One of the common problems encountered by parents of children with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is difficulty getting them to follow instructions. Most Children with ADD have problems with staying focused, and the traditional approach of getting kids to follow directions doesn’t always work.
6 Tips To Help A Child With ADD Follow Instructions
1. Gain Their Full Attention First
Multitasking is tough for most people in this world especially for children who struggle to pay attention to even one thing at a time. Before attempting to give direction and instructions to your child, first ensure all potential distractions are off or put away. These activities may include watching TV, listening to music, or even reading a book. Gaining their full attention may include switching off the television or asking them stop whatever they are currently doing.
2. Be Specific
Avoid giving complex instructions to your child with ADD. Keeping all instructions and directions simple will prevent your child from becoming confused, overwhelmed and possibly ignoring you.
If there isn’t a way to avoid a complex series of instruction, attempt to break it down into small and easy-to-follow steps. Once the first step is complete, give instruction for the next and continue down this path until the entire project or desired action is complete. It’s amazing how much easier homework can be for all children with special needs when utilizing this approach.
4. Experiment Until Finding The Perfect Method For Your Child
There are several ways people digest information. Some people are visual learners, which means images, diagrams or if they’re old enough even written word are best. Other people learn best when the task is first demonstrated by someone else. The idea of “Watch, Do, Teach.” Broken down this simply means this type of learner first watches someone do the task; next they do the task themselves, and finally they teach someone else how to do the task. Another form of learning or digesting information is audible. These people learn and understand best when described the task verbally. Experiment with different ways and find out what works best for your child.
5. Make it fun
It’s easier to make kids follow instructions if you make it fun for them. For instance, if you want them to do a chore, you can make it more interesting by turning it into a game. After all, most children are still after the element of fun.
6. Positive Reinforcement and Attention
Positive Reinforcement and attention are the most effective rewards for children. They help children make a connection between what they are learning and what they have accomplished. They also reinforce good behaviors on the spot along with boosting self-esteem in children with special needs.
There are plenty of alternatives and options available for children with ADD. Inclusion classrooms, self-contained classrooms, private and charter schools along with supplemental learning through special education tutoring. Whatever option you choose, make sure to educate yourself as much as humanly possible. The more knowledge you have regarding the world of special education, the better equipped you will be to advocate the best education possible for your child with special needs.