Sarah Millington, subject advisor for Health and Social Care and Child Development
In the first part of this blog, I looked at what ADHD is, its presentations and symptoms, and how it can affect students and their ability to learn. In this second part I consider what we as teachers can do to help.
Schools and teachers play a big part in these students lives and can embrace different learning styles and approaches that can make a difference. Some will be done without even thinking about it, just by understanding that a student has ADHD and how it can affect them. There are also plenty of organisations that can offer help and resources.
Gemma, who works as a Learning Assistant and has ADHD herself, explains some of the strategies that can help in the classroom:
“Straightforward changes can be useful, such as where to sit a student in the classroom, creating a mind map to note down all their thoughts, using a step-by-step way to set up tasks, wearing bright coloured clothing, and letting them have a break (outside the room or doodling) so that they can refocus”.
Here are some ideas to help keep students engaged and interested:
What could these students potentially achieve if we looked at the key presentations and turned them around to make them a positive? ADHD Kid’s Zone has a great infographic, ‘25 things to love about ADHD’, that identifies what’s amazing about ADHD. Can we tap into these strengths?
CPD Online College and ADHDUK provides information about the key signs, how a teacher might recognise a student with ADHD and how they can help and support both inside and outside the classroom.
Positive role models are key to boost students’ confidence. Knowing that they have the potential to succeed is important and can be something to talk to students about when identifying their strengths.
Jim Carrey has admitted that he has used all the symptoms to his advantage. Will.i.am claims that this disorder helped him become successful in his music career by saying “For every obstacle, there’s some type of solution. So, if you have ADHD, it’s your passion point.”
More well-known faces can be found here at Mentalup.
The individual symptoms and traits of ADHD are not unique to ADHD, and most people can identify with having similar experiences at some point in their lives. But it is important to acknowledge that for those living with ADHD it is a persistent and tenacious condition that can cause severe impairment affecting your personal, social, and work life, and wrecking your self-esteem and potential.
If you have any comments or questions, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us @OCR_Health. You can also sign up to subject updates and receive information about resources and support.
Sarah joined OCR after teaching Health and Social Care and Child Development over a period of 16 years. Having been a teacher, subject lead and moderator within her career, she has planned and developed subjects to meet the need of her students to allow them to become independent learners, focusing on effective teaching and learning skills. She has experienced and survived several qualification changes: GCSEs to Cambridge Nationals, and A Levels to Cambridge Technicals. In her spare time she enjoys open water sea swimming, travelling and cooking. Pie and cake are key favourites.