Educating Teens with ADHD

Teachers that are given the responsibility to educate teens with ADHD are presented with a unique set of challenges that are inherent to dealing with ADHD teens. To understand these challenges and how to adjust curriculum and teaching plans to better include those struggling with ADHD, we must first understand this disorder, some of the common symptoms, and what we can do to help students achieve their full potential.

Challenges these teens face

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, can affect teens in a variety of ways. Some of the more common symptoms include being easily and often distracted. These students find it difficult to stay focused on any given subject or idea for an extended period of time. Their mind begins to wander and they are unable to stay on task. This can also affect their social relationships as they have a hard time staying focused on a conversation with peers. In addition, the inability to concentrate may also affect their performance in athletics which can create teasing and harassment from peers and can ultimately affect a student's self esteem.

Another challenge associated with ADHD is hyperactivity. These students experience an increase in energy and have a difficult time remaining quiet and still during times when it is inappropriate to be loud and moving around. Sometimes, without meaning to, ADHD students can disrupt their peers in the classroom setting because of their excessive energy and hyperactivity. Impulsivity is also common in teen-ADHD cases. Students will shout out an answer and will struggle to follow directions. They often have a hard time containing their emotions, and will act inappropriately when just prior they were following the rules. Their impulsive behaviors can often lead to more unacceptable, sometimes destructive, behaviors and actions.

Teachers must be prepared

These challenges associated with ADHD will usually raise the level of difficulty for educators in the classroom setting. These students can make it more difficult for the other students to focus and learn. Teachers must then be prepared to adapt lesson plans and curriculum to suit the needs of students with ADHD without affecting others that are progressing at normal grade level. This can be challenging at times, but with determination and hard work on the teachers, parents, and the ADHD students behalf, it can be done.

Parent/Teacher Partnership

An extremely important component to the success of ADHD students in the classroom is the participation and commitment shown by the parents of these teens. Without the help of dedicated parents, success rates fall dramatically. This is true with any student, but becomes critical with ADHD students. Teachers alone cannot spend a sufficient amount of one-on-one time that a student with ADHD requires to learn the entire curriculum. It is important also for educators as well as parents to receive the necessary training and education related to the teaching challenges of ADHD. As teachers and parents come together in a team effort, students with ADHD are given the best opportunity to achieve their educational objectives and other lifelong goals.