ADHD Coping Skills For Students (13 Strategies)


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Page last updated: 21/09/2022

ADHD Coping Skills For Students (13 Strategies)

In this article, we will look at coping skills for students with ADHD and how teachers can help them reach their full potential in the classroom by helping them cope using a few strategies.

ADHD Coping Skills For Students

Here are 13 strategies for helping students with ADHD cope:

  • Avoid direct commands
  • Keep feedback neutral
  • Break tasks into steps
  • Teach social skills
  • Keep classroom rules simple
  • Give positive feedback often
  • Don’t get sucked into power struggles 
  • Teach at the student’s academic level
  • Provide daily incentives and rewards
  • Develop a strong relationship with the student
  • Allow students opportunities for movement 
  • Consider the use of technology in the classroom
  • Praise and rewards work better than punishments

Avoid direct commands 

Because the frontal lobe helps us think flexibly and manage stress, it’s no surprise that children with ADHD have trouble complying with straightforward commands like “Take off your hat immediately.” 

Instead, when instructors are more courteous, such as when they say, “Please take your hat off,” children feel respected and are less likely to resist and rebel. This is true for the majority of individuals. It’s only natural that we all want to be treated nicely.

Keep feedback neutral 

Keep your feedback neutral instead of negative or humiliating. “Julie, I’ve told you to quit talking three times, please stay quiet. Stop insulting me and your classmates,” keep feedback impartial instead of humiliating the child. Instead say, “If I have to remind you again, you’ll have to switch seats.”

Once you recognise that ADHD is a neurological condition and that the kid is most likely trying their best, your viewpoint will shift and you will be lot more understanding.

Break tasks into steps

Give them one assignment at a time and split tasks up into little digestible parts so that each part is understood. Reduce the length of activities or work periods to match the child’s attention span. Allow for additional time. “How are you doing on your task?” might be a useful phrase from 

teachers. Have you completed question number one?

You did an excellent job. Let’s cross that off the list right now…” Supervise time management, which may be a persistent issue for kids with ADHD. Give a timetable, establish reasonable goals for a high level of work, and respond favourably. “Wow, that’s fantastic. What was your score on this? Is that the finest job you’ve ever done? Is it possible to say yes or no? Is that anything you believe you should redo?”

The child recognises when he might perform better and, over time, learns to keep track of his own performance.

ADHD Coping Skills For Students (13 Strategies)

Teach social skills

Healthy and proper social interaction may need to be taught to these students individually. “How are you doing today? … How do you suppose he felt after that? …… When you stated such and such, I appreciated the way you looked him in the eyes… “Do you recall when you…?” Make a favourable remark on the actions of other kids.

The importance of modelling cannot be overstated. Collaboration with a partner may be extremely advantageous for social behaviour as well as other types of learning. These are kids that need to learn how to engage with others. The child with ADHD may be aware that he is not socially acceptable or that he does not fit in.

Teach children to appreciate and accept compliments. They need to be taught that if their teacher or mother compliments them on anything they did well, they should take the comment and say thank you.

Body posture must be taught to them. “This is what you’re expressing with your body when you slump.” It takes only a minute to say, “Okay class, I want you to turn to your neighbour, look him in the eye, smile, and say…”Good morning!”

Keep classroom rules simple

Just keep a few rules, such as no aggression and no threats. Extensive lists of rules may make kids with ADHD feel suffocated, nervous, and targeted. 

While teachers must enforce a few extra rules at school due to the nature of their work, long lists of rules may make kids with ADHD feel trapped, anxious, and targeted. For one thing, because of their memory problems, children with ADHD typically have trouble remembering large lists of rules.

Give positive feedback often

Teachers and parents may be tempted to say “Don’t do that” frequently. These might be children that get a lot of negative feedback for their actions. Say something like, “It was fantastic the way you did it,” and praise excellent conduct right away. Praise is heard by everybody.

Ignore small mistakes as much as possible. Only acknowledge them when their hand is raised in the right manner. Work out a series of visual signals, such as him constantly raising his hand as if to answer, allowing him to walk about a little, but only approaching him if he also lifts an index finger or a fist to indicate to you that he feels he has the correct answer.

By utilising a pre-agreed pointed or wiggling finger, or by putting on your unique serious teacher face, you may be able to comment nonverbally on his conduct and keep him on track. You won’t come off as demanding all the time this way.

Don’t get sucked into power struggles 

Don’t push the agenda too much if the student refuses to do the task. Teachers find themselves in such situations with ADHD students. 

Instead of attempting to force a student to do work, a teacher’s time and effort would be better spent understanding why the student is reluctant to do so. This requires patience as well as putting your agenda aside. When children know that you care, they will tell you their truth.

Teach at the student’s academic level

Teachers might assume that many students with ADHD have inconsistent learning because 50–70% of children with ADHD have learning disabilities. 

Start pupils a few grade levels below their age to gain an idea of their academic ability level. This assists them in gaining confidence and being calm. If the work is too difficult, pupils will refuse to continue or grumble about boredom.

Provide daily incentives and rewards

With a reward or incentive in mind, children with ADHD are more likely to cope. They also have a tendency to live in the now. As a result, working toward daily incentives is significantly more effective than working toward a weekly reward.

Teachers who reward students in the morning and afternoon have the most success with them. That way, even if they have a horrible day, they will remain positive and driven to change their ways.

Develop a strong relationship with the student

For children with ADHD, school success is strongly tied to teacher-student connection. How does one go about building a relationship like this? 

Solicit a specific classroom role from the student, engage the student’s passions, and demonstrate knowledge of the student’s requirements, such as extended movement breaks.

Allow students opportunities for movement 

This is a significant one. One of the things that teachers (and anybody else for that matter) sometimes find difficult to comprehend is the great frustration and stress that children with ADHD feel when they are unable to release pent-up energy. Active pupils, benefit from things like:

  • standing
  • chewing gum
  • using a wiggle seat 
  • helping in the classroom 
  • running errands for the teacher
  • using weighted vests, stuffed animals, or lap blankets
  • completing a puzzle at the back of the room once they finish classwork

Teachers that provide children with ADHD with space and permission to move, such as standing at the back of the classroom, chewing gum, running errands, or anything else, have the most success with them because they don’t discount their great need to move.

Consider the use of technology in the classroom

Because kids with ADHD frequently have learning disabilities, especially in writing, they may become frustrated when working on written assignments. 

As a result, eliminating the physical act of writing tends to lessen irritation and outbursts. Because students may simply dictate written tasks, dictation applications are great.

Praise and rewards work better than punishments

According to research, punishing children with ADHD (giving them punishment, keeping them in for recess) does not help their conduct. Instead, sincere compliments such as “Good handwriting” are more effective with ADHD children. 

“I can see you focused and slowed considerably while typing that sentence” and the accompanying incentive “If you type four sentences in six minutes, you can get more time on the computer.”


In this article, we will look at coping skills for students with ADHD and how teachers can help them reach their full potential in the classroom by helping them cope using a few strategies.

If you are looking for an alternative, review The Best Strains for ADHD and Anxiety.

Frequently Asked Questions: ADHD Coping Skills For Students

What do students with ADHD struggle with?

ADHD can make it difficult for a kid to concentrate, pay attention, listen, or put out effort in schooling. ADHD can also cause a student to be fidgety, restless, speak excessively, or disturb the classroom. Children with ADHD may also have learning difficulties, causing them to struggle in school.

What are coping skills for ADHD?

Regular mindfulness meditation can allow you to better resist distractions, reduce impulsivity, enhance your attention, and give you greater control over your emotions, in addition to lowering stress. Because hyperactive symptoms can make meditation difficult for some individuals with ADHD, it’s a good idea to start gradually.

Why is math hard for ADHD?

Because their memory isn’t very good and filtering out external stimuli is difficult for students with ADHD, they commonly struggle with math. One of the numerous executive tasks is memory, which is where information is stored for later use.


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