Best Practice

Meeting the challenges of ADHD

Children who suffer with ADHD face daily challenges during their school life. Daniel Sobel discusses how teachers and teaching assistants can best support these pupils

Best practice in inclusion involves identifying the exact nature of difficulties experienced by pupils. It is all too easy to react to the behaviour of students at face value, or to make assumptions attached to specific diagnoses or labels.

Sometimes known labels are a shortcut to appropriate differentiation, but in the case of ADHD, a child’s difficulties can simply look like bad behaviour. Perhaps this explains the number of excluded students who are diagnosed or present with ADHD behaviours.

There is much to say about the pitfalls in the resources and training currently available for teachers and teaching assistants. ADHD is not high enough on the CPD agenda and so staff simply lack the skills to manage these behaviours. In addition to that, headteachers with whom I work often describe the struggle to “change hearts and minds” when it comes to including students with behaviours that can be so frustrating in the classroom.

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