Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It’s marked by inattention, hyperactivity or impulsiveness, or a combination of all three. Not only does it affect individuals’ lives, it also affects their family, education, and their daily activities.
That’s why finding the right type of schooling should be a top priority for parents with kids suffering from the disorder.
When a child is diagnosed with ADHD, it can be a frightening prospect for parents as they’re unsure of the best way to help their child. While medication may help individuals with ADHD, it doesn’t solve the issue permanently.
Parents need to identify and choose the right form of schooling that is suitable for their child. Parents and caregivers of children with ADHD need to know the various types of schooling available for their children, so that they can make an informed decision about what’s the best for their situation and needs. There are various schooling options available, varying from mainstream to homeschooling and everything in between.
Most children with ADHD are initially enrolled in a mainstream school, and this type of schooling allows these children to learn alongside other children of the same age group. The good thing about having a mainstream school is that these schools are held to a set of high-quality standards that are imperative to any child’s education regardless of their diagnosed disabilities including ADHD.
Although the education, quality teaching and teacher support may be satisfactory, mainstream schooling may not prove itself effective to children with ADHD, as they may need more attention to enable them to focus and stay on task. The environment of a busy classroom would likely prove to be an overwhelming and challenging situation to children with ADHD, which can lead to behavioral issues.
Homeschooling allows parents to take an active role in their child’s educational journey, and can be particularly beneficial to children with ADHD as the learning environment is more relaxed than mainstream schooling. There’s no pressure of competing or fitting in in a classroom, with their most favorable learning environment being at home.
Parents are able to make the curriculum and school quite individualized for their child and can adapt the focus on their strengths and weaknesses. Parents may also be able to introduce therapies like yoga and mindfulness for kids with ADHD, as part of their educational routine. The only challenge with homeschooling is that parents need to be ready to make the commitment and have the patience and dedication to teach their kids at home.
Structured homeschooling is a combination of homeschooling and mainstream schooling, and is highly advantageous especially to children with ADHD. Structured homeschooling allows children to learn in an environment outside of school with a more flexible routine, but still have teachers who are teaching specific topics and skills.
In structured homeschooling, teachers assessment and monitor the child’s academic progress and will recommend initiatives to assist the child to reach their peak performance. Structured homeschooling also enables parents to set a flexible curriculum that is mindful of their child’s needs and strengths. Furthermore, this schooling option allows for twice as much parent involvement which is the cornerstone for success for kids with ADHD.
Virtual schooling or e-learning is another alternative to traditional schooling. It is especially beneficial to kids with ADHD as it enables them to learn from home in a peaceful and private environment, reducing distractions and helping them focus.
Virtual schooling also allows children to take a break whenever needed, helping to avoid any sensory overload, and focus once again on the task at hand. From following lectures, to conducting practicals and performing experiments, virtual schooling opens up a world of possibilities for children with ADHD to learn and explore. It uses technology as the main gateway to learning and the child’s progress can be monitored through software and applications which enable parents to track the duration, frequency and outcome of tasks.
Part Time Schooling
Part time schooling is another schooling option for children with ADHD which combines traditional schooling with homeschooling. It’s a great option for children who may benefit from mainstream schooling, but also require one-on-one support, or who struggle to focus in a regular classroom setting. Parents can choose to enroll their child in a part time regular school, and also hire a private tutor for more individualized instruction.
This approach allows the child to still be in a classroom environment and interact with other students, but still receive the individualized attention they need and deserve.
One-on-one tutoring is a great option for children who require more individualized attention. It houses numerous benefits, such as the freedom to customize the lesson plan to the child’s individual attention needs, and tailoring the content to their strengths, weaknesses and interests. In one-on-one tutoring, the learning environment is far more relaxed as the one-on-one interaction eliminates the anxiety-inducing pressure from competing with other students or class challenges and activities.
With one-on-one tutoring, parents can take a much more active role in their child’s learning and progress, which is extensively beneficial for children with ADHD.
Unschooling is a well-known schooling option for children with ADHD, and it enables kids to drive their own learning and to explore new subjects and fields through different activities and passion projects. Unschooling is a relaxed form of homeschooling, with minimal to no structure, and where children are entirely allowed to lead and direct their own education.
Unschooling allows children with ADHD to focus on topics that interest them, without having to worry about time slots and assessments, and to explore their creativity and passions. Unschooling is also advantageous as it allows parents to nurture a child’s individual strengths, interests and proclivities.
Individualised Education Programmes
Individualised Education Programmes (IEPs) are often used for children with ADHD or special needs, as it allows parents, teachers and doctors to collaborate and devise tailored plans for the child that meet their needs. IEPs are extremely beneficial for children with ADHD, as it enables them to receive individual attention, customized curriculum and extra specialized assistance when needed.
IEPs are also advantageous as it allows caregivers to identify and adjust any changes needed for the child’s progress and development.
Specialised schools are the perfect option for children with ADHD, as they are tailored and crafted to cater to the special needs of children with the said disorder. Specialised schools are designed to teach children the vital skills they need to succeed in academic life and to become independent and confident individuals.
Not only do these schools provide additional support and guidance, they are also monitored and held to high standards. Specialised subject teaching is also available to children so they may focus more on the curriculum, and have more targeted strategy assistance.
Emotional Support Systems
It’s critical to note the emotional side of the disorder when considering the best schooling option for children with ADHD. It’s important to identify and determine ways to boost the child’s self-confidence and self-esteem, as these suffer due to the disorder. Teachers, parents and caregivers should keep in mind that the child should be assisted and looked after, with utmost love and care by providing them with an emotional support system.
This support system should extend even outside of school, with dedicated counselors helping the child stressed throughout their daily life.
When it comes to children with ADHD, early intervention is key to help them succeed. Even after finding the right schooling option, it’s important to also recognize signs of difficulty and to adjust strategies as needed. Early intervention will ultimately create further stability and help children become successful in both school and life.
Parents should talk to the teachers and look into ways to collaboratively support the child in school. They should also check if the school is equipped with all resources and special needs support to ensure their child is receiving all needed assistance and support.
Finding the right type of schooling for children with ADHD is extremely important and challenging task, but it’s ultimately the key to setting them up for success. With numerous options available that may be tailored to the child’s strengths and needs, finding the perfect schooling option for them should be a priority.
Parents must also remember to keep in mind the emotional side of the disorder, and to nurture and support their children accordingly. With patience and dedication, and by considering all factors, finding the right type of schooling for your child with ADHD can result in an extraordinary learning experience.