Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a neuro-developmental disorder.

There are 3 types:

  1. Primarily hyperactive – impulsive 
  2. Primarily inattentive (ADD)
  3. Primarily combined

Children with ADHD may have some or all of the following symptoms:

Hyperactive, unable to focus, restless, fidgeting, overly emotional, interrupting, unable to wait, struggle to complete tasks, impulsive, struggle to organise themselves, forgetful.

Students with ADHD often struggle to focus on one task because other areas of brain stay active.

It is important that the class teacher has a very good understanding of how the ADHD brain works in order to create a positive learning environment for the child.

They should:

  • Ensure the student gets regular move to breaks throughout the day.
  • Create engaging lessons that will capture interest of child – boredom is unbearable for the ADHD child.
  • Physically involve the child in lessons – have them up and moving and getting involved.
  • Seat the child close to the teacher, free from as many distractions as possible, clear desk, tidy room.
  • Have the child’s attention before starting lesson.
  • Break tasks down into smaller sections for the ADHD student and allow extra time to complete.
  • Allow them to fidget – this can be grounding for the ADHD brain.
  • Show compassion, kindness and patience.
  • Give lots of praise and encouragement.

Early diagnoses is key – good communication with class teacher, support team and GP.

Children with ADHD have many strengths such as: being creative, innovative, lots of energy, humour, fast thinkers, ability to hyper focus on areas that interest them.

For parents, follow same principles as above. Break homework down into tasks, have a clear, quiet space and allow for movement breaks. Regular exercise is very important and can be grounding for the ADHD child.

And remember every child is unique with their own strengths and interests which can be developed to help them achieve their potential.

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