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From Nemours' KidsHealth
- ADHD Special Needs Factsheet
- What Is ADHD?
- Anxiety, Fears, and Phobias
- Anxiety Disorders Special Needs Factsheet
- Autism Special Needs Factsheet
- Disciplining Your Child
- Marijuana: What Parents Need to Know
- 5 Ways to Bully-Proof Your Kid
- Helping Kids Deal With Bullies
- Helping Kids Cope With Cliques
- Cough and Cold Medicine Abuse
- Teaching Kids Not to Bully
- Taming Tempers
- Disciplining Your Toddler
- Your Child's Habits
- Taking Your Child to a Therapist
- Connecting With Your Preteen
- Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
- How Can I Help My Child Overcome Shyness?
- My Child Is Stealing
- Teaching Your Child Self-Control
- 504 Education Plans
- Developing Your Child's Self-Esteem
- Helping Teens Who Cut
- Could ADHD Be Hereditary?
- Talking to Your Child About Drugs
- Kids and Alcohol
- A to Z: Panic Disorder
- Temper Tantrums
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Oppositional Defiant Disorder Special Needs Factsheet
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Special Needs Factsheet
- Eating Disorders
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Special Needs Factsheet
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Does Ritalin Have Side Effects?
- Cutting Special Needs Factsheet
- Drugs: What Parents Need to Know
- Separation Anxiety
- About Teen Suicide
- Social Phobia Special Needs Factsheet
- Childhood Stress
Trusted External Resources
ADHD Special Needs Factsheet
What Teachers Should Know
Kids and teens with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may act without thinking and have trouble focusing. They may understand what's expected of them, but have trouble following through or completing tasks because they can't sit still, pay attention, or attend to details. The severity of ADHD symptoms can vary widely.
ADHD affects about 10% of school-age kids. Boys are about three times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with it, though it's not understood why.
About half of all kids with ADHD also have a specific learning disability. The most common learning problems are with reading (such as dyslexia) and handwriting. Although ADHD isn't categorized as a learning disability, its interference with concentration and attention can make it even more difficult for a child to perform well in school.
Because bullies often target students who seem "different," certain health conditions, including ADHD, can put kids and teens at higher risk of being bullied.
What Teachers Can Do
Reduce distractions by seating the student near you instead of a window.
Communicate with parents and ask for their help. Keep a daily journal of behavior and progress notes to share with parents.
Teach the student how to use a scheduling and assignment book. Teach good study skills, including underlining, note-taking, and reading aloud to help with focus and information retention.
Keep instructions clear and brief, breaking down larger tasks into smaller, more manageable pieces.
Stay on the lookout for positive behaviors to praise, such as staying seated, not calling out, taking turns, etc.
Pair the student with a buddy to do an end-of-day checklist so the right books, materials, and other important stuff go home.
Be sensitive to self-esteem issues. Provide feedback to the student in private, and avoid asking the student to perform difficult tasks in front of classmates.
Ask the school counselor, psychologist, or special-ed teacher to help design behavioral programs to address specific problems in the classroom.
Have brief, regularly scheduled exercise breaks and find opportunities for the student to be active, such as standing while working on assignments or delivering materials to the principal's office.
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: April 28, 2017