The history of teaching can be traced all the way back to 561 BC where Confucius imparted his knowledgewhich is still valid and used in the world today. The job of a teacher can feel very unappreciated, yet the impact that one individual can make on a person can change a life for the negative or positive. This statement could hold more weight when you realize that 7.1 million students in the United States alone require some form of special education services, like students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). For this reason, teachers should be made aware of the helpful techniques to assist in maintaining appropriate and helpful control of their classroom. This will allow them the most success in making the biggest impact on all students present. Here are three experts and their word of advice on how teachers can support their student and the student’s family for success in the school year and beyond. 

  • Utilize and take advantage of the classroom accommodations offered 
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Dr. Russell A. Barkley has been deeply involved in the research of psychology since 1973 and is considered an expert on ADHD as he has devoted his career to its study and the study of other related childhood deficiencies. Dr. Barkley deeply believes that the best way to provide clear and concise instruction to a child in a learning environment is by ensuring that you are utilizing the tools offered through classroom accommodations. This aids in allowing the teacher to remove everyday interruptions and provide a child with a learning disability, like ADHD, the key to educational success. Common classroom accommodations include, but are not limited to, providing assignments tailored to the child, extra time on test, and positive reinforcement and feedback. Classroom accommodations are meant to help encourage impulse controls and allow for proper management of a student with specific learning disabilities. Dr. Barkley offers more free advice on ADHD on his website, there he discusses principles on raising a child with ADHD, more information on the Functional Impairment Scale for ADHD and so much more.

  • Stay organized and prioritize tasks
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After 20 years of working as clinical faculty at Yale Medical School, Dr. Thomas E Brown recently opened his own clinic in 2017 that allows him to offer his expert assessment and treatment for children suffering from ADHD and other similar learning handicaps. Among his advice is to ensure all parties who work with children who have been diagnosed understand the importance of maintaining impeccable organization skills and understand how to appropriately prioritize tasks. ADHD and other diagnosis like it, impair neural circuits that typically operates memory, focus and action. As an instructor of a child with ADHD and/or ASD it is of the utmost importance that they possess the ability to help and enforce organization on that student, as well as the student’s family. This helps to reduce chaos and increase the potential for educational success. For more information about Dr. Brown and the services that he offers at his clinic, visit the Brown ADHD Clinic’s website

  • Encourage Special Interests
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Not just a fantastic way to reward great behavior, encouraging special interests allows a teacher the chance to connect in a distinct way. As an educator, they can get more invested in their student by taking the time to learn about and encourage their special interests. As an autism specialist, educator, tutor, and mentor, Richard Semmens has discovered the importance of focusing on more than just education. With over 15 years of experience working with children diagnosed with ASD and ADHD, he stress flexibility and giving the child time and space to discover their interests and desires. Learning and understanding the student further assists in allowing the teacher and family the opportunity to find out what drives the child, building their confidence and reducing their anxieties.

Becoming a teacher needs to be more than just qualifications. Passion and intent hold such importance for an educator help to instill focus on the future. For a child with a learning disability, it can be difficult to see where their future may lie. Yet, this can be overcome with right understanding and assistance from the right people. 

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