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Home - Want Better School Results? Help The School To Help Your Child With ADHD
ADHD is frequently mis-diagnosed and considered, wrongly, to be a “naughty child’ syndrome”, this is far from the case. Many pupils are suffering as a consequence of these thoughts, and for many the classroom setting is a place of great heartache, severe anxiety and is a cause of mental ill-health.
Generally speaking we believe the following statement should be the ‘mantra’ of all parents and teachers:
"Children with ADHD do not have 'learning difficulties', they have 'difficulties learning', the two concepts are completely different."
This 3T’s paper is focused on helping parents and guardians of a child with ADHD advocate for their child as effectively as they can. Being an advocate, when you feel you are pushing against a system can be tough, we have written this paper building on our many years of experience, with that experience coming from the classroom, the clinic and from conversations with the families we treat daily.
In this paper you will find some Top Tips and also some criteria for you to present to the school in the form of ‘Reasonable Adjustments’ that we know work for children with ADHD.
The schoolteacher has a wonderful job, a role that helps top shape future society. They have challenges and pressures every day, so perhaps it is appropriate to see how we can help them understand our child? If we advocate effectively, the teacher stands a greater chance of meeting everyone’s needs. So, what do we mean?
First of all, we need to ‘advocate from our head not our heart’. If the first time we meet the teacher is when our child is in trouble at school we are likely to be emotional, and this will effect how we communicate.
So let’s plan ahead and use these simple Top Tips to form a letter or an email for the teacher(s).
Billi was asking to go to the toilet about three times every lesson and was sent to the school nurse as a result.
There was a thought that she had a urinary infection. She didn’t. Each time she knew she had lost track of the lesson but suspected she was about to be asked a question, she left the room for the loo.
In her mind it was far better than being ‘made to look an idiot’.
Similarly, Charlie was renowned for losing his temper in his maths class, he even threw a stool across the room once, which earned him a detention.
It ends up that he struggled with maths, he just couldn’t see the numbers. This frustrated him and put him under pressure, he couldn’t understand why the girl sitting next to him could do her 11 times table and he couldn’t.
As his frustration grew, so did his stress. The stress placed his brain, especially his executive functioning, under more pressure, and in the end, just like a kettle, he blew off steam in an inappropriate way. It’s predictably inevitable.
We also need to work out what type of pupil our is:
We can achieve a lot for a child with ADHD if we put some simple things into place. We should look to see what works for them, and even if it does mean doing something we haven’t done before, try it, let’s see!
The many distractions, opportunities for the mind to wonder and a setting where the brightest child can hide and pass for ‘average’ also builds anxiety and reduces self-esteem. The considerations we outline in this paper are specifically offered with professional, medical consideration to a child with ADHD’s needs, and we would encourage you to put these into place.
In the non-exam setting, we would recommend the following protocols are in place for any student with ADHD:
Keep yourself and your clinical team up to date with your ADHD symptoms and includes many useful tools.