Teaching children with ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder, can be challenging especially for a new teacher that just obtained a teaching degree. While your college degree in education may have touched upon the realm of teaching children with special needs, there are elements of teaching children with ADD that can only be experienced when you are finally in your own classroom setting. If you are new to teaching, and if you are teaching children with ADD, it is important to know how to incorporate academic interventions to assist your ADD students in acquiring the best possible education they can.
Academic intervention is a term simply used to describe the process by which an educator, or school administrator, may use specific academic-focused methods to guide a student with special needs down a more concise learning pathway. As a new educator, using academic interventions will serve beneficial to you as you begin to develop your own style of teaching students with special needs.
One of the best ways to encourage learning in Attention Deficit Disorder students is to develop an academic intervention known as peer partnership. In peer partnership, you, as the teacher of the students with special needs, will assign a non-special needs student to act as a peer. This peer-to-peer relationship works best for students with ADD as it will help to develop interpersonal skills with someone their own age but will also encourage compliance in the classroom setting.
In addition to peer partnerships, another academic intervention may include simplifying directions into smaller steps and sequences. If students are expected to finish a rather large project, breaking that project into smaller steps, and minimizing instructions into smaller fragments will allow an ADD student a greater opportunity for successfully completing the project at hand.
Visual guides also encourage attention and focus in ADD students. While many student activities encourage the use of bars, graphs, pictures and charts, for ADD students, these types of visual aides are vitally important. Even for students who are not diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, the use of visual guides and visual aides in the classroom may lead to more success in school especially if those students are more visual learners than auditory learners.
Attention Deficit Disorder is almost as common as ADHD in students across the United States. Unfortunately, many students with ADD are often overlooked in the classroom setting as they typically do not experience the hyperactivity behaviors that ADHD children do. Nonetheless, students with ADD require the same level of education accommodations and using these academic interventions, as a new teacher, you can provide a better learning environment for all students.
Sources: Educating Students with Special Needs, vol. 17: 56-59.