Students with ADHD can not only struggle to self-regulate, they can also experience heightened feelings of anxiety, joy, fear, worry – every emotion really but sometimes in a more exaggerated form. Combine this with impulsivity, another trait of ADHD and there is a real risk of experiencing failure in school and a break down in relationships with teachers. Of course the teacher won’t really ‘hate’ them but for the child, their perception is that it’s true. To build-in praise in the classroom and opportunities for success is important for all learners, but for the ADHD child even more so. Trust is vital, in their teacher but also in themselves and feeling safe to learn will maximise the chances of them achieving more.
‘My teacher hates me!’ was the title of a workshop I delivered with speech and language specialist and parent of three children with SEND, Claire Ryan. It was for an inclusion day for trainee teachers at Oxford Brookes University and was organised by senior lecturer, Jon Reid and lecturer, Jo Billington.
It is always a pleasure talking with future teachers about inclusive strategies for children with ADHD or for pupils displaying similar traits such as hyper focusing or sequencing difficulties. We covered behaviours linked to ADHD and described some of the research and then gave some practical strategies for teachers in the classroom.
The day was an uplifting one in so many ways; there were many experts, parents and people with SEND talking and the trainee teachers enthusiastic with one student telling me it had been the best day they had had so far on the course.
Since the event at Oxford Brookes, Claire and I have been asked if we can provide training in schools. We have designed a half day and full day package for teachers and/or TAs. Do get in touch if you’re interested in hearing more.