Useful Accommodations Which May Assist the ADHD Child

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Accommodations come in three distinct categories; instructional, environmental, and assessment. The following lists are examples of interventions that may impact the success of the ADHD student. In planning a program, remember to try and catch the student doing well or behaving well. Ignore minor inappropriate behaviours. Remember, behaviour is the result of a need not being met.

  • High structure, quiet classroom
  • Avoid open concept classrooms
  • Direct instruction
  • Reduced/uncluttered format
  • Spatially-cued formats
  • Repetition of information
  • Rewording rephrasing of information
  • Pair written instructions with oral - Use multi-sensory approach
  • Extra time for processing
  • Non-verbal signals, gesture cues
  • Word retrieval prompts
  • Reinforcement incentives
  • Frequent breaks
  • Physical activities
  • Organizational coaching
  • Time management aids
  • Tracking sheets
  • Visual cueing/scheduling
  • Mind maps
  • Graphic organizers
  • Use concrete hands-on materials
  • Manipulatives
  • Dramatize information
  • Ability grouping
  • Buddy/peer tutoring
  • Duplicated notes
  • Note-taking assistance
  • Chunking of assignments
  • Reduced homework/course load
  • Computer options with voice to text software
  • Use humour not sarcasm
  • Augmentative and alternative systems (FM) communication
  • Alternative work space
  • Strategic seating/preferential seating
  • Proximity to instructor
  • Reduction in audio/visual stimuli
  • Study carrel
  • Minimizing background noise
  • Quiet setting
  • Use of headphones
  • Special lighting
  • Supervise transition times with care and cueing 5-10 minutes before changes
  • Assistive devices
Adaptive Equipment such as:
  • squeeze balls
  • play dough
  • chewing gum
  • sour candies
  • straws
  • tennis balls on all chair and desk legs
  • FM system
  • tape recorder
  • computer


  • Extended time limits
  • Alternative settings, a quiet room free of distractions
  • Space tests and assignments to prevent feelings of being overwhelmed
  • Reduction in the number of tasks used to assess a concept or skill
  • Extra time for processing the questions as well as the answers
  • Prompts to refocus
  • Reduced/uncluttered format
  • Reading of test or exam to student
  • Assistive devices or adaptive equipment such as calculators, reference charts, spell checkers, computers, voice to text software
  • Verbatim scribing
  • Alternative test formats including audiotapes, oral, computer, type of exam or test
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