Behavioral Strategies, Supports, & Accommodations

By Sandra Rief

Much more on this topic can be found in Sandra’s books, published by Jossey-Bass/Wiley:  How to Reach & Teach Children with ADD/ADHD, The ADD/ADHD Book of Lists, The ADD/ADHD Checklist, and How to Reach & Teach All Children in the Inclusive Classroom.

  • Establish a calm, structured, predictable environment.
  • Increase the monitoring and supervision.
  • Use discreet private signals with the student.
  • Place student near tolerant peers/good role models.
  • Increase distance between desks.
  • Plan student seating (bus, classroom, cafeteria, auditorium).
  • Provide student with cooling off/calming options when agitated and losing control  (time and space to regroup).
  • Provide student with 2-seat option (e.g., may work at either desk A or desk B) and different options for doing work in various locations/positions.
  • Allow student to move to another location in room to regain control (student-initiated and teacher-initiated).
  • Increase communication and collaboration efforts with parents/guardians.
  • Increase phone contact, email or other communication with parents –  sharing positive observations as well as concerns.
  • Establish a home/school communication form or system for behavior monitoring. See examples of daily reports on this website.
  • Buddy up with another teacher  (e.g., time away in other classroom as possible consequence for misbehavior ).
  • Identify what will be most motivating as incentives/rewards for the student (e.g.,  special responsibility, certain activity, something tangible like prize from class treasure chest).
  • Watch for student behaving appropriately (‘catch ’em being good), and increase positive attention at those times. Praise and positively reinforce.
  • Significantly increase positive attention and encouragement (providing at least 3 times more positives for every time you need to give corrective feedback to the student).
  • Let student know you are interested in helping him or her.  Dialogue with student about his/her needs.
  • Give student choices (a or b), and involve in own problem-solving.
  • Problem-solve with other school personnel about behavioral issues and how to help (e.g., counselor, school psychologist, administrators, other teachers).
  • Discuss inappropriate behavior with student in private.
  • Write a contract for student behavior  with target goal(s) and specific reward student will earn if her or she achieves the goal(s) as per the contract.
  • Use role play with student to practice appropriate behavior.
  • Look for small steps to success and positively reinforce those steps.
  • Increase 1:1 opportunities to meet with student, take an interest in his or her life, and build a positive relationship.
  • Significantly increase positive  interactions, frequency of encouragement and feedback.
  • Assign a peer buddy or perhaps arrange for an older student (cross-age tutor) who will be supportive and tolerant.
  • Teach, practice, and reinforce appropriate social skills, coping strategies, and problem-solving.

©2012. Sandra Rief