Other considerations for ADHD

Safety

Some students with ADHD may display more impulsive behaviours and take extra risks that may put themselves or others in danger.

Some may need extra support to manage their emotions. Strategies for calming down or self-monitoring may be helpful. 

Prompts and cues may help students to stop and calm down. 

Behaviour

Some students might also show behaviours of concern. It’s important to remember students are most likely trying to communicate a need or want that is not being met.

Refer to the behaviour page for more information on how to reduce behaviour of concern by supporting the student and promoting more appropriate behaviour, and our emotions page for more information about supporting a student with managing their emotions.

Classroom transitions

Some students may need extra support when transitioning between classrooms or different activities. 

Wellbeing

Many students with ADHD can develop feelings of depression. This can further impact school work and relationships. Substance use, such as tobacco and alcohol use, is more common amongst adolescents with ADHD than those without ADHD. Look for any changes in behaviour and consider raising any concerns with the school learning and support team if needed.

Transitions

For more information about supporting students with disability when transitioning across education settings, access our transition page.

Post-school transition to adult life should begin as early as possible in school. 

Aim to increase independence by working on organisational, social and problem-solving skills, and time- and self-management skills. Provide plenty of opportunities to practise them across a range of contexts. 

It may be helpful to identify skill gaps and develop a support plan to help students be successful (for example, social skills, academic and/or employment skills).

Excursions or camps

Some students may become over-excited and not respond to teacher or SLSO instructions. Others may ask lots of questions or forget about the usual expectations and instructions when placed in new environments.

Explain the new structure and routine, special rules and expectations beforehand. Always ensure that they understand. This can relate to riding the school bus, behaving in a new place, staying in a group or not touching anything unless permission is given. 

Peer buddies may remind students of, and model, expected behaviours.

Friendships

Some students with ADHD may need extra help in being assertive and making friends.

Homework

Homework may be challenging for some students. For example, students who have engaged in many tasks throughout the day that required a lot of focused attention may need less demanding tasks after school. When setting homework, consider what types of activities they could complete within a set time or to a set standard. 

It may be helpful to teach students how to use a homework planner, and give them prompts when they need to write things down. Some students may need to be shown how to break down projects and study into smaller tasks, and to plan their time. Teachers or SLSOs can check and sign planners. 

Consider ways to support parents or carers to use consistent homework routines at home. This may involve doing homework in a distraction-free area if possible, at a fixed time. 

Parents or carers could also be asked to check that tasks in the planner are finished and provide encouragement and affirmation to the student. 

Other co-occuring conditions

Students with ADHD may also have challenges with behaviour, learning and memory, social skills and thinking/cognition, or experience specific learning disability (reading, writing, or mathematics), oppositional defiant disorder, or anxiety. 

Refer to understanding disability page or common needs page to help support the student.