Dealing with ADHD in the classroom

Hi everyone,
I’ve just spent an hour on a conference call with Finton O’Regan and I have some fantastic news…
Finton and I will be producing a new training course at the end of this month covering everything you need to know about managing, coping and succeeding with students who have ADHD in your classroom.
Fin is a respected expert on ADHD, having written several books on the subject, and will be providing a wealth of practical information as well as some very useful resources as part of this online training. The training will consist of an online interview together with live chat/forum access and a resource download area.
We want to make this training as useful as possible to you and in order to do so I need to ask you one question (I know you’ve been bombarded with questions on our recent survey but it is the only way we can tailor training and resources towards your pecific needs).
The question is this:
What is your biggest challenge in dealing with students with ADHD in your school/classroom?
If you have chance, please leave your challenge  as a comment below.
Very best wishes,


  • Zoe

    Reply Reply January 14, 2010

    Find the best way to maximise their attention span of students with ADHD; learn the most effective ways to teach them.

  • Sally Macaulay

    Reply Reply January 14, 2010

    I do not have this problem this year but I have had to deal with it in the past and looking at the year group below mine I can see some children coming my way. The biggest challenges I have had in this situation are to achieve a sufficiently peaceful atmosphere for learning to take place for the other students (children as I teach KS2) and to have enough energy to be able to devote enough attention to them. An ADHD child strips you of energy, patience and the positive relationships of adult to child in learning which is one of the things I value most about my job.

  • Ann

    Reply Reply January 14, 2010

    The children I have with ADHD are also autistic, so working out which behaviours are due to autism and which are ADHD is difficult – if it matters? My biggest problem is how the children with both bounce of each other so changing a quiet classroom into a warzone in seconds one minute they are th best of friends, the next at each others throat and then minutes later after removal and quiet discussion friends again.

  • Rosemary

    Reply Reply January 15, 2010

    Convincing them to be quiet long enough for me to give the instructions, without blowing my cool. I agree with Sally. In my class of 34 Grade 4/5s, I leave feeling drained after dealing with the 5 “regulars” who constantly disrupt the class. Being nice, being cranky, using calm responses – asking them how I can help them behave – nothing has worked with them, but your website and other CRMgmt tips have benefitted many of my other classes.

  • Connie

    Reply Reply January 15, 2010

    In my experience, some students with ADHD often get out of control and require accomodations in the standards set for assessment for either behavior or learning. What is reasonable flexibility without giving students a perception of privilege?

  • Judy

    Reply Reply January 15, 2010

    Getting these students to understand their behaviour and how this impacts on themselves and others.

  • Chung Wai

    Reply Reply January 15, 2010

    One of the challenges I face is how to keep their attention and focus. I have found out recently that these children often have poor working memory. This posed a challenge in terms of our delivery of verbal instructions to them as they might not follow everything we said.
    Maybe we need to be shown how a successful lesson in a classroom with ADHD student looks like, especially when the class size is big, with 40 students.

  • samina

    Reply Reply January 15, 2010

    Well to be honest,I want these students to come up to the par without letting them notice the deficiency they have because I personally have seen such children that once they are aware of this, their level of efficiency falls.

  • Nina Plapp

    Reply Reply January 15, 2010

    Encouraging them to perform the set tasks, group works and keeping them feeling positive and confident.

  • Zulia

    Reply Reply January 15, 2010

    I would like to know how I can get parents to cooperate to help with the ADHD childrens behaviour? Sometimes parents just would not agree that there is a problem with teir child and think that it is just teachers’ and school’s responsibility to deal with their difficult behaviour.
    Also what is your advice on how to make the rest of the class to be tolerant with the ADHD kids? And how to respond to parents of ‘normal’ children when they complain that one particular student disrupts their child from learning?

  • Silvia

    Reply Reply January 15, 2010

    Children with ADHD -(with disruptive behavior not only deficit of atention) influence the other students in wrong way or a negative sense, especially kindergarden – their rules are fragile . What is the better doing the teacher? How minimalize this bad influence?
    How much the children ADHD benefit of “normal” students influence ? If they really benefit!!
    How much the normal children benefit of children ADHD influence ?

    • Cathy

      Reply Reply January 16, 2010

      Perhaps it is me or the increasing number of students being jammed into a classroom, but I find that most of my class has what was symptomatic of ADHD students–they all want my attention NOW and assignments are just something to keep the teacher quiet–complete it and move on. I’m beginning to think that the speed needed to keep ADHD kids focused is teaching the others that there is no expectation to think about what they learned. So I too wonder what the impact of larger numbers of ADHD kids in a classroom have on those without the label.

      I see too many of the students viewing the curricula as disposible information such as they might pull off the Net. Interesting, maybe , but not really affecting their lives as jobs, skills and technology changes so rapidly they believe they’ll have to learn something different next year anyway. There is little patience or motivation to place information into long term memory. Why learn math facts when the calculator is more efficient? Placing process information into their brains is a challenge. Are we making all our students behave as if they had ADHD?

  • Dee Emeigh

    Reply Reply January 16, 2010

    Like Zoe, I find that the ADHD child robs the rest of the class of attention. So that’s my biggest challenge. I not only have ADHD, but emotionally disturbed, LD and “alternative” students (one step from detention centers). Sooo gladdd to find your website and materials!

  • H Boot

    Reply Reply January 16, 2010

    Having to many ADHD student in one class.
    TA not helping
    Not getting enough training on dealing with ADHD
    Dealing with ADHD students in D&T practicals-SAFETY nightmare

  • Missy

    Reply Reply January 16, 2010

    Well, at my shool, there has never been any formal diagnosis of students with ADHD but there are certainly loads of students who display that type of behaviour.
    one of my greatest challenges in dealing with such students is in getting them settled and focussed on the lesson being taught. I teach secondary school, and it doesn’t matter that we think that students in higher classes should be more matured. they all display ADHD problems, too often the older students behaviour are worst than the younger ones.

  • Cathy

    Reply Reply January 16, 2010

    My ADAH students lack the patience with quality work. It’s done quickly as an assignment rather than a learning experience. They also push their way to the front of any line as if no one else exists, calling out my name as if calling for their dog even after repeated requests.

  • Russell Paxino

    Reply Reply January 17, 2010

    Endeavouring to get my ADHD students to work to very similar rules and expectations as my other students. (I do make individual allowances for my ADHD students, by at times realsing they may complete a little less work, they may need to be moving around the room at times and they may be more talkative) – however some of these students use their ADHD as an excuse to compete little or no work e.g. “I can’t do that – I have ADHD!) – and expecting umpteen warnings for poor behaviour, but not acceping any of the resultant consequences when they finally go too far.

  • Nina

    Reply Reply January 17, 2010

    Listening to on-line BBC news today about the need for more awareness of ADHD to support students and parents it is clear that more training is needed in this area and this above training is going to be really important. As I am about to move into the SEN department 4 periods a week and after school this training is going to be a invaluable.

  • theresa zanatta

    Reply Reply January 17, 2010

    i am interested in finding new ways, means and content to connect with my student´s family in a way that is supportive, informative and transformative. thank you!

  • J

    Reply Reply January 18, 2010

    I teach high school Spanish. What I have troubles with is keeping my ADHD students on task and focused. Also not interrupting me while teaching is at times a challenge. I have found that if I put the student(s) in the front away from their “friends” but also next to a quiet kid that helps. I would like though some other tips.


    Reply Reply February 13, 2010

    how can i get (or download) such a course?
    i don’t have it in my class room but in my home my daughter 7 y.
    i need to help her teacher to help my girl + me.

  • Ruth Thornhill

    Reply Reply February 13, 2010

    My biggest challenges are:
    Getting them to LISTEN

  • Towanda Morris

    Reply Reply February 13, 2010

    I have worked with students with ADHD and have found it difficult to keep them focused and engaged during instruction and assignments. What can I do to get and keep them engaged and focused?

  • Cindy Franks

    Reply Reply February 17, 2010

    I think that I am ADHA some myself and one of my challanges is to keep from being distracted by the student. I realize that sometimes If I were to ignore the behavior others would as well and then the student would not be inturupting the learning of the entire class. I also want/ need ideas to quietly and quickly bring the student back into the learning circle without disturbing the entire lesson and without making the child have a negative reaction to my “intervention”.

  • kate strouts

    Reply Reply May 17, 2010

    I can cope with one, but when there is more than one in a class of 24 mixed ability 15 year olds and others with things like ‘MLD’ and dyslexia – how on earth do i find appropriate teaching materials for everyone – i have no TA support at all, but at the other end of the spectrum, kids with the known potential to acheieve A star grades – if only i could give them some attention! help!

  • Sarah Murphy

    Reply Reply March 21, 2011

    I have had some difficulty with my children and found that reward charts worked very well. I got some from

  • Sgrad

    Reply Reply April 7, 2011

    Hi I’m a Graduate student researcher. I was wondering if possible I could get anyone feelings about Daily Report Cards?

  • Sgrad

    Reply Reply April 20, 2011

    Has anyone had any experience in communicating with parents using Daily Report Cards?

  • Sgrad

    Reply Reply April 26, 2011

    What are some f the best communication methods between parents and teachers that have been used?

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