October is ADHD Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness about this neurodevelopmental disorder that affects approximately 5% of children according to the World Health Organization (WHO). ADHD is characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Children with ADHD may have difficulty paying attention, staying on task, and controlling their impulses.
ADHD can be particularly challenging for children in the preschool setting. Preschools are often fast-paced and chaotic environments, which can make it difficult for children with ADHD to focus and thrive. However, there are a number of things that preschool owners, managers, admins, and teachers can do to support children with ADHD.
Moving Forward with ADHD
Here are some tips for supporting children with ADHD in the preschool setting:
- Create a structured environment. Children with ADHD thrive on routine and predictability. Create a daily schedule and stick to it as much as possible.
- Provide clear and concise instructions. Break down tasks into small, manageable steps. Give the child plenty of time to complete each task.
- Offer frequent feedback. Praise the child for their positive behaviors. Redirect them when they engage in negative behaviors.
- Provide opportunities for movement. Children with ADHD often need to move around in order to stay focused. Provide them with opportunities to move throughout the day, such as during recess or during gross motor activities.
- Create a sensory-friendly environment. Children with ADHD are often sensitive to sensory input. Create a classroom environment that is as calm and predictable as possible. Avoid bright lights, loud noises, and strong smells.
- Collaborate with parents. It is important to work with the child’s parents to develop a consistent approach to supporting the child. Communicate regularly with the parents and keep them updated on the child’s progress.
In addition to these general tips, there are a number of specific things that preschool owners, managers, admins, and teachers can do to support children with ADHD:
- Use visual cues. Visual cues can help children with ADHD to stay on task and follow instructions. For example, you can use a poster with pictures of the steps involved in a task to help the child complete the task.
- Provide breaks. Children with ADHD often need to take breaks throughout the day. Give the child breaks to move around, stretch, or go to the bathroom.
- Use positive reinforcement. Praise the child for their positive behaviors. This will help them to feel good about themselves and encourage them to continue the positive behaviors.
- Be patient and understanding. It is important to be patient and understanding with children with ADHD. Remember that they are not trying to be difficult. They are simply struggling with a neurodevelopmental disorder.
- Educate yourself and others about ADHD. The more people who understand ADHD, the better equipped we will be to support children with ADHD.
- Support research on ADHD. The more we know about ADHD, the better equipped we will be to develop effective treatments and support strategies.
By following these tips, preschool owners, managers, admins, and teachers can create a supportive environment for children with ADHD. This will help children with ADHD to reach their full potential and thrive in the preschool setting.
ADHD Awareness Month is a time to reflect on the progress that has been made in supporting children with ADHD. However, there is still much work to be done. We need to continue to raise awareness about ADHD and advocate for children with ADHD and their families. We also need to continue to develop new and innovative ways to support children with ADHD in the preschool setting and beyond.
By taking these steps, we can create a better future for children with ADHD.