic goals.

It will not help you to fight your child’s need to move, or argue when they act impulsively. As your child’s teacher at home you have to adapt your lessons.

Children with ADHD can thrive in a home school environment if you can not find a good specialist school, remedial school for children with ADHD, remedial preschool or early intervention centre.

The home can allow for flexibility and freedom to individualize the child’s schedule – it is just important for mom to understand the ADHD diagnosis.

Ilse Kilian-Ross

Ilse Kilian-Ross is the owner of Amazing K, a registered ECD and Partial Care Facility in Johannesburg. Amazing K is a private adhd school, autism school and therapy centre for children from age 2 - 6 years where learners receive the best of both the schooling and therapy world. The autism school offers Individualized Education Programs, Speech- and Augmentive Alternative Communication (AAC) therapy as well as a full and adapted Academic Curriculum.