Teaching & Motivating Youth with ADHD/ADD and Learning Disabilities

Building a rapport with a learning-disabled, frustrated child or teen starts with tailoring your teaching style to their special needs. ADHD/ADD is a neurological disorder that impacts individuals in four main categories:

  1. Attention: youth with ADHD/ADD have trouble paying attention and focusing on tasks, especially if they are not interested in them.
  2. Impulsivity: lack of self-control can cause impulsive behaviors and choices.
  3. Hyperactivity: many kids and teens with ADHD are “bouncy,” hyperactive, restless and on-the-go.
  4. Boredom: Unless a task is very stimulating, those with ADHD/ADD often get bored easily.

ARISE lessons are specifically designed for people with difficulty reading, writing and staying focused. All guided group discussions and activities are structured, interactive, to-the-point and easy-to-understand.  Forget about boredom and acting out! These dynamic lessons will get even the most reserved students involved and learning about anger management, conflict resolution, job search and interview skills, health and hygiene, nutrition and exercise and much more.

Here are 15 ways to teach and connect with these unique, and often very bright, youth.

  1. Give simple one-step directions.
  2. Give both verbal and written instructions.
  3. Maintain eye contact when giving instructions.
  4. Help learners get started on an activity, then encourage them to complete the activity on their own.
  5. When you ask a question, allow extra time for them to answer.
  6. Encourage rather than criticize.
  7. Focus on and praise positive behavior. Catch them doing good things and compliment them immediately. Praise and reinforce ALL good behavior: not interrupting, being patient, remaining seated, cooperating, participating in group activities.
  8. Be sure they understand that it’s OK to ask for help.
  9. Have them sit up front with their backs to other learners.
  10. Let them doodle; it helps them focus and pay attention during quiet activities.
  11. Hyperactive behaviors when seated are a release for the hyperactivity. It’s best to ignore them unless they are distracting for other learners.
  12. Use activities that allow and encourage movement. Let the ADHD learner distribute and collect materials or erase the board.
  13. If reading aloud frustrates them, do not ask them to do it.
  14. Move closer to them when you want to get their attention.
  15. Tell them what you want them to do, not just what NOT to do.

For more information, or to order from the ARISE curricula, please visit 
 or call 1 (888) 680-6100.