What Teachers Need To Know

Teachers are the least supported caregivers in the lives of children with ADHD.

The AAP states that caregiver education is an essential intervention for children with ADHD. Yet, most teachers have never been adequately prepared to teach children with ADHD. 

This page shares evidence-based quick facts to spread awareness to teachers, therapists, and school personnel.

ADHD is the most prevalent disorder in childhood. Every single teacher needs up-to-date education, awareness, and support to teach children with ADHD.

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Confusing caregivers since 1980. We see them pay attention to something they love for hours! What gives? The impairment is in the regulation of attention, not attention itself. The impairment is due to the inefficient availability of neurotransmitters that influence our ability to start attending, stop attending, refocus our attention and remain attending. 
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ADHD is not caused by permissive parenting, too many video games or red dye  number 5. ADHD is not a mental illness or even a behavioral disorder. ADHD is a real neurodevelopmental disorder that affects the development of the nervous system, leading to developmental deficits in cognition, communication, behavior, and motor skills that tend to last for a person’s lifetime.

More : DSM Diagnostic Criteria PDF

This fact can not be under-emphasized. The Inattentive subtype of ADHD presents with no outward signs of hyperactivity. These children suffer silently. 
They may be quiet, highly intelligent, and function well in the classroom. But as they get older and things get more complex, holding it together becomes more than they can handle, and completing tasks that appear so easy to others becomes more of a struggle than they can cope with. 

No matter how much knowledge you have about children’s development or how much experience you have working with children, you just don’t see ADHD as a possible reason for school avoidance, anxiety, and depression in a quiet and still child. I promise you, it doesn’t even come to mind. 
It didn’t for countless doctors or me, as we relentlessly tried to help my child, the one every teacher described as the “perfect student” with extreme school avoidance and anxiety for an entire decade. 
We need to be truly aware NOT ALL CHILDREN with ADHD are HYPERACTIVE. 💕

The student you have this year will not respond the same way to strategies that worked for the student with ADHD you had last year. 
Comorbidity seriously complicates the presentation of ADHD in the classroom. ADHD often co-occurs with other neurodevelopmental disorders, including language and communication difficulties, motor coordination problems, dyslexia, dysgraphia, and ASD. 

More: ADHD Comorbidity

The best thing a caregiver can do to really understand a child with ADHD is to read about the things adults with ADHD struggle with. It is the same shit, a different stage. 😔Listening to adults highly motivated to ” get out of their own way describe the barriers to function that they continue to struggle with can their own way” illuminates the severity of this childhood condition. 

ADHD is chronic and lifelong. Children need to learn strategies to function with their unique brain so they can develop self efficacy. We can teach strategies now that can be applied for life. ❤️ Done differently is still done. 

Classroom teachers require ongoing individualized support and education about each student’s strengths and weaknesses; checklists and global strategies for ADHD will barely scratch the surface. Team collaboration makes an incredible difference! 

Pills do not teach skills! 
Even students who can tolerate medication will need additional support in the educational environment to learn. 
Evidence based support looks like: 
🔑Teacher Education
🔑Environmental Modifications 
🔑Scaffolds for delayed Executive Functions
🔑Externalized Reminders
🔑Structured Routines

More: School-Based Intervention Framework for ADHD

Context is everything! The same child, same day can have varied expression of symptoms depending on the context. Teachers, environment, tasks, time of day, and attitudes of others are all in the context.

More and download a tool to examine the learners’ context at Classroom Support for Students with ADHD 

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