Find help and online resources for:

Mental health problems

 

In new professional guidelines for assessment, treatment and follow-up of people with ADHD, advice is also included on what facilitation students with ADHD should receive. Here we reproduce the most important moments from these pieces of advice. 

Image: Dreamstime (with licence)



 

It is Statped Vest - a Norwegian competence and research centre for learning disabilities - who has written these advices on behalf of the Norwegian Directorate of Health (1).

 

Common school problems for students with ADHD

Self-regulation is one of the core problems for people with ADHD. Students with ADHD need help to manage their own learning, and thus have problems in learning situations with high demands for independent work, and where there are large and confusing groups that the student must deal with.





Students with ADHD can easily be controlled by impulses from the environment and change from activity to activity. The strongest stimuli will usually catch the attention, which means that the student is easily disturbed and does not manage to hold on to the task long enough for it to be completed. If, on the other hand, the student is engaged in an engaging activity, intrinsic motivation will lead to increased attention and perseverance. 

Many students with ADHD, for example, do not have the ability to "save" their minds. If they are not allowed to express them right away, they easily disappear. This leads to an impulse-driven, random and unorganized way of thinking, speaking and writing stories, where one sentence leads to an association which in turn leads to a new one - and quite quickly the student can lose the thread in the whole.

The learning problems that the student with ADHD have do not concern ability level or intelligence. They are about the fact that difficulties with self-regulation, attention and memory lead to inappropriate learning strategies.

 





  1. A case example: Jens 13 years

    Statped Vest writes about the following example:

    Jens is a good boy with a well-developed language and who does well in Norwegian, except in text creation where he himself will organize and structure the story. In addition to organizational and planning difficulties, he has problems with short-term memory and with keeping attention along the way. Often his story becomes there and then. Here is an example of a text he wrote:

    - It is warm and nice in Spain. Me and my mom and dad and my sister were there last year too, for a long time. But we were not allowed to go out in the big waves. Knut Bjørnsen was about to be killed once but it was in the USA. I think they are more dangerous there than in Spain. But you can stick to the beaches where they are not so scary.

    Jens explains what is happening: - I think something and then I write it, and at the same time as I write it, I come up with something else to write, but when I finish writing the sentence I have forgotten what I thought first, and then I come up with something new, as I write.

 

Principles that must form the basis for measures for students with ADHD

Adapted education for students with ADHD means that a plan is made that compensates for the core problems that the individual child with ADHD struggles with. The following principles are taken from the renowned expert on ADHD, Russel Barkley, and are recommended by Statped Vest as the foundation for all the measures one initiates around the child with ADHD:

 

  1. Rules and messages be clear, without too many words
  2. Consequences of following messages, rules, etc. come faster
  3. Consequences come more often than usual
  4. The consequences be clearer and stronger
  5. Rewards and positive feedback are given more often
  6. Rewards change more often than for other students
  7. Teachers try to be ahead of events
  8. Several external and concrete signals are given for them to achieve goals and adapt their own behavior

 

Recommendations for facilitation in school for students with ADHD

Here is a summary of the measures that are specifically mentioned by Statped Vest, and which are important for achieving a proper educational setting for the students with ADHD.

 

  1. Understanding

    Students with ADHD require people around them who understand their behavior, and who are willing to look for strengths rather than focus on what is not working. The parents have often built up good routines and an overview of what works or does not work for the child, and then the parents are valuable co-players for the teacher.
  2. Close monitoring

    The student needs help to get started with tasks, to maintain / maintain activity, to complete tasks, to complete tasks, and to get tasks that it is possible for the student to master.
  3. Good classroom management

    Good classroom management is important for all students, but extra important for the student with ADHD. Good classroom management is characterized by the students at all times understanding the teacher's expectations of them, both in terms of behavior and work.
  4. Good structure

    Rather than focusing on own academic programs for the student, it is recommended to focus on structuring the study material, progression and amount of material by:
    • to organize and structure learning material
    • to have a double set of books (at home and at school)
    • to give written / visual instructions
    • to make sure to have the student's attention before instruction is given
    • to ensure that there is a focus on what the teacher thinks should be in focus
    • to provide clear texts without disturbing illustrations, preferably only images that emphasize the content
    • to tease and over-learn, to help the student to find keywords / concepts
    • to have some daily records on the program that are always carried out. This can, for example, apply to the start of the day, the start of the class, or the end of the class. Recognition creates security in the situation and is attention-promoting

    Good structure is highlighted by Statped Vest as the key to making the student with ADHD work better in everyday school life. By this is meant that everyday school life is structured in such a way that the student at all times knows:
    • when the student is going to work
    • what to do
    • why it should be done
    • how to do it
    • where the student should be
    • who the student should work with, and
    • how long the student should work.
  5. Having adults to relate to

    Students with ADHD should have few adults to relate to, and student groups should not be too large. 
  6. A "Plan B"

    Such a plan should be planned together with the student, or be made known to the student. The plan should automatically take effect if there are changes, such as during substitute classes, or in situations that, from experience, the student is unable to master.
  7. Visual plans

    This can include both a weekly schedule, schedule and a work schedule. The plan must have a structure that is the same from day to day and from week to week. The plan must show:
    • where the student should be
    • which teachers are responsible for the lessons
    • what should be the content of the lessons
    • how long the hour lasts
  8. "Guiding questions" that sharpen focus

    For each subject, questions can be formulated for the student to focus on the topic to be reviewed.
  9. Extra copies of plans for parents

    Because students with ADHD have difficulty keeping track of books, sheets of paper, and other school supplies, parents should have their own copies of plans.
  10. Folders and use of PC

    We can facilitate learning for the student by helping him / her to organize his / her knowledge by using folders, binders or creating digital folders on a PC.
  11. Structure in the school-home collaboration

    In order to create a holistic learning environment for students with ADHD, arrangements must be made for extra close collaboration between school and home. Many parents of children with ADHD struggle with poor self-esteem when it comes to parenting, because the environment often has a negative focus on the child, and they are often contacted when the child has done something wrong, so the meetings must have a constructive focus, not a constant repetition. of what does not work.
  12. Structure in the homework context

    Children with ADHD have the same needs for structure and facilitation of the homework situation as of the school situations.
  13. Other advice

    A number of other tips can be helpful. Among other things, it can be helpful for the student with ADHD to have the opportunity to re-learn alone with an adult, to be in stable and small groups and to have organized activities in the free minutes. During exams and exams, they may need to sit alone to be able to gather. Many people with ADHD are sensitive to disturbing impressions and need to clear their surroundings to avoid overstimulation. Think about what is the most suitable classroom, the most suitable teacher and the most stable group. Having extra space around you, and that things are always in fixed places, is also often useful for the student.

 

Source:

  1. ADHD / Hyperkinetic disorder - national professional guideline for assessment, treatment and follow-up. The Norwegian Directorate of Health

Also read