15 Tips for Teaching an ADHD Child or a Puppy

The following teaching tips point the way to success at home or in class. Patience, consistency, and time are your secret tools to engage your challenging students.

1. Understand the attention challenge that an ADHD child or a puppy has and provide a structured, predictable environment.

2. Establish a relationship/friendship with the student’s parents or the puppy’s owners. Learn what teaching/training techniques the parents have successfully or unsuccessfully practiced.

3. Be aware of sensory triggers that may effect a child’s or puppy’s behavior. These triggers may include the fluorescent lights, noises, clothing, shoes, odors, or foods.

4. Use a consistent reminder prompt with your students to signal the “stay focussed” message. Children and puppies respond well to sign language.

5. Lessons need to have rules that are clearly understood by students/puppies and caregivers. Explain any consequences for breaking the rules. Provide printouts of these rules and consequences for everyone involved.

6. Encourage caregivers to be very watchful for the slightest improvement in their child’s/puppy’s behavior. Never skimp on praise, and reward each repetition of desired skills.

7. Give clear, brief directions in simple, concrete terms. Each step needs to be mastered before introducing the next step.

8. Lessons should be divided into short sessions with short breaks in between.

9. Remember that many households have two working parents. “Home exercises” should simply practice what has already been taught.

10. Occasionally bring in an older student or more mature, obedient dog to support you with one-on-one modeling behavior.

11. A teacher/trainer’s physical presence is vital so be sure to stay close by your student. Giving an ADHD child an encouraging rub on the back, a high-five, or a

pat on puppy’s head is powerful.

12. Linking an event or activity with special clothing or accessory is very effective to improved attention and performance. For example, a change of clothes (like a school uniform), a special hat, or a specific doggy vest or collar form strong associations that it is time for a specific activity.

13. Fidget or chewable objects for the ADHD child or puppy during break times can significantly improve their ability to remain on task.

14. Provide a walk area or free play area where a student or puppy can “air out” their brains for a few minutes.

15. Provide a “chill” quiet area for the ADHD child or puppy to go when they have a sensory overload challenge.

“No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship.” — Dr. James P. Comer


June 2013


On the 2nd Saturday, June 8, our non-profit held its monthly meeting at the Coffee Regional Medical Center in Conference Room 2. The meeting began at 11:00 AM. At the meeting, FATE members discussed possible events to do during the summer. One agreed to arrange a date to go bowling, to go to Just Jump for Kids, and to see a movie at the local theatre. Jeannie Bolstridge brought up the idea of Sensory Friendly Learning (SFL) Inc. buying a Wal-Mart $40 tablet to see how well the members do with it before possibly buying one for each member. Jeannie also told members about a site called Wright’s Law which has all the special education laws for the state of Georgia.

Three days after the non-profit meeting, Brittany Ammons sent a e-mail newsletter explaining what had been discussed at the meeting for those who could not attend.

In the end of June, Jeannie created a step-by-step guide on how to go to the Google Play (the Android app store) and purchase/download an app. This guide was designed for those who are not as familiar with downloading Android apps onto their phone or tablet.

Jeannie continued to work with the non-profit bank representative, the CPA supporting the non-profit, and our non-profit bookkeeper about needed receipts during the past 5 months of 2013.