FINAL wellatschool notext


Supporting Children with Medical
and Mental Health Needs at School


facebook instagram twitter



Neurodiversity is an umbrella term used to describe the different ways a person’s brain processes information. It is estimated that around 1 in 7 people in the UK are neurodivergent. ADHD comes under this umbrella. 

sebastian muller 52 unsplash


Features of ADHD

  • Not everyone experiences ADHD in the same way. It is usually diagnosed by a medical expert, after observations and discussions with the child and family.
  • Behaviours include a short attention span, restlessness, being easily distracted, and constant fidgeting, poor self-organisation
  • To gain a diagnosis of ADHD the child or young person would generally display the behaviours consistently for at least a period of 6 months, in a least two different settings, e.g. home and school.
  • Life is considerably difficult on several levels, i.e. socially and academically.
  • Studies suggest that ADHD is under-recignised in girls and older children (1)

Treatments for ADHD

  • There are several medical treatments for ADHD, all of which should be accompanied by psychological, educational and social therapies.
  • Medication can be prescribed by a psychiatrist and monitored by a GP.
  • The medication allows periods of time where someone with ADHD can concentrate better and be less impulsive; they may feel calmer and better able to learn new skills.
  • Programmes for children and families can also be helpful. For example, active social skills training can better equip a child or young person to manage socially and at school.
  • Parent training and education programmes can help families work together on behaviour management techniques.
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy programmes (CBT) may help a child or young person manage their impulsive behaviour and help develop concentration skills.

Supporting students with ADHD

jason leung 479251 unsplash


  • Clear classroom routines
  • A well-organised learning environment
  • Clear classroom rules
  • Advanced warning and planning for out of classroom activities.
  • Buddy support
  • Home -school diary/ communication system

Support for written tasks

  • Limit amount of work per page
  • Allow extra time for completing tasks.
  • Plan in work breaks
  • Allow student to type or to use speech-to-text software.
  • Reduce the length of written assignment

Behaviour management strategies

  • Lots of praise to reinforce positive behaviour
  • Use of choice as a reward
  • Seat away from distractions (door, window)
  • Use of timers to help structure work tasks
  • Use clear and direct language or discrete (agreed) non-verbal cues for redirection if they become distracted.


  • Making and keeping friends can be difficult, a buddy system and planned break-time activities can help reduce feelings of isolation and help develop social skills.
  • A social skills group or a chance to practice ahead of an important event or situation can be helpful.

More information

(1) ADHD in children and young people: prevalence, care pathways, and service provision
Prof Kapil Sayal, Vibore Prasad, Prof David Daley, Prof Tamsin Ford, Prof David Coghill 2018

Follow Us

Follow Us
Join the conversation
facebook instagram twitter


Sign up for our  NEWSLETTER



HOPE (Hospital Organisation of Pedagogues in Europe)