Having ADHD can make a classroom experience difficult for any child, especially when it comes to listening. Luckily, there are some steps that parents, kids, and teachers can take to help students with ADHD improve their listening skills and overall school experience. Here are our top tips to improve listening skills in kids with ADHD:
Have Students Clap Back a Pattern
When you're going to introduce a new activity or give directions, start by clapping a pattern to your students. Then, have them clap it back to you. Repeat the pattern until every student is clapping the pattern back. This will ensure that every student is tuned in to what you're saying and that they hear the directions you're about to deliver. When students with ADHD are able to clap back a pattern properly, it shows they are listening to the teacher.
Play Games that Require Listening
Boost listening skills by playing games that require listening in the classroom. Some great examples of games that require students with ADHD to listen are Simon Says, Musical Chairs, and Mother May I?.
Ask Questions Throughout Tasks
As your child with ADHD is completing tasks in the classroom or at home, ask them questions about what they’re doing. You can ask them about the current step they're completing, or what they plan to tackle next. By having them talk to you about tasks or explain what they're doing, you can ensure they're focused on the task at hand and that they listened to their instructions. This can not only encourage them to listen more at the start but also ensure that they stay focused throughout.
Encourage Note-Taking When Instructions are Being Given
If a child has a difficult time listening, encourage them to take notes when being given instructions, particularly if they have questions. This will allow them to continue listening without interrupting the instructions, and it will give them the opportunity to get the question out of their mind temporarily. Then, give all students the opportunity to ask the questions they've recorded later, once all the instructions have been provided.
Did you know that after completing Brain Balance (a drug-free, whole child program) parents saw a 33% improvement, on average, in their child’s ability to focus*? If your child is experiencing inappropriate levels of inattention, hyperactivity or impulsive behavior, we invite you to consider the Brain Balance Program. Watch our video to learn more about the signs and symptoms of ADHD in children!
*Results based on a parent evaluation form filled out pre and post-program where the parents ranked a set of statements about their child, on a scale from 0-10 (0=not observed/does not apply and 10=frequently observed). Statement: Child has attention difficulties – 33% improvement for a median student (2015-2018 data for 5,886 students where parents reported this issue).