WOW! .. 236 essential strategies for helping kids with ADHD make better behavior choices!






It's the most common mental health disability. Its characteristics are well known:

ADHD symptoms

Nearly every classroom with have at least one learner with ADHD. Somewhere between 7 and 13% of children and youth suffer from it. About 10% of homes have at least one child with the condition.

Working effectively with ADHD kids requires familiarity with, and proficiency in, skills that help our students to better manage the disabling actions that accompany their neurological condition.  It also requires that we remain in the here-and-now as we use cool heads to address the errant actions.  It is essential that we master the approach in which we react in a serene manner much akin to the navigation devices that we use in our cars.  If a mistake is made, we remain tranquil and engage in "Recalculating".  We then attempt a new approach to our destination.

How though do we develop such a calm and restrained approach? I recently read a short, but essential summative article on this mental management topic (Click here).  I know too, from experience, the understanding the condition and being proficient in effective strategies for helping ADHD-effected students does a great deal to sooth the savage mindbeast.

The research literature has identified classroom characteristics that promote success for students with ADD and ADHD.  Predictability, structure, short working periods, a small teacher-to-pupil ratio, individualized instruction, an interesting curriculum, and lots of positive reinforcement are all important to student progress.  Researchers have also identified optimal teacher characteristics.  They include positive academic expectations, personal warmth, patience, humor, consistency, firmness, frequent monitoring of student work, and knowledge of behavior management strategies.

In addition to awareness of the general principles, most of us want direct, what-to-do and how-to-do-it strategies... Lot's of them! On this page, you'll find over 40 essential practices that have been excerpted from my extensive listing of 236. Remember that these ideas that you read here today are merely the surface of a very deep professional pool of effective interventions.


Ready?? OK. Here are 43 or the 236 essential practices for helping kids with ADHD make better behavior choices.


Creating the Appropriate Mindset for Effective Practice


Designing the Learning Environment


Preventing and Calming Overactive Behavior 



Planning Your Lessons


Starting Your Lessons


Making Lessons More Interesting 


Keeping The Student with ADHD On Task 


Giving Directions


Ending Your Lessons


Memory Assistance (Gee, I could use some of this.)


Assessment of Learning




Communicating with the Home


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Or... You could read some ideas for the home first.




The inattentive and active behavior patterns that result from ADHD can bring great distress into the family unit.  The condition often makes life’s daily functioning quite strenuous for both the child and his/her family.  For the child, failure in school and being ostracized by others bring deep hurt.  That hurt is exacerbated when other family members become angered due to their disappointment in, and frustration with, the persistence of the child’s impulsive and wrongful actions to their repeated attempts to help him/her make better choices.

 It is difficult to be a parent, more so when one is the parent of a child with ADHD.  The repeated and persistent interruptions in daily life... (A good deal of introductory material has been hidden. Purchase the full listing in order to obtain it.)


Below, you will find a brief description of behavior change practices

with links to resources that teach how to implement the various strategies

that promote positive behavior change.



Educate the child about the condition. Help your child to better understand the condition and how to work toward more acceptable actions. publishes two books that are especially good for kids with ADHD.

          -The survival guide for kids with ADHD

          -The survival guide for kids with behavior challenges


Utilize “cognitive behavioral thinking” to manage emotions.  Realize that the emotions that develop within us are dependent on how we “size up” a situation.  If we view a student’s behavior as being intentionally irritating or disruptive, negative emotions will unfold, bringing forth caustic and punitive reactions. When we view the child’s actions as being the unfortunate manifestation of a disability that the youngster did not choose to possess, empathy and compassion arise.  Our desire is to now support and assist, resulting in effective parental actions of which we can be proud.


Talk WITH (not “at”) your child.  For younger children, kneel so that you are near their eye level, touch them gently, and speak you direction softly, firmly, and slowly.

-Avoid vague wording like “Be good.” or “Do what you’re supposed to do.”

-Tell them what TO DO in precise wording (“Go over to your game and put the pieces back in the box.”, “Come over to your chair at the table for dinner.”)

-Then ask them “What do you need to do right now?” in order to build self management of behavior.

-Avoid multi-step directions (beyond two steps).  With many steps, some might be forgotten or performed in the wrong order.  Give a simple direction.  When it is accomplished, positively recognize the accomplishment and THEN give a second simple direction.  Continue until the task is finished, then offer summative praise.


Prepare the youngster for upcoming events.  Going to the store?  Driving to a playdate?  Walking to the school?  Before engaging in that event, talk with the youngster about expected behavior.  Avoid telling the child what NOT to do.  Instead, focus on the actions that s/he should display. (Waiting in line with hands to oneself, raising a hand and waiting to be recognized by the teacher, waiting patiently at the street corner and holding the parent’s hand when crossing, remaining quiet after being told that the parent needs more time to finish his/her conversation)  Remember that teaching is more than telling. Engage in role playing of the preferred actions.  Ask your child which behaviors should be demonstrated, helping him/her to “fill in the blanks” in the listing.


Use task analysis to teach complex behaviors. If you ask your child with ADHD to clear the table, load and start the dishwasher, or prepare the school backpack for tomorrow, or do the assigned homework, but the task is not done correctly, break that multi-step task into its simple actions that follow one another in a particular order.  This procedure is known as task analysis.  Home-based examples are found in the Positive Parenting Practices video series.


“Shape” the desired behavior. Build the behavior that you would like to witness via a procedure known as “shaping” (This link leads to a free 20 minute video from the Positive Parenting Practices video series).  The youngster, upon having success at a rough equivalent of the appropriate action, is giving a new goal to attain.  Each progression brings the youngster closer to the final behavior goal. 


Use language that guides and supports. Use phraseology that avoids conflict and solves the problem.  Use this wording to void verbal pitfalls and increase the chances of cooperation.


Give effective directions.  Gain eye contact before giving instructions.  Present instructions/directions one step at a time.  Make certain that the stated direction is followed before stating the next one in the sequence.  Remember to tell the young one what TO DO versus what NOT to do.


Use effective time out procedures. Remove the youngster from the present setting for a time out. Steps for implementing behavior-changing time out practices are found in a chapter of the Positive Parenting Practices video series.


and 28 more!



Now is the time to increase your knowledge & skills in working with youngsters suffering from ADHD.

You can make a major difference in the lives of kids with ADHD.

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Help at Home for Kids with ADHD

The "Total Focus" program is a multi-media package that demonstrates effective, real-life ways to guide ADHD kids in the home environment.


Ship's wheel.

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