Blog Archive

Sunday 3 March 2019

A spotlight on ADHD

Continuing our series of posts, highlighting various SEND categories, this post focuses on students diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (or ADHD). Firstly, we should be aware that its symptoms may be mild, moderate or severe so it is not a 'one size fits all' solution that we 
will be looking into. In the past, many of students with this disorder would be described as lazy or boisterous, however their needs are very complex as ADHD rarely exists on its own.

ADHD, is a condition that makes it unusually difficult for children to concentrate, sit still, follow directions and control impulsive behaviour. Here are behaviour signs of ADHD you might observe in school in two categories.

Inattentive Symptoms of ADHD:
  1. Makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, overlooks details.
  2. Is easily distracted or sidetracked.
  3. Has difficulty following instructions.
  4. Doesn’t seem to be listening when spoken to directly.
  5. Has trouble organizing tasks and possessions.
  6. Often fails to finish classwork.
  7. Often avoids or resists tasks that require sustained mental effort, including doing homework.
  8. Often loses homework assignments, books, coats, rucksacks, sports equipment etc.
Hyperactive or Impulsive Symptoms of ADHD:
  1. Often fidgets or squirms.
  2. Has trouble staying in his seat.
  3. Runs and climbs where it’s inappropriate.
  4. Has trouble working quietly.
  5. Is extremely impatient, can’t wait for their turn.
  6. Always seems to be “on the go” or “driven by a motor”.
  7. Talks excessively.
  8. Blurts out answers before a question is completed.
  9. Interrupts or intrudes on others’ conversations, activities, possessions.
As the graffic below demonstrates, we often only consider the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ADHD. So what can we do about this?

  1. Because students with ADHD are susceptible to distractions, seat the student close to the teacher. Make sure he or she is seated away from easy distractions, such as doors or windows.
  2. Give the student frequent and immediate feedback or consequences about behaviours.
  3. Catch the student being good and give them immediate praise. Ignore negative behaviours that are minimal and not disruptive.
  4. Use rewards and incentives before punishment to motivate the student and to help keep school feeling like a positive place. Change up the rewards frequently to help prevent the student from becoming bored.
  5. Allow student frequent physical breaks to move around (to hand out or collect materials, run errands to the office or other areas in the school building).
  6. Allow some restlessness at work area. Allow students to stand up at his desk if it helps him stay on task.
  7. Tape a post it to the student’s desk with written lesson instructions. 
  8. Reduce the student’s total workload. Break work down into smaller sections.
  9. Give concise step by step instructions. Avoid “overloading” with too much info.
  10. Allow the student to hold a small “stress ball” or silly putty or something tactile for him to manipulate. This slight stimulation often helps keep an ADHD child focused.
For further reading, or a clearer view of the graffic, check out the link below: