Dealing with ADHD in the Classroom

03/09/2019

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Teaching staff we work with often tell us the challenges they face in the classroom with students who struggle with ADHD, such as disruptions to other students. It is crucial as a teacher to understand ways to work with students who have behavioural issues. To find out how to help, take a look at this 5 minute read.

Teachers may often ask themselves, what is ADHD? Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is very known among children of school age, on average 21.2 percent of children between ages 4-17 are diagnosed with ADHD. As an educator it can be difficult or perhaps frustrating to teach students who have ADHD as you know they are more than capable to succeed in their school work however their brain struggles to let them focus, pay attention or listen to instructions in the classroom.

While speaking to our teaching staff recently we now know symptoms of ADHD can be confused with general naughty behaviours from students; however it is crucial to be able to recognise the differences and potentially help and refer children to those who can help. We know our teachers want to help their students in the best possible way, so it is important to take note of certain ways their pupils act in the classroom.

Signs of Students with ADHD

  • Having difficulty following or listening to instructions
  • Often failing to complete homework or other tasks
  • Talking excessively
  • Being impatient
  • Fidgeting and being unable to sit still
  • Daydreaming

Simple School Strategies for Students with ADHD

  • Use seating plans, sitting a child with ADHD symptoms next to a student who is a positive role model could help the student to adapt to their behaviours.
  • Allow the child to move around in the classroom – There are many tasks and chores in the classroom. For example you may need a student to take something to another classroom; physical action can help students with ADHD to become less fidgety’. Therefore allowing movement may help their needs in a positive manner.
  • Get to know the child, understand what their classroom struggles are and make sure they are ok; ADHD can often be seen as negative within a classroom which can then make a child feel negative. Understand the child and put a positive spin on things, this will instil them with confidence and strengthen your relationship, benefiting both of you.
  • Providing a small object to squeeze can help with hyperactivity. Although it may be difficult as a teacher to allow only certain students to do this, the lack of interruption then benefits other pupils and allows children struggling with hyperactivity to concentrate on controlling certain impulses.

Practical Benefits of ADHD

Although it can be difficult in lessons to work with students who struggle with ADHD, they also bring many positives and benefits to the classroom. Pupils are known to be very creative.

“A child who daydreams has many different thoughts at once; they can become a master problem-solver, a fountain of ideas, or an inventive artist. Children with ADHD may be easily distracted, but sometimes they notice what others don’t see.”

They also bring a lot of energy and spontaneity to the classroom; their lively personalities mean they are a lot of fun to be around.

It is important as an educator to be aware of symptoms of ADHD, if you see a pupil who is showing signs it is vital to inform parents or someone who can help. The child can then receive the help they may need, which can improve their education and benefit how and what they learn.

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