I am educating children or young people with ADHD
I am educating children or young people with ADHD
Teaching and managing students who have ADHD
The development of a student with ADHD can be frustrating and annoying; the key issue to accept is that the student is not doing it on purpose. ADHD is a genuine medical condition that requires specific support depending on the severity of the symptoms. Understanding and acceptance of ADHD together with the desire to adapt teaching and learning strategies can enable many students with ADHD to learn more effectively.
Since students with ADHD are often in trouble, they are unable to deal with criticism and can become defiant and hostile. This can damage their whole attitude to school and to learning, and they may ultimately give up on education. It’s very important to show that education has not given up on them.
One technique that can help is to reframe the condition by looking at the issues of ADHD as not so much a problem but as an opportunity. Here the key principles are to look for the positives wherever possible.
Reframing ADHD
It’s not always easy or possible to review issues that irritate us in a positive way but it may be helpful to attempt to do so, for example:
  • Think of the student who is easily distracted as having high levels of awareness and observation
  • Think of the restless student as being energetic and lively
  • When the student with ADHD goes off at a tangent, see it as a sign of individualism and independence
  • If the student forgets things, consider that they’ve been absorbed in their own thoughts
  • If the student starts interrupting, think of it as enthusiasm to contribute
  • When work is sloppy, look for signs of effort despite difficulties
  • Look on a student’s apparent selfishness as single-mindedness in pursuit of goals
  • Try to reward good development and ignore the development that you don’t want

Although some teachers will find it difficult to see situations in this way, this growth mindset approach may help to maintain a positive relationship with students with ADHD.

Useful Links
  • Born to Be ADHD is your portal for information on:
  • Born to Be ADHD Campaign - encouraging members of the community to take action in addressing stigma and misconceptions surrounding ADHD.
  • Stories that Never Stand Still - a collection of inspiring stories from people living with ADHD to educate and empower those in the community.
  • Educational resources - aimed at members of the community to improve care for those living with ADHD.
  • BorntoBeADHD.co.uk is initiated and funded by Takeda with materials created in collaboration with UK-based patient organisations.

Patient support organisations

Professional organisations