Many parents and educators have common questions when it comes to ADHD, such as:

Is there a solution for ADHD?

Can my child be helped?

As a teacher, can I help my students with ADHD while caring for the needs of the entire class?

Since many professionals are in agreement that about 90% of students diagnosed with ADHD have above-average IQs, it would make sense that the ability to learn and retain information would also be above average. Why, then, do most students diagnosed with ADHD have difficulty learning?

Children who have ADHD may feel as though they are an on emotional roller-coaster ride. They may feel “smart” and “dumb” simultaneously. It is the responsibility of parents and educators to help children with ADHD live within the boundaries set by society while expanding the limits that are seemingly programmed internally. In order to do this effectively, the right tools are needed.

Not all children with ADHD have above-average capabilities. Some have academic weaknesses, while others may have weaknesses in more than one domain. This is why it is necessary to nurture and strengthen each student while providing individualized instruction. Children with ADHD may face challenges that other students do not, including but not limited to:

• An environment that serves as a distraction from learning

• Behavioral problems triggered by certain aspects of the child’s surroundings

• Everyday noises that are overlooked by most students but distracting to a child with ADHD

• Sensory overload, including distracting smells or lights that hurt the student’s eyes

These circumstances all may contribute to a classroom setting that is too distracting or overstimulating for a student with ADHD, particularly in situations where he or she needs to concentrate for long periods of time. Part of the solution is to provide smaller class sizes in a calming environment that promotes learning.

It is vital for parents and educators to remember that children with ADHD often do not have a mastery over their impulses. However, these children are smart enough to learn and utilize strategies that help them learn intelligently and make wiser choices. Using simple and consistent mental exercises can be used to strengthen the brain, just as physical exercise works and strengthens the muscles. The most successful program for ADHD students improves social-emotional skills within a well-structured academic program. This provides the student with a chance to really learn while also building self-esteem. Family awareness and support are crucial to the academic and social success of the child. Diet and exercise should also be implemented in a successful learning program.

For decades, Sappo School has created successful learning programs for students who face these and other challenges.

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