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Montessori Schools for ADHD Kids

For most children with ADHD, the traditional school system cannot address their needs or unique learning styles.  The typical classroom requires children to stay still and listen to the teacher's lecture, but kids with ADHD have trouble focusing on the discussion unless it is one that interests them.  They also have difficulty containing themselves, and may disrupt class by blurting out answers or being unable to remain in their seats.  Although some teachers do not mind making concessions to ADHD kids, your child might have better performance in a school with a completely different approach to teaching. 

Consider placing your child in a Montessori school.  The Montessori method was developed by an Italian medical doctor named Maria Montessori, who made the observation that children can teach themselves from the things in their environment. Unlike the traditional classroom, children engage all their five senses instead of just listening, reading, and watching. They can learn at their own pace and choose the activities that interest them.  Some parents worry that this lack of structure might only worsen the symptoms of ADHD, but this is a common misconception. Children in Montessori schools have to complete homework assignments and tests just like in traditional schools. The only difference is that students can take their time accomplishing their tasks, and teachers can use different methods to teach them new concepts and stimulate their interest.  Studies also show that graduates of Montessori schools have no problems adjusting to college life or entering the workforce. 

One other advantage of a Montessori school is the small student-to-teacher ratio.  The typical Montessori classroom has only fifteen students to one teacher. This allows the teacher to pay more attention to individual children, keep track of their progress, and help them with problem areas.  The small class size is also more conducive to fostering long-term friendships and social skills. 

Although Montessori schools can foster a love of learning for children with ADHD, it seems that this less-structured approach can benefit only those who already have some control over their symptoms.  Montessori students are taught to be independent and choose a task with little instruction or direction. Children who have not yet learned to manage their ADHD might well end up jumping from one activity to the next, unable to concentrate due to the wide variety of options and new stimuli.  But if you think your child might be suited to the Montessori school system, consider picking up brochures from nearby schools and asking questions about their experience with ADHD children.