Students with ADHD often have difficulties with finding the right techniques to help them succeed in learning, especially when attempting to complete demanding and/or boring tasks. They are generally able to “hyperfocus” on the tasks that they find interesting, but procrastination is common with tedious tasks. The key for ADHD students to study effectively is to make their learning interesting. Although it may be challenging to find the techniques that work the best, there are a number of different strategies that you can experiment with.
Study in Short Increments
First, it is essential that you find the child’s peak study time. For example, some children do better at maintaining their focus immediately after arriving home from school, while other kids may need to wind down when they get home and do their best studying after dinner. Whichever time frame works the best for your child, make sure to break the time up into short increments. Students tend to learn more when they aren’t trying to absorb and retain large chunks of information.
Use Study Tools
One of the most effective learning techniques is the use of studying tools. Downloadable and/or online flip cards are excellent learning tools for ADHD students. Flip cards allow the student to associate what they are doing with their homework with a visual cue. Studies have shown that movement can stimulate parts of the frontal lobe region as well as attention control, using flip cards for learning can be beneficial for activating this stimulation.
Practice Makes Perfect
Whether studying for daily school assignments or an upcoming test, repetition can help to alleviate anxiety, which may allow the student to focus more on the task at hand. Set up practice tests that include the information they are currently learning, but limit the new questions to only 1-2 at a time. Each time a “practice” test is given, including the previous questions as well as an additional question or two. The more the questions are answered, the greater the chance is of the student retaining the information.
Encourage the student to ask questions about any information they are struggling with. Parents and teachers should develop a plan so that work at home and school coincide.
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