27 Classroom Accommodations That Target Common ADHD Challenges

The best IEP is the one with accommodations designed for your child’s very specific symptoms. Here are some of our favorite solutions for addressing common ADHD challenges at school.

School supplies and accommodations for a student with ADHD

Students with ADHD often benefit from special accommodations. When teachers and parents spend thoughtful time pinpointing problematic ADHD symptoms and work together to devise classroom accommodations, they create effective solutions to those problems.

Following is a list of common academic challenges faced by students with ADHD, and the accommodations that can help bring success at school.

Classroom Setup Accommodations for ADHD

If your child: Is easily distracted by classroom activity or by activity visible through door or windows
Try: Seating the student front and center, away from distractions

If your child: Acts out in class to gain negative attention
Try: Seating the student near a good role model

If your child: Is unaware of personal space; reaches across desks to talk to or touch other students
Try: Increasing distance between desks

[Quiz: How Well Do You Know Special-Ed Law?]

Assignment Accommodations for ADHD

If your child: Is unable to complete work within given time
Try: Allowing extra time to complete assigned work

If your child: Does well at the beginning of an assignment but quality of work decreases toward the end
Try: Breaking long assignments into smaller parts; shorten assignments or work periods

If your child: Has difficulty following instructions
Try: Pairing written instructions with oral instructions

Distractibility Accommodations for ADHD

If your child: Is unable to keep up during classroom discussions and/or take notes effectively
Try: Providing peer assistance in note taking and asking the student questions to encourage participation in discussions

If your child: Complains that lessons are “boring”
Try: Seeking to involve student in lesson presentation

If your child: Is easily distracted
Try: Cuing your student to stay on task with a private signal

If your child: Turns in work with careless mistakes
Try: Scheduling five-minute period to check over work before turning in homework or tests

[Free Guide: 40 Best Accommodations for Children with ADHD or LD]

Behavior Accommodations for ADHD

If your child: Is constantly engaging in attention-getting behavior
Try: Ignoring minor inappropriate behavior

If your child: Fails to “see the point” of a lesson or activity
Try: Increasing immediacy of rewards and consequences

If your child: Blurts out answers or interrupts others
Try: Acknowledging correct answers only when hand is raised and student is called upon

If your child: Needs positive reinforcement
Try: Sending daily/weekly progress reports home

If your child: Needs long-term help with improving behavior
Try: Setting up behavior contract

Organization/Planning Accommodations for ADHD

If your child: Can’t keep track of papers
Try: Recommending binders with dividers and folders

If your child: Has trouble remembering homework assignments
Try: Providing student with assignment book; supervise writing down of assignments

If your child: Loses books
Try: Allowing the student to keep set of books at home

If your child: Is restlessness and needs to move around
Try: Allowing the student to run errands or to stand at times while working

If your child: Has difficulty focusing for long periods of time
Try: Providing short breaks between assignments

Social Accommodations for ADHD

If your child: Is unclear as to appropriate social behaviors
Try: Setting up social-behavior goals with student and implement a reward program

If your child: Does not work well with others
Try: Encouraging cooperative learning tasks

If your child: Is not respected by peers
Try: Assigning special responsibilities to the student in presence of peer group

If your child: Has low self-confidence
Try: Complimenting positive behavior and work; give student opportunity to act in leadership role

If your child: Appears lonely or withdrawn
Try: Encouraging social interactions with classmates; plan teacher-directed group activities

If your child: Is easily frustrated
Try: Acknowledging appropriate behavior and good work frequently

If your child: Is easily angered
Try: Encouraging the student to walk away from angering situations; spend time talking to student

ADHD Accommodations: Next Steps

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