What we do for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Many children experience some areas of difficulty during the course of their education, and all staff at Gidea Park Primary School are committed to finding ways of supporting children to access and make progress in their learning.
A child with ADHD may not be able to sit still and careful management is necessary to facilitate learning. Listed below are some of the ways your child might be supported if they have ADHD:
- Developing and sticking to a daily routine.
- Before starting teaching, ensuring the child is paying attention – making eye contact.
- Encouraging the child to listen carefully and giving appropriate affirmation and praise if they succeed.
- Limiting information presented and giving one activity or idea at a time.
- Keeping activities brief or structuring them into short blocks, providing a clear beginning and end.
- Showing the finished product before the child begins, so they know what they are aiming to accomplish.
- Providing direct prompts to return to task and positively reinforcing on-task behaviour.
- Involving parents when planning coping strategies.
- Providing blu-tack to fiddle with.
- Giving adequate space and sitting near positive role models.
- Minimising potential distractions - keeping the work space organised and free of unnecessary material.
- Making allowances for regular breaks.
- Giving small posts of responsibility – e.g. giving out books which will give the child an opportunity to get up and move around.
- Dealing effectively with outbursts of anger – keeping calm, and coming to an agreement about current and future behaviour.
How parents/carers can help
- Discuss with your GP and ask for support from health services.
- Make a routine for your child and stick to it every day.
- Break tasks into manageable pieces.
- Create a special, quiet space for your child to read, do homework, and take a break.
- Decrease time with electronics and increase physical activity.
- Establish regular bedtimes.
- Encourage and reward good behaviour (positive reinforcement). Remove rewards by following poor behaviour with appropriate consequences. By establishing rules and clear outcomes for following or disobeying them, this teaches your child to understand that actions have consequences. Repetition and positive reinforcement can help your child better understand your rules.
- Decide ahead of time which behaviours are acceptable and which are not, and be consistent. Some behaviours should always be unacceptable, like physical outbursts, refusal to get up in the morning, or unwillingness to turn off gadgetswhen told to do so.
- Use “time-out” as an effective way to calm both you and your child but ignore behaviours which are only mildly disruptive.
The charity ADDUP offers lots of great support for children and young people and their families who have ADHD or present with challenging behaviour (no formal diagnosis is required to access the service).
They have lots of ongoing projects running including:
- The Summer Holiday project
- Family outings, for example to Southend
- Saturday morning drama project
- Social and communication and skills group
- Children’s voices group
- Training for parents and their children
There is a yearly membership fee for families and then the projects each have additional costs. For further information you can visit their website at www.addup.co.uk; you can also call them directly on 01708 454040.