Understanding ADHD in Your Classroom

Did you know that Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a chronic neurodevelopmental disorder that affects approximately 5-9% of children? ADHD can impact student motivation, activity level, attention, and memory.  

We are happy to announce that we have launched a new course for educators who desire to learn more about ADHD.

ADHD in the Classroom: Supporting Student Success is written by Dr Megan Smith, a clinical psychologist specializing in ADHD and related conditions. She has extensive experience providing training and workshops to health and education professionals, as well as community and government organizations across Canada.

Let’s identify a few symptoms of ADHD:

• Fidgeting​ or inability to sit still when required

• Difficulty in recognizing social cues

• Highly fluctuating emotions leading to moodiness and irritability

• Challenges with organizing or finishing tasks

Some associated risks include:

• Susceptibility to substance abuse

• Risky behaviours leading to premature death

• Twice as likely to not graduate high school​

• 40% more likely to be unemployed as adults​

How does ADHD affect peer relationships?
Individuals with ADHD often face social exclusion - being bullied, teased or even completely ignored by peers. Here are some ways ADHD can impact peer relationships:

• Difficulty maintaining personal boundaries​

• Engaging in behaviours perceived as annoying by peers and unable to stop when asked​

• Unaware of or missing social cues​

• Difficulty expressing emotions appropriately​

How can we, as educators, help a student with ADHD? 
Every student with ADHD is unique, and so is the solution. To help a student with ADHD, it is vital to first understand the problem and find a solution that works for your student.

1. Observe when and where problems occur to predict, prevent or protect safety.

2. Talk to your student to understand their perspective and work with them collaboratively to solve a problem.

3. Teach your student skills and strategies to help solve or reduce the impact of their challenges.

4. Provide your student with helpful tools to develop independence over time.

5. Promote meaningful inclusion and equity.