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ADHD and ADD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (also known as ADHD) is a behavioural disorder that affects someone’s ability to concentrate and their impulsiveness. Symptoms of ADHD tend to be noticed when a child is young and become more noticeable when a child begins school. As people with ADHD age, the symptoms become easier to manage but they rarely disappear. Suffers of ADHD will often have other problems, such as anxiety or issues with sleep.  

What Are The Symptoms Of (ADHD)?

There are two main categories of symptoms for those who have ADHD: inattentiveness and hyperactivity/impulsiveness. Sometimes, those with ADHD can just have one of the categories, while some have both. Most of the time, inattentiveness can be diagnosed as Attention Deficit Disorder or ADD as the conditions are very similar.  

Inattentiveness: 

  • Short attention span 
  • Making easy mistakes 
  • Forgetfulness or losing things easily 
  • Difficulty in listening or following instructions 
  • Disorganisation 

Hyperactivity and Impulsiveness: 

  • Constant fidgeting 
  • Being unable to concentrate for long periods 
  • Excessive talking or movement 
  • Acting without thinking 
  • Low sense of danger 
  • Interrupting conversations 

How Can We Help Students With ADHD? 

It can be really tough to teach students with ADHD, but it’s important to be patient and calm when helping them. Some small steps can really help the student keep calm: 

  • Seat the student away from the windows and doors.  
  • Give instructions in bite-sized pieces and repeat as necessary 
  • Use visual aids like charts and colour-coding. 
  • Ensure the student has a clear system for recording assignments and due dates.  

This guide has a lot of helpful information on how to plan a lesson for students with ADHD. 

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)  

What is ADD? 

ADD is a neurological disorder that affects someones ability to concentrate and stay organised. It is often compared to ADHD but the symptoms of ADD can be much harder to spot. 

What Are The Symptoms Of ADD? 

The symptoms of ADD are often characterised as ‘inattentiveness.’ Some common characteristics include: 

  • Appearing to be bored or disinterested 
  • Prone to forgetfulness and disorganisation 
  • Often misplace items or fail to complete assignments on time 
  • Working at a slow pace and handing in incomplete work 
  • Having difficulty in starting tasks 
  • Making careless errors with work.  

It’s quite common that ADD goes undiagnosed or confused for laziness. Students with ADD are often quiet and will have few interactions with teachers and sometimes will appear to be paying attention even while daydreaming.  

How Can We Help Students With ADD In The Classroom?

There are a few things that we can do to help our students with ADD, as it can be quite challenging to keep them engaged in the classroom. One of the key things is to be patient with them while they become interested in the class.

  • Be discreet and don’t single them out 
  • Give clear instructions to the whole class
  • Create a distraction-free space in the classroom 
  • Prepare the students for learning 
  • Have one-on-one chats with the students in private. 

Where Does BehaviourWatch come into it?

BehaviourWatch is in use by SEN schools both nationally and internationally to efficiently record critical data to help institutions clearly identify patterns and answer vital questions, such as “Is pupil X’s behaviour a challenge every Monday? Does pupil X display negative behaviour during every period 4? When is pupil X showing positive behaviour? Is the library causing pupil X a challenge? Does pupil X have a challenge with a particular member of staff? What interventions are helping reduce negative behaviour? Is medication impacting behaviour?”.

Each system is custom built to match existing policies and processes to support SEN schools with all aspects of behaviour management and can include SEMH assessment, EHCPs and intervention tracking to improve outcomes.

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