How to Help an ADHD Child with Academic Skills


When a child has ongoing academic difficulties over and above those caused by the core ADHD symptoms of poor concentration, impulsivity and hyperactivity, he may need specific support in these areas. There are some broad principles to be aware of that may help the child achieve to his ability.

First, the child will need to be placed on the school’s Special Needs Support Register, usually at the School Action stage, the first stage of the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice, so that additional targeted support is available at school. A range of strategies is available in the Code of Practice, so that specific learning difficulties (dyslexia, and numeracy, sometimes referred to as dyscalculia) are properly targeted. Some strategies might include:

Child with Academic Skills

  • Additional reading time if reading is weak – use ‘previewing’ strategies; the selection of text with fewer words on a page and shortening the amount of required reading.
  • When oral expression is weak – encourage the child to talk about new ideas or experiences, pick topics that are easy for the child to talk about, try and give him the confidence to speak out in class.
  • When written language is weak – try to provide structure and help with sequencing and an overall framework for the writing. Using word processors, laptops, displays and projects can be helpful. Don’t give him large quantities of written work to do and try to use multiple-choice or fill-in questions in tests.
  • When mathematics is weak – allow the use of calculators with display screens, use graph paper to space numbers, provide additional time, immediate feedback and instruction via modelling of the correct computational methods.

Filed Under: Education & Training

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About the Author: Alan Kennon lives a very happy life with two kids and a lovely wife. He likes to share his life time experiences with others about how they can improve their lifestyle and personality.

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