Common forms of ADHD

While ADHD can look different from one student to another, students with ADHD typically experience differences in one or more of these areas:


They may need support to focus on the task at hand or to remain focused on verbal instructions from teachers, School Learning Support Officers (SLSOs), Aboriginal SLSOs, or Aboriginal Education Officers (AEOs). It can seem like their mind is elsewhere. It may appear that they don’t listen to instructions, or they may get easily distracted part way through a task. They may not pay close attention to detail and so can make ‘careless’ mistakes. Strategies that help reduce distractions, focus a student’s attention, or help them to stay on task are most relevant.


Some students with ADHD may talk a lot, and find it uncomfortable to work and play quietly. They may fidget, appear restless, or become bored quickly. Some students may move around the classroom when they are expected to sit still. They may enjoy movement-based, active or hands-on activities that allow them to move or tap into their high activity levels.


Some students may act without thinking. This might mean they interrupt others, blurt out answers, or they may not wait their turn. Some students may take risks, or rush ahead without waiting for permission. They may have intense emotional reactions. Sometimes, these characteristics can make group work challenging and can impact a student’s friendships with peers. Strategies that reduce distractions, and support regulation of emotions, behaviour and social interactions, can help.

Organisation, time management and planning

Some students may need support to acquire organisational skills. For example, they may lose track of their belongings and homework, and they may need support with task initiation (getting started on a task) or completing a task within a set period of time. Strategies that teach students skills to support organisation, time-management, and planning can be helpful.