School Tips for
Success with FAS/FAE

by Dr. Calvin Sumner

Parent Tips

1. Accept the idea that sustained concentration is difficult for the child and recognize your own frustration threshold when working with them.

2. Provide outlets for appropriate release of physical energy.

3. Stress the stop, think and act approach when reacting to situations.

4. Provide consistent support and encouragement. Children with attention deficit need to sense compassion.

5. Help the child to focus on strengths to bolster his or her self-esteem. Involve the child in activities where they can succeed.

6. Hold the child accountable for behaviors and decisions. Help the child realize that there is a connection between choices and consequences.

7. Consider counselling if management of behavior remains difficult.

8. Use charts, lists, graphs, etc. to help structure situations and provide feedback to the child.

9. Use goal-setting and recognize signs of positive growth and progress when working toward those goals.

10. Maintain consistent schedule and help child anticipate changes in routine.

11. Divide tasks into sub-steps and organize in short time periods to encourage work completion.

12. Provide a quiet, non-distracting area for the child to work on independent tasks, such as homework.

Teacher Tips

1. Keep instructions brief and specific, with short attainable goals.

2. Reduce distractions as much as necessary for the child to succeed (work carrels, study corners, front rows, etc.)

3. Break assignments into short work segments offering opportunity for frequent prise and encouragement.

4. Encourage the child to organize work materials to help provide structure to independent activities.

5. Organize activities that encourage interaction with other children. Children with attention deficit may be subtly rejected by peers in many ways.

6. If possible, seat the child near students with organized school habits, who may serve as role models.

7. Identify areas of academic strength and encourage the child with attention deficit to assist another child as a "peer tutor." This can boost self-esteem.

8. Find avenues to help channel excess energy in a positive way.

9. Maintain close communication with parents. Consider using daily or weekly behavior feedback reports.

10. Try to maintain a positive, non-threatening teaching approach. Children with attention deficit can become easily frustrated and discouraged.

11. Encourage the child to have a "work plan" when engaged in independent tasks.

12. Have the child use assignment notebooks and schedules to help with organization. This should be closely supervised to help maintain consistency.

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