Parents and educators of children with ADHD have long been seeking non-pharmaceutical options for improving behavior, focus, impulse control, and learning. The London University of Exeter recently conducted a meta-analysis of 28 studies on school-based interventions for students with ADHD. Researchers evaluated randomized controlled trials in order to discover any consistent themes of improvement or classroom approaches for bettering academic outcomes and behaviors in these students. The results were published in the October issue of Review of Education and described several exciting findings.
Children with ADHD share common struggles yet are as unique and complex as winter snowflakes. Obviously, intervention options must be tailored to fit the individual child, thus such a systematic review of study results can only offer generalized training options for educators. Once such mediation that showed promising results was the use of a consistent ‘report card’ to chart, encourage, and reward positive behaviors, which then circulated between educator and parent daily. The research also revealed that learning and practicing self-regulation and impulse control through such a process was correlated with academic improvement. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, scientists conceded that this improvement appeared contingent upon a one-on-one delivery method.
Most teacher-training programs focus on whole-classroom approaches, however, with just a few minutes of one-on-one time per day educators could help facilitate academic and behavioral improvements in students with ADHD. For parents who are motivated to find non-pharmaceutical treatments, this research study offers hope for a relatively simple intervention. Even without a school-sanctioned or administratively directed program, parents and teachers can work together to create a daily ‘report card’ for the ADHD child, and find hope for improved outcomes.