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Hiring an ADHD friendly tutor for your child.

Every parent I’ve worked with has shown a tremendous value in their child’s education. One of the most frequent concerns I get from parents is fear that their child may fail to achieve their academic potential.

In the world of education, a one-size-fits-all approach often falls short when addressing the needs of students with ADHD. For these students, the challenges posed by a traditional classroom setting can hinder their learning potential and overall progress. This is where the significance of hiring a private tutor who understands ADHD becomes evident. By tailoring tuition to the individual requirements of ADHD students, a specialist tutor can provide a productive learning environment that can work with your child’s brain, as opposed to against it. Here are some accommodations a private tutor can implement to create an effective learning experience for students with ADHD.

  1. Breaks: It’s always advisable for tutors to schedule short breaks during lessons to prevent mental fatigue. This doesn’t necessarily have to involve movement. It could entail a short game, which helps the child recharge. Some ADHDers prefer to stand up and move around for a few minutes before resuming the lesson. You could even go a step further and encourage the child to spend some time outdoors to freshen up.

  2. Time of day: There are optimum times in the day when ADHDers are more focussed. This varies from child to child. Sometimes it’s after the child’s eaten. Some children like to stay on after school for homework club, when their mind is still in study mode. Another factor to consider when it comes to timing is the child’s medication routine.

  3. Length of Lesson: Most tutors schedule their lessons in increments of 1 hour. My best advice to parents would be to negotiate a shorter lesson time of 30 - 45 minutes, if the tutor is willing. This is all the more helpful for those subjects the child finds boring. It’s also important for tutors to be willing to adapt their teaching approach based on the child's mood, energy levels, and attention span during each session. This may involve cutting a lesson short on a particular day or postponing a lesson for the following week.

  4. Lesson structure: ADHDers need to be able to psyche themselves up for a negative experience. As any parent will know, asking your child to participate in a negative experience without prior warning isn’t likely to end well… The same sense of warning applies to the structure of the lesson. Tutors should provide ADHDers with a clear and concise schedule of how the lesson will run. This helps the student know what's expected and reduces the risk of shifts in frustration during the session.

  5. Interest-Based Learning: (not internet) I can’t emphasise the difference this can make to a child’s learning. The best kind of teacher is one who’s able to explain abstract information in a way that incorporates the child’s interests. This isn’t always easy, but the key to keeping an ADHDer focussed is triggering their interest-based nervous system!

  6. Face to face learning. One of the most effective ways of accommodating a child with ADHD is ensuring that lessons are taught in-person. ADHDers are generally more responsive to the energy of face-to-face lessons, given their heightened sensory nature. Being physically present for lessons can enhance the ADHDers sense of responsibility and commitment to the learning process. Accountability is one of the most valuable means of generating motivation on a regular basis.

Private tutors play a pivotal role in educating students in the ADHD community. By experimenting with some of these strategies, tutors can create an environment that works for the child - not in spite of their ADHD, but in harmony with it. It is within these reasonable adjustments that the seeds of lasting academic success are sown, ultimately creating a path to achievement beyond the confines of the classroom.


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