Ever walked into a room and forgotten what you went in there for?
It happens to us all!
Lots of children (and adults!) occasionally struggle to organise their thinking. They forget important events, lose track of belongings and can’t remember what they’re supposed to do next.
However, for the 5-8% of the global population who are born with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, this is a significant and frequent occurrence.
Due to irregularities in brain activity in the pre-frontal cortex, a key characteristic of ADHD is an impairment of executive function skills, such as; planning ahead, logic, sequencing and working memory.
Think about how this impacts on pupils in a classroom situation.
Listening to, understanding, remembering and following instructions is a mammoth task in itself. Getting started and maintaining attention on a given task is hard work. Getting it wrong can be embarrassing.
That’s why many students learn to cover up their mistakes, by performing work avoidance activities such as wandering around, sharpening pencils or asking to visit the bathroom. Unfortunately for them, this is commonly interpreted as defiance or poor behaviour, drawing negative attention, and causing increasing levels of teacher frustration.
One proven, highly effective tactic to help organise thinking is to develop basic checklists that can be ticked off as each task is performed in the correct order.
Checklists provide structure and order. Kind of like scaffolding for your thought processes. Taking the pressure off having to remember and sequence everything in your head.
Discover more proven strategies for managing the behaviour of students with ADHD by downloading ADHD: Calm and Refocused from our website.