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Teaching a Child with ADHD: 7 Tips for Better Study Habits

Medically reviewed by Ruben Macapinlac, MD, DPPS · Pediatrics · Philippine Pediatric Society

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Jun 23, 2021

Teaching a Child with ADHD: 7 Tips for Better Study Habits

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), formerly known as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), often makes it difficult for kids to study their lessons. What are the ways to effectively teach a child with ADD? Find out here. 

Remember: they are not trying to make things difficult for you

Children with ADHD often exhibit problems with impulse control, staying attentive, and being too active. So, don’t be surprised if they answer your question with another unrelated question, draw when they’re supposed to solve math problems, or run around after you told them to sit down. 

Keep in mind that they are not doing these things to make you angry: these are the symptoms of their condition, which you need to accommodate and work around with. 

The Early Signs of ADHD in Children

Thankfully, parents can better teach their child with ADD through the following strategies: 

Learn how ADHD affects your child

Like how two kids of the same age are different, two children diagnosed with ADHD may also exhibit different symptoms. One child may have more problems with inattention, while the other needs to slow down. 

Before coming up with strategies to help your child do well in school, ask this first: how does ADHD affect him or her? Visiting their doctor would greatly help you answer this question. 

Create a study routine 

Reports say that children with ADHD need a definite structure, a routine. Consider designating a space where they could learn in peace with little to no distractions and set a schedule to study or do their homework. 

Having a structure helps make the environment or activity more predictable, which in turn sets their expectations. 

Please note that if you’re just about to start a study routine – or any routine for that matter – they might resist. Be patient until they get used to it. 

Always break up tasks

Big goals tend to overwhelm a child with ADD, so always break up goals into bite-size tasks when you teach them.  

For instance, you can make a checklist of what they should work on at a particular time. To make it easier for them, assign colors for their subjects and apply the color scheme to their checklist, notebooks, and folders. 

To teach a child with ADD, focus on one thing at a time. 

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Praise their effort and provide feedback swiftly

With or without ADHD, children benefit from receiving praises as they make them feel appreciated and keep them motivated. 

Likewise, remember to give feedback immediately after the fact. This helps them associate the activity or behavior with the feedback. 

To put this into perspective, imagine telling your child that they shouldn’t draw on every blank paper they currently have hours after they did it. They might end up forgetting what they did and misunderstand why you’re scolding them. 

Give them “move around” breaks

Even kids without ADHD find it difficult to sit for hours on end, so incorporate “move around” breaks every few minutes or so. Asking them to collect what they need, organize their bag, or even get the snacks may be enough to break the monotony of studying. 

Also, some studies show that physical activity may help improve cognitive performance in children with inattention. 

Accommodate how your child learns

Some of the things that distract us are the things that make kids with ADHD focus better. So, accommodate them if they tend to fidget or consistently squeeze a ball. Some even adamantly want some background noise because it helps them concentrate. 

It will also be a good idea to understand how your child learns. Children can be visual, auditory, or tactile learners. Determining their learning style may help them study more effectively. 

3 Tips to Nurture Your Child’s Curiosity and Build Their Love for Learning

Build a support system

Finally, don’t hesitate to get others involved in your child’s education. 

For one, you must work closely with their doctor so you can track their progress and intervene when necessary. 

Be in constant contact with their teachers, too! Ask them for updates on how your child is doing and tips on the strategies they feel are working. 

Joining support groups for parents of children with ADHD might also be helpful as you can learn from others’ experiences. 

Learn more about Growth and Development in School Age Children here


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Ruben Macapinlac, MD, DPPS

Pediatrics · Philippine Pediatric Society

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Jun 23, 2021

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