Posted on: 2018-11-09 09:00:00

There have been many takes on this question and one of the most common responses across the years has been that the school should work with parents to ensure that the young person in question takes the behaviour modification drugs prescribed.

Only when this is done, it is argued, can the individual modify her or his behaviour enough to be able to settle into mainstream education.

However recent research has cast doubt on this approach. Indeed research from the University of Exeter Medical School has found that the greatest progress of all occurs where the school undertakes three actions related to the pupils and students.

First, this most effective approach needs to include ensuring that all colleagues throughout the school understand ADHD and support the approach being used to help the pupil or student.

Second the approach must be undertaken with the wishes of parent. If  the parent is very keen on constant medication, then this alternative approach will simply cause difficulty.

Third the approach needs to be talked through regularly with the pupil or student.  This is not just a case of a single session where what is happening is explained.  Rather opportunity needs to be found to return to the topic and the approaches used on regular occasions, helping the pupil or student reflect upon the progress being made.

But what is particularly interesting is that although this approach was designed as a way of working with students and pupils who are not taking medication it now turns out that these three fundamentals are just as important when working with those who are taking medication to modify their behaviour.

Where these three factors are all in place then, whether it is with or without medication, better progress and exam results can be expected.

It is to help with the multiplicity of such issues that relate to ADHD that we have produced “Helping ADHD pupils and students through school”.

It is a book which is available as a download, which means that you can then take any of the short articles that appear in the book and make them available for colleagues without any further charges for reproducing the information.

Tony Attwood
Source: The Schools' News Service

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