Teo Gibson asked:
“What should parents and teachers do when dealing with kids who have ADHD?
Tom - My name is Tom Hughes. I'm a Doctoral Trainee Educational Psychologist. I study at the University Birmingham and work for Cambridgeshire Educational Psychology Service. As part of my role, I work with families and children that have ADHD. I typically work with schools and teachers and parents to try and help them cope with aspects of their life.
I think typically, the parents or the teachers will represent that the children struggle in school either academically or socially. So, we would talk to them about interventions and strategies to help. You know, whilst we would stress with schools and parents that there are no generic support measures if you like around working for children with ADHD or with children with ADHD. They're all different and typically, there are strategies that work.
My advice would be to look at the environmental factors around the child and organising the environment to maximise the chances they have over success. And it may be that the child settles better with certain peers. It may be that they need a work station to work from. There may be environmental cues that help them concentrate in certain environments. So, that might be things like setting up trays to help them manage the inflow and outflow of work. Help limit their distractions.
And then certainly with parents and teachers, we talk about behaviour management strategies which are certainly applicable to all children, but maybe more so to children with ADHD. And we would talk about the routines and schedules within school and at home to then helping them understand the expectations that they or the adults have of them, and the setting has of them. And I think often, children with ADHD needs support with things like – we would call them ‘calming manipulative’ so, things for them to hold in their hands maybe when they're in school and they're starting to get anxious, and they start to feel their attention wandering or providing them escape valves. So, allowing them to leave the class if they feel they're starting to get out of control or they can't cope. So, we would certainly advise parents and teachers on some of those strategies to help them cope.