Managing ADHD in Children

Changes at Home

Children living with ADHD tend to exhibit more disorganised behaviours than children living without ADHD. Their impulsiveness can make planning a struggle and everyday tasks and family routines more difficult.

Investing time to develop shortcuts and reminders may help them organise, plan, and remember things more easily. Planning helps them know what you expect of them and can help reduce stress at home and school.

At home, the following tips may help things run more smoothly for the whole family, so everyone can be supportive:

Make a Plan and Stick to It

Create a list of the different tasks that are part of the child’s daily routine. Discuss it with him or her so he or she knows what is expected.

Write It Down

Use colour coding or pictures to make a visual plan with clear, concrete reminders. Then put it in a place where it can be easily reviewed daily.

Be Specific

Break the tasks into steps, so they are easier to follow and do not seem overwhelming. Be clear that one task must be finished before moving on to the next.

Reward Them

When the child or teen has made real improvements, have a discussion about what he or she would be interested in working towards. This will motivate him or her to continue following the treatment plan.

Keep It Up or Adjust

If the treatment plan is not working or the child or teen has not shown much improvement, re-evaluate the plan and make adjustments as necessary.

Managing ADHD at School

It is imperative that children at any age conduct themselves to the best of their abilities when at school. Establishing rules, setting goals, and following routines will help them along the way. The school can provide many resources to support students with ADHD.

  • School inclusion and Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) policies should support an ADHD-friendly environment and provide a collaborative and united front for children living with ADHD.
  • School Educational psychologists can assist in evaluating needs and behaviour, provide the student with emotional support, and help the student manage daily tasks.
  • The teacher can report on a student’s progress and keep the communication lines open with the parent or guardian
  • School nurses can help the student remember to properly take medication at the right time if it is part of the treatment
  • Guidance counsellors or social workers can help bridge the gap between teachers, students, and parents, so everyone is aligned with the treatment plan. They can also look out for the student’s best interests by placing him or her in the right classes

It may be a good idea to suggest a meeting with teachers, counselors, and other school staff who are involved with your child e.g. Head of year or form tutor, so you can share your plan from home and apply it to school. Depending on his or her age, the child could also be present.

Stay Informed