A teachers words of wisdom regarding ADHD


One of the best teaching tips I can give to other teachers who teach ADHD students is that they will typically understand the hardest concepts first and the easiest concepts sometimes be the most difficult to understand.


This is why they can do something like solve difficult math equations but can’t remember a simple routine process or can explain an abstract poems but can’t tell time. I call this phenomenon the “Reverse Chaos” effect since for them, chaos can seem like order and order can seem like complete chaos.
I try to explain this using a multiple choice test v. a short answer test. The simplicity of a multiple choice test is often completely baffling for ADHD students because it is so black and white and most ADHD minds don’t work that way. Every answer hold the potential for disagreement and considerable analysis.
Example: Question-John went to the park and the zoo. He also enjoyed a swim at the park. Where else did John go before he went home?
(a) the store
(b) the zoo
(c) the store and the zoo
(d) the gas station


ADHD thought process: Did John actually go to the store? I don’t think I would have but with John, you never know…he did go to the park, I remember that and he did stop at the gas station from question 4, but did he actually go to the store and did he like it? Did he buy anything? Or was that Joe?


And on and on and on. But with short answers, students with ADHD can see the question, do that same type of rambling in their minds but usually come to somewhat of the right answer.


It is really important to keep this in mind when developing assessments. If you want to see actual knowledge and learning, don’t give them multiple choice test after multiple choice test because it won’t show anything. Give them a multitude of different questions and ways to test them and you will most likely see a completely different result.

9 thoughts on “A teachers words of wisdom regarding ADHD

  1. Approximately 3-5% of all children in the US currently suffer from ADHD which translates in real terms into 2 million children, and this quite a significant number. Despite this however, there is a very real lack of awareness or understanding on the part of schools, and teachers which means that children with ADHD are treated unfairly. It is not uncommon to hear teachers asking ways in teaching a student with adhd, teaching techniques for adhd or even the question on how to teach an adhd child.

    Too often it seems, children with ADHD are simply written off as being disruptive or a low achiever, however with some guidance and hard work, a child with ADHD can achieve just as much as any other child.

    Teaching adhd children in the classroom or even teaching ADHD child to read may be difficult and require a different approach than with other students, but such measures are by no means impossible, it requires commitment and patience from both teacher and child alike. The following is a list of lesson plans for children with ADHD and techniques to make the teaching of a child with ADHD much more smoothly.

    ADHD Teaching strategies for children:

    For a child who suffer from ADHD, make sure to provide as much recognition when they achieve something positive, and as quickly as possible, it is important to develop their self-esteem. Physical contact is a very powerful tool for emphasizing a point. Try giving him a seat close to you. Try to maintain the focus of the child with ADHD, make sure to ask their opinion on a subject from time to time, and address them by their name. It doesn’t matter what you ask them, doesn’t matter how trivial it maybe, what is important is that they are engaged.
    Don’t overload the child with many different tasks simultaneously, give one command, let that be completed and then move onto the next one. Make sure though that when the child DOES complete a task, you give them another as quickly as possible, again this intended to maintain the focus the child at all times.
    If the child encounters trouble with a particular topic make sure to help him, giving hints and nudges towards the answer.
    If there is problems or issues, whether because of misbehavior or lack of progress in work, make sure you speak to the child in a non-confrontational, private and amicable way.
    If he is incapable of writing, take his oral tests.
    Make sure to strike a balance between physical activity and exercise as well as actual study.
    Before the beginning of each class make sure to give the child a period of at least 10 mins to allow them to adjust and to settle.
    When he gives an answer make sure to get the child to explain how they reached that answer, what analysis and steps did they take for their conclusions etc.
    Use either audio or visual prompts and aids to help the child learn, whatever method will maintain his interest for longer.
    Be creative in props and other teaching aids you use to teach your child.
    If he achieves well, make sure to reward him, as well as rewarding him for any and all progress he makes.


    • My son has ADHD and has experienced unfairness and bullying due to the lack of awareness on this topic. Thank you so much for your input!!!


      • Your welcome Lady 🙂 i wish the best for your child , your welcome to in my blog if my articls liked by you , you can follow me to get more informations about health , life style , ….ECT


  2. I am a female with ADHD and because of that I was look over and skipped for that kind of special help. Women tend to be diagnosed in the young adult life instead of their child life because it is not as obvious in women. ADHD affects boys and girls differently (usually) and most people view ADHD as the stereotypical bouncing off the walls, disruptive boy. But girls struggle and suffer with it too. I wasn’t able to get help until my early 20s. We definitely need teachers to learn more about this subject.


    • Since ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is more common among boys, studies concerning this condition are almost always directed to the male gender while research studies for ADHD in girls are rarely available today.

      One of the few studies addressing ADHD in females looked at thesimilarities and the differences between symptoms of girls with ADHD and that of boys diagnosed with ADHD. So far, this study is the single most complete study of girls with ADHD that is available.

      One of the surprise findings in this study was the discovery that girls with ADHD are often diagnosed with other disorders; oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, mood and anxiety disorders, along with higher rates of substance use. In fact, studies show that almost half of the girls diagnosed with ADHD presented with at least one of the above mentioned disorders.

      The study also found that girls with ADHD had lower intellectual and academic achievements in school. Some of the girls also had learning disability, with some of them placed in special education schools. Data also reflects that girls with ADHD often repeated grades in school, which can be related to the importance of the role of parents in ensuring that the educational needs of their daughters are properly addressed.

      In addition, the parents of girls with ADHD reported family and home environment as less unified or less cohesive, and reported a higher incidence of disagreements and conflicts with daughters diagnosed with ADHD. This should come as no surprise to any parent of an ADHD child.

      According to research it is clear that ADHD in girls, just like in boys, is a complicated disorder that can have a significant impact on a girl’s performance and well-being. In general, the association of ADHD among girls was comparable to that of boys, even though girls were more likely to be diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, or co-morbid behavior disorder than their male counterparts. Additionally, girls are more likely to have problems associated with substance use. Findings relating to mood and anxiety disorders, along with impairment in academic functioning, appeared to be quite similar in attention deficit children, both male and female.

      Because approximately fifty percent of girls with ADHD in this study had at least one further diagnosable disorder, crucial evaluations of girls with ADHD is important. It is vital to take an extensive look in their emotional, behavioral, social, and academic performance so that a full treatment plan accessing these areas of significant complexity can be improved and put into action.


    • EXACTLY! That is why I posted this. I hope more teachers educate themselves so they can help the children that need it.


  3. I am a High School Senior and am doing a project on ADHD over diagnosis and the problems with over medication. For my project I am teaching a class of my peers. I would like to have an activity of some kind to help them understand what it is like for a person with ADHD, do you have any ideas? I appreciate your website and any help you can offer.


    • Thank you for your support! I appreciate it more than you know. When do you have to teach this class? What is the deadline? I will brainstorm for you and get back to you ASAP.


    • Picture a guy juggling 5 items. Another person wants his attention. This person comes along and his/her’s words are more items. As this person talks, they throw an item at the juggler. The juggler has to grab this item and add it to the other 5 items.

      Where is the juggler’s attention? On the 6 items and on the individual. The person continues to talk and tosses more items. If you can picture this, it is very difficult for the juggler to put all of his focus solely on the individual.

      A person with ADHD is like this juggler. The items are in the brain. The 5 senses continue to feed more items into the brain. Now add a person communicating and there are more items quickly adding to the others

      .If your activity is to make people see what it is like having adhd, you could use the juggling thing. If you don’t know someone that juggles, you could do this.

      Take a bunch of balls or something similar.

      Take a piece of paper and put information on them, like a word or something. Pick a volunteer. Give this person the balls in their hands. Just enough to fill them so they can’t hold anything else. It may be three balls in each hand. Tell them to read the information on all of them but that you are going to talk to them. Don’t give the person enough time to read the information.

      Start this next part right away but explain what is going to happen ahead of time. While you talk to them, have some extra balls to toss at them with information on them. Tell them that they also have to read the information on the new ball coming. So, you talking to them is new information coming at them like the balls with information. So they have to hold the other balls, read that information, while also listening to you, getting the new balls and reading that information.

      You can show the group that ADHD is similar to this ball exercise. We have the information that we are reading (balls in the hand). When someone talks to us, we have more information coming. It doesn’t take very long for us to become overwhelmed where we can’t keep up because of all of the information.

      Send me feed back on what you think about this exercise and my ADHD activity ideas. If you need a different type of exercise, send me the details. If you have any assignments or research papers, tell me what your assignment is and I will see if I can help you come up with the brilliant ADHD activity ideas you need. Give me the details, how long it is suppose to be (words or time) and so on.
      I am posting a video about living with ADHD from a childs perspective. Hope this helps. Good luck!


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