From living with a boyfriend who has ADD/ADHD, I can tell you that grabbing attention is hard.
Physical ways of getting attention, such as snapping the fingers or yelling, doesn't really get you anywhere; most people with ADD/ADHD really don't appreciate this behavior, and in fact, this makes them ignore you even more. So how do you get their attention? I have found that gentle patience, as well as a long period of time, usually helps.
Regardless of age, all these students with this attention disorder have something in common: they're bored. Some may love school, but not the subject, and others may love the subject but not how the school teaches it. For this reason, we, as teachers and tutors, must adjust and bring something new to the table. When my boyfriend needed help with his college essays, I tried conventional ways such as outlining, guiding, and making a sample essay for him to look at. He ended up using most of it simply because he found it easier. Frustrated, I finally asked him why he hated writing so much.
"I don't like the subject," he said. "What does politics have to do with me?"
Then the light bulb went off in my head, so to speak.
"Well, did you know that there are lawmakers out there who want to limit anime shows that contain possible nudity scenes and make it illegal to watch?" I asked him. With this, he researched and began to scribble furiously across the notepad. An hour later, he had a well-researched, well-thought out essay, and right before my eyes, I saw the solution; it wasn't that he couldn't write. He just needed something to relate to.
If we can find what these students like, and have it relate to the current subjects they are having a hard time in, then perhaps we will have found our solution to the disability that these children, teens, and adults have. What do you all think?