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Q: “How Can I Encourage Kindness Toward My Students with ADHD?”

November 17, 2023

Q: “As a teacher, how can I encourage my students to be supportive of their fellow classmates with ADHD? An inclusive classroom environment is my goal.”

Students with ADHD thrive in a positive classroom environment, and peer interactions and relationships play a big role in shaping that learning experience.

Teaching your students to be kind and supportive of their fellow classmates, including their peers with ADHD and learning differences, starts with you, the educator. A positive classroom environment is one where praise and encouragement are liberally doled out to students — and where commands, demands, and reprimands are used sparingly.

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Constantly correcting or negatively commenting on a student’s challenging ADHD-related behaviors only opens the door for other students to do the same. So be sure to set a tone of collegiality and respect in the classroom. Create an environment where all of your students feel valued and appreciated for their contributions. Saturate your class with positive comments and don’t hold back on praising students for their efforts to collaborate and work well with each other. Say to your students, “I’m so proud of the way that you helped out your friend.”

Teaching Kindness to Students: Next Steps

 The content for this article was derived from the ADDitude webinar titled “ADHD Understanding and Services in School Settings: An Evolution in Education” [Video Replay & Podcast #461] with Gregory A. Fabiano, which was broadcast on June 28, 2023.

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