Best Practice

ADHD: Classroom tips

If teachers understand the real causes of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder then finding support strategies for the classroom becomes much easier. Garry Freeman advises

Ask your colleagues what ADHD means to them and they will usually speak of the symptoms and signs they see in terms of behaviour. I have invariably had this response whether the young person has had a diagnosis or not, because it is what adults see and experience.

ADHD is actually a neuro-developmental, spectrum condition. We should be able to support and work with our ADHD students in much the same way as we do with our autistic learners because the traits are similar – such as signs of anxiety or stemming.

ADHD is caused by poor regulation of dopamine, a transmitter in the brain linked to learning, memory and motivation. There is underdevelopment of the areas of the brain responsible for controlling excitability, impatience and impulse.

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