As is the case with parent training, the techniques used to manage ADHD in the classroom have been used for some time and are considered effective. Many teachers who have had training in classroom management are quite expert in developing and implementing programs for students with ADHD. However, because the majority of children with ADHD are not enrolled in special education services, their teachers will most often be regular education teachers who may know little about ADHD or behavior modification and will need assistance in learning and implementing the necessary programs.
There are many widely available handbooks, texts and training programs that teach classroom behavior management skills to teachers. Most of these programs are designed for regular or special education classroom teachers who also receive training and guidance from school support staff or outside consultants. Parents of children with ADHD should work closely with the teacher to support efforts in implementing classroom programs.
Managing teenagers with ADHD in school is different from managing children with ADHD. Teenagers need to be more involved in goal planning and implementation of interventions than do children. For example, teachers expect teenagers to be more responsible for belongings and assignments. They may expect students to write assignments in weekly planners rather than receive a daily report card. Organizational strategies and study skills, therefore, need to be taught to the adolescent with ADHD. Parent involvement with the school, however, is as important at the middle and high school levels as it is in elementary school. Parents will often work with guidance counselors rather than individual teachers so that the guidance counselor can coordinate intervention among the teachers.
The following list includes typical classroom behavioral management procedures. They are arranged in order from mildest and least restrictive to more intensive and most restrictive procedures. Some of these programs may be included in 504 plans or Individualized Educational Programs for children with ADHD. Typically, an intervention is individualized and consists of several components based on the child’s needs, classroom resources, and the teacher’s skills and preferences.