Researchers of the University of Exeter have developed the clearest guidance so far on how schools can best support children with ADHD to improve symptoms and maximize their academic outcomes.
In a study published in the journal, Review of Education, researchers of the University of Exeter have summarized a set of interventions which include one-to-one support and a focus on self-regulation improved academic outcomes of children affected by Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Students affected by ADHD struggle to sit still, focus their attention and to control impulses much more than ordinary children of the same age. Schools can be a particularly challenging setting for these children, and their difficulty in waiting their turn or staying in their seat impacts peers and teachers. Research shows that medication is effective, but does not work for all children, and is not acceptable to some families.
Self- regulation is hard for children who are very impulsive and struggle to focus attention. Children need to learn to spot how they are feeling inside, to notice triggers and avoid them if possible, and to stop and think before responding. This is much harder for children with ADHD than most other children.
The study found that self-regulation delivered in one-to-one session is highly effective to improve academic outcomes of ADHD children.
The team also found daily report cards works better as well. Children are set daily targets which are reviewed via a card that the child carries between home and school and between lessons in school. Rewards are given for meeting targets. Report card method also encourages home-school collaboration and offers the flexibility to respond to a child's individual needs, the study found.
Children with ADHD are all unique and hence there is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, non-drug interventions in schools can support children to meet their potential in terms of academic and other outcomes, concludes the study.