Frequent blurting out and noises can put a big strain on the teacher-student relationship! So it’s no wonder we get this question from teachers often…
“How do I manage blurting out in my classroom?”
Start with a reframe. Keep in mind, these students do not want to be “naughty.” Most blurting and sound effects are not purposeful misbehavior. Rather, these children are either missing a skill (delayed executive function resulting in challenges with impulse control) or the noises are actually serving an important self-regulatory function. Of course, it’s important for the other children in class to be able to learn, too, so we want to share some of our favorite classroom strategies for blurting and extra noise.
Try these strategies:
Prevent the blurts. Call on the student proactively when you know they are eager to contribute or participate.
Use a secret signal. Develop a “secret signal” for you to communicate discreetly to the student that you “see” them and will be with them soon.
Avoid Punishment. Punishment will not teach a new skill or meet an underlying need, such as self-regulation or focus.
Praise publicly and correct privately. This is incredibly important in order to preserve a child’s self-esteem, as well as their relationships with peers.
Create Alternatives. For some students, the sounds actually serve a purpose in helping them self-regulate. You can brainstorm creative alternatives to the noises that are less distracting to peers but still serve the important purpose of helping with regulation.
Make it a game! How long can the student go without a blurt or a noise? Every interval without a noise, give the student a tally on a note on their desk. When the goal is met, the student earns something special like telling the class a joke or serving as a teacher’s helper.
Keep a Notebook. If the student loves to share their thoughts often, have them write down the thought in a journal so they don’t forget. At a specified time each day, give the student the opportunity to share with you any thoughts that are written in their journal.
Please share with us! Are there other classroom strategies for blurting that have helped your child with ADHD at school? If you are a parent of a child with ADHD, and you would like to understand more about how to support your child with ADHD at school, we have a new online course coming out in October of 2022! In Shining at School, we will walk you through the best ways to support your child at school.
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Have a beautiful week,
Katie, Lori, and Mallory