Children with ADHD can be challenging to work with if you don’t understand the way their minds work. Their impulsivity and attention span can make it challenging to get work done without constant external structure. Because of a history of encountering both external and internal difficulties in focus and work production, they can sometimes have a short fuse when faced with criticism. There is a co-morbid condition that many people with ADHD have called Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria, which makes minor criticisms or corrections have an outsized effect emotionally.
However, with a few insights into how kids with ADHD process information and focus on work, it doesn’t have to be such a struggle! Here are some helpful ADHD tutoring tips:
Provide clear instructions of what you want the child to do before starting a session, such as breaking tasks down into small parts. It can be difficult for children with ADHD to think multiple steps ahead. It is much more manageable for them to work with a checklist and only focus on whatever small task they are currently working on.
If the child seems distracted or has trouble focusing, changing their physical environment to a new room or even a new seat can kickstart their focus.
Try not to get frustrated when the child doesn’t listen or loses focus. Provide gentle redirection, and they will refocus. Remember – they’re not doing it on purpose. They are every bit as mystified by their inability to focus on simple tasks as you are!
Make sure you’re listening to them and not just lecturing or judging. Many times, ADHD kids will instinctively know what makes their brain work better. Let them try it, even if it seems strange to you. Maybe they want to work on a clipboard while walking around. Great. Maybe they want to listen to a playlist on their earbuds while they work. Great. Make the objective for the work to be done well – not to be done well in the way that neurotypical adults deem the proper way to do it.
In short, these ADHD tutoring tips boil down to treat ADHD learners as individuals and figure out what works best for their particular brain. That will garner the best results by far!