Teaching Children With ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects many children across the world, including Australia. According to the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, one in 20 Australian children has ADHD. ADHD can affect a child’s ability to focus, learn, and behave in a classroom setting. Teaching children with ADHD requires special techniques and strategies that can help them learn and succeed in school. Here are some tips for teaching children with ADHD:

1. Create a Structured Environment

Children with ADHD often struggle with maintaining focus and paying attention. To help them stay on task, it’s important to create a structured environment. This can begin with the classroom layout, where children with ADHD can be seated in a quiet part of the classroom, away from distractions. Additionally, a daily routine can be established with clearly defined times for activities and transitions.

2. Use Multisensory Teaching Approaches

Teaching through multiple senses can help children with ADHD learn better. Incorporating visual, auditory, and kinesthetic teaching techniques can make learning more engaging and effective. For example, using pictures, diagrams, and videos to illustrate concepts can help them remember information better. Incorporating movement and hands-on activities can also help them engage in class better.

3. Chunk Information into Smaller Pieces

Children with ADHD can struggle with processing and retaining information if it’s presented in large chunks. Breaking down information into smaller pieces can help them understand and remember it better. Teachers can use highlighters or post-it notes to break down information into manageable parts. Additionally, teachers can give step-by-step instructions and opportunities to clarify directions.

4. Provide Regular Breaks

Children with ADHD often benefit from periodic breaks to help release excess energy and refocus. Teachers can incorporate opportunities for brief movement breaks or allow children to take a quick walk around the classroom. This not only helps them stay focused but also promotes better behavior in the classroom.

5. Incorporate Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement can be an effective strategy in helping children with ADHD stay motivated and engaged in the classroom. Offering positive feedback, rewards, and praise for good behavior or effort can help build their self-esteem and make them feel more involved in the classroom. Additionally, this can create a more positive learning environment, which can inspire more learning.

6. Encourage Active Participation

Encouraging active participation in the classroom can help children with ADHD feel more connected and engaged in their learning. Teachers can encourage active participation by involving them in class discussions, asking open-ended questions, and giving opportunities to work in groups. This not only helps them learn better but also can improve social skills.

7. Communicate with Parents

Effective communication with parents or caregivers is an important element in teaching children with ADHD. It’s important to keep parents informed of their child’s progress and difficulties in the classroom, as well as any strategies that may be implemented to help their child succeed. Additionally, working with parents to implement similar strategies at home can reinforce learning and consistency in behavior expectations.

8. Utilize Specialist Support

In some cases, children with ADHD may require specialist support to help them succeed in the classroom. Specialist support may include resources such as educational psychologists, occupational therapists, and speech therapists. Teachers can work with these specialists to implement strategies and techniques that can help children with ADHD thrive in the classroom.


Teaching children with ADHD can be both challenging and rewarding. By creating a structured environment, using multisensory teaching approaches, breaking information into smaller pieces, providing regular breaks, incorporating positive reinforcement, encouraging active participation, communicating with parents, and utilizing specialist support, teachers can help children with ADHD make progress and achieve success in the classroom.


Frequently Asked Questions About Teaching Children With ADHD

1. What are some effective teaching strategies for children with ADHD?

Some effective teaching strategies for children with ADHD include reducing distractions in the classroom, providing visual aids, breaking tasks into smaller segments, and allowing frequent breaks. Teachers should also provide clear and concise instructions, repeat important information, and use positive reinforcement to encourage desirable behaviour.

2. How can teachers work with parents to support children with ADHD?

Teachers can work with parents to support children with ADHD by maintaining open communication about the child’s progress and behaviour, sharing strategies that have been successful, and collaboratively developing an individualized plan for the child’s education. The plan may include accommodations and modifications for the child’s learning style and needs, and should be regularly reviewed and revised as necessary.

3. What resources are available to help teachers teach children with ADHD?

There are many resources available to help teachers teach children with ADHD, including professional development courses, support groups, and online forums. Additionally, there are a variety of apps and tools available, such as timers, visual schedules, and behaviour tracking systems. It may also be helpful for teachers to consult with a school psychologist, occupational therapist, or other professional who has expertise in working with children with ADHD.


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2. Pelham, W. E., & Fabiano, G. A. (2008). Evidence-based psychosocial treatments for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 37(2), 184-214. doi: 10.1080/15374410701818681

3. Wolraich, M., Brown, L., Brown, R. T., DuPaul, G., Earls, M., Feldman, H. M., … & Visser, S. (2011). ADHD: Clinical practice guideline for the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents. Pediatrics, 128(5), 1007-1022. doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-2654