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K-12 CAMS for Students with ADHD

 Individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), any subtype, may experience any of the limitations discussed below.  The degree of limitation will vary among individuals. Not all students with ADHD will need CAMS (compensations accommodations, modifications, strategies) to perform in school and many others may only need a few CAMS. Regardless, each student’s case should be evaluated on an individual basis with an Independent Needs Assessment Protocol done by an Educational Strategist & Consultant or a Special Educational Needs Consultant (SEN).  The following is a sample of possible CAMS for students with ADHD.  Other CAMS solutions may exist so check with an Educational Strategist & Consultant or Special Educational Needs Consultant (SEN) for more information.          



1. What limitations the student with ADHD is experiencing?

2. How these limitations affect the student and the student's school performance?

3. What specific activities or tasks are problematic as a result of these limitations?

4. What CAMS are available to

reduce or eliminate these problems?

5. Are all possible resources being used to determine possible CAMS?

6. Has the student with ADHD been consulted regarding possible CAMS?  Does the student know how s/he learns best?

7. Once CAMS are in place, would it be useful to talk with the student and/or team to evaluate the effectiveness of the CAMS and to determine whether additional or different CAMS are needed?

8. Do parents and school staff need training regarding ADHD?

9.  Schedule time to meet with the Educational Strategist & Consultant or Special Educational Needs Consultant (SEN) to determine how to communicate needed CAMS with the school team and how to document.




Students with ADHD may have difficulty communicating with peers or staff. For students with ADHD, poor communication may be the result of underdeveloped social skills, lack of experience/exposure in the school environment, shyness, intimidation, behavior disorders, or low self-esteem.

To help facilitate communication, provide advance notice of topics to be discussed in class
To reduce or eliminate anxiety, provide advance notice of date of activities when student is required to speak
Allow student to provide written response in lieu of verbal response
To reduce or eliminate the feeling of intimidation, allow student to have a friend or classmate speak with him

Organizational Skills: A student with ADHD may have difficulty getting organized or staying organized.

Help student reduce and learn how to reduce clutter in his/her work area
Utilize a professional organizer to teach the student
Use color-code system to label or identify materials
Use calendars (paper, electronic, or both) to remind of deadlines, activities, projects, and other upcoming tasks
Build organization skills by attending time management workshops, like those offered by Franklin Covey
Build organization skills through online self-education sites
Build non-stressful "catch up" time into school week or school day

Memory: A student with ADHD could have memory deficits that affect the ability to recall something that is seen or heard. This may result in an inability to recall facts, names, rules, and other pertinent information, even if such information is used regularly.

Provide checklists to help remember tasks and activities                                       Use flowchart to describe steps to a task (such as responding in class, turning in homework)                                                                                                                Post lists of crucial information such as in poster format around the classroom
Prompt student with verbal, non-verbal, or written cues
Allow student to use voice activated recorder to record verbal instructions
Provide additional instruction time on new information or tasks
Provide refresher instruction as needed

Time Management: A student with ADHD may have difficulty managing time. This can affect the student’s ability to organize or prioritize tasks, adhere to deadlines, maintain productivity standards, or work efficiently.

Make to-do lists and check items off as they are completed
Use calendars to mark important meetings or deadlines
Divide large assignments into smaller tasks and goals                                          Teach student how to divide large assignments into smaller tasks and goals
Frequently remind student in a variety of ways of important tasks, expectations, or deadlines

Social Skills: Students with ADHD may have difficulty exhibiting appropriate social skills in one or more settings. This may be the result of underdeveloped social skills, lack of experience/exposure, shyness, intimidation, behavior disorders, or low self-esteem. This can affect the

student's ability to adhere to conduct standards, work effectively with teachers, or interact with peers or family.

Behavior at school:

To reduce incidents of inappropriate behavior, thoroughly review and instruct on school rules with the student                                                                                      Do not penalize during the learning curve
Provide concrete examples to explain inappropriate behavior
Provide concrete examples to explain results of inappropriate behavior
To reinforce appropriate behavior, recognize and reward appropriate behavior, in an appropriate manner

Working effectively with staff:

Provide detailed day-to-day guidance and feedback
Offer positive reinforcement
Provide clear expectations and the results of not meeting expectations
Give assignments verbally, in writing, or both, depending on what would be most beneficial to the student                                                                                            Establish long term and short term goals for the student
Adjust supervisory method by modifying the manner in which conversations take place, meetings are conducted, or discipline is addressed                                           Provide sensitivity training to promote disability awareness



Interacting with peers:

Provide sensitivity training to promote disability awareness
If feasible, allow student to work at home or in an alternate environment                Help student "learn the ropes" by providing a mentor or coach
Make accommodations for attendance or participation under specific circumstances
Allow student flexibility to transfer to another group or seating area

Situations and Solutions:

For lecture setting:

Provide hard copies of notes for student to follow along                                         Have student use a tape recorder or micro recorder
Use of a laptop or similar device
Create a quieter, less distracting seating
Provide a detailed syllabus to give student ample time to prepare and complete assignments

For test taking:

Quiet environment                                                                                                    Extended time
Computer administered test
Provide responses orally to a proctor or tape record


Use environmental soothers or white noise to cover noise of surroundings                                      Diminish visual and auditory distractions                                                                 Frequent use an electronic aid or non-verbal cue to remind student to get back on task
Allow short movement breaks

Girl Playing Baseball

2006 Claudia Lowe, SENC  ......  adapted from www.jan.wvu.edu