Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Students (Greenwood)

This course was designed:

As supplementary training for educators working with students diagnosed with Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD);

To improve understanding of ADHD and;

To assist the educator with developing the techniques and tools to assist the student living with the disorder. 

Educators will:

After reviewing the content, you will have an opportunity to check your knowledge with a evaluation.

Click Start Course to begin.

What is definition of ADHD

ADHD: Definition

Definition of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

ADHD is a developmental disorder seen in both students and adults that is comprised of deficits in behavioral inhibition, sustained attention and resistance to distraction, and the regulation of one’s activity level to the demands of a situation (hyperactivity or restlessness). (Barkley, Russell A., 2011, Fact Sheet: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)).  Students are usually incorrectly perceived as being intentionally rude or misbehaving instead of someone who is not able to meet standard expected behaviors.

ADHD: Definition

What is ADHD?

Hyperactivity / impulsivity are most prevalent in this disorder and manifest in a number of ways. The lack of inhibition can be seen in impaired verbal or motor inhibition, impulsivity in decision making, greater disregard of future or delayed consequences, excessive task-irrelevant movement and verbal behaviour, and poor emotional self regulation. (Barkley, Russell A., 2011, Fact Sheet: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)).

ADHD: Video Definition

Video: Definiton according to gives a broader overview of ADHD and detailed information surrounding it

ADHD is a recognized disorder caused by severe brain damage?

  • ADHD is a recognized disorder caused by severe brain damage?

Review the video on the previous page for follow up information.

Characteristics of ADHD

Neurological Characteristics

Neurologically, students with ADHD have:

Lower levels of the dopamine, a neurotransmitter. Due to a lowered ability to metabolize dopamine, the child constantly needs stimulation to satiate the deficit in inappropriate times, or ways.

Weakness in the areas of Executive functioning, the mental process associated with planning, organizing, evaluation of the past/future, commencement and completion of tasks, and resistance to distraction

Neurological Characteristics: Video

Neurologically, students with ADHD have:

  • Problems with working memory, the part of short-term memory that is responsible for reading and writing comprehension, and the ability to pay attention

Characteristics most often found in students with ADHD:


  • easily distractible, fidgets, restless
  • mood swings, dangerous behavior, hard to discipline
  • defiant, oppositional, interrupting in class or home, blurting out answers, difficulty waiting his/her turn
  • shifts activities rapidly from one incomplete activity to another, symptoms often worse when long attention is needed; symptoms better when well supervised or one-on-one
  • symptoms better in stimulating setting, e.g., video games

Characteristics most often found in students with ADHD:

Characteristics: ...cont'd

  • may lose self-esteem, perceived as “dumb” or “lazy”
  • peer relations are strained, can't follow rules, interrupts others’ play, not waiting turn, grabbing
  • spaces out, impulsive
  • low tolerance for frustration gives up on hard tasks without trying
  • symptoms worse in unstructured settings

Characteristics most often found in students with ADHD:

Characteristics: ...cont'd

  • work is often messy, careless, unfinished
  • difficulty maintaining attention
  • fails to finish chores and assignments
  • academic underachievement

Complete the sentence.

Due to a ability to metabolize , the child constantly needs to satiate the deficit in inappropriate times, or ways.

Curricular Modifications and Adaptations

Curricular Modifications and Adaptations

Curricular Modifications and Adaptations

Curricular modifications are defined as changes made to the goal or evaluation of the curriculum in order to accommodate the student and their abilities. Curricular adaptations are adjustments that are made in the process of the curriculum to assist the student to reach the initially intended goal or evaluation.

Modifications - 1

Providing alternate tests or evaluations

Shorter tests, weighted tests, or Giving more time on test.

Adjust the Individual Education Plan for the student

Provide opportunities that will highlight any area that they can thrive or succeed in.

Modifications - 2

Adjusted marking criterion

Adjust the marking criterion to accommodate the student

Provide an assistant

Provide a teaching aid (Special Education Assistant) or a study assistant (another student).

Modifications - 3

Portioned curriculum

Student should complete only a portion of the regular curriculum.

Use of technology

Use of assisting technology designed to help reinforce adaptive behavior, actions, and development should be used. 

Adaptation - 1

Curricular Adaptions

  • Talk about what is happening right now – keep you conversations and consequences in the present. Students may have difficulty linking an action that you’re speaking about or if the event occurred in the past. 
  • Use short explanation – when giving instructions that you want carried out. You’ll want to keep them direct and brief, so the child can process quickly and get on with it. The child will be keen to get on and try out what you have asked, but will be easily confused if your instructions are convoluted with extra information they feel they don’t need.

Adaptation - 2

Curricular Adaptations

  • Say exactly what you want – speaking in a “roundabout” manner only serves to frustrate the student. Don’t make assumptions that the student will automatically and exactly interpret all of your actions. Direct conversation helps the student to not have to spend time processing extra information that diverts them from the essence of what you’re saying/teaching.
  • Speak calmly and clearly – even in a negatively consequential conversation. It is important to still maintain composure, calmness, and clarity. This demeanor limits the intrusion of incorrect information that can distort the true understanding of what you are saying to the student.

Adaptations - 3

Curricular Adaptations

  • Make eye contact and be aware of your body language - Because most communication is done through body language, a student can improperly process all of your actions if they are not consistent with what is intended in being transferred.
  • Focus on solutions, not problems – Solutions provide closure, and completion, and thus provides satisfaction, which in turn stimulates the brain. Problems that are outside of their current capacity while it can serve to stretch their capabilities; it can frustrate and create a blockage for learning if proper procedures are not put in place to mitigate.

Adaptations - 4

Curricular Adaptations

  • Keep a routine and communicate that routine to the student so they know what to expect. A routine or a schedule provides a known process for the student, an area that they can succeed in and be encouraged in. When there is a set process that is known and clear the student can free up their memory to handle other functions.
  • Keep the classroom organized, keep everything in its place – when items are consistently in the same place and process is followed regularly, it creates a clutter-free environment that can limit extra confusion. A clutter free environment can help encourage a clutter free mind.

Adaptations - 5

Curricular Adaptations

  • Be consistent in how you enforce rules of the classroom – consistency is key in providing stability and harmony in the mind of a student. The same needs to be applied to enforcing rules and consequences. If students see variable and inconsistent reinforcement they will try and follow it, and it will be confusing for them. They will conduct themselves accordingly.
  •  Use of technology: Use of assisting technology aimed at helping to reinforce adaptive behavior, actions, and development should be used. For example: Calculators, DVD players, computer programs, CD’s, etc.

Choose the best modification Scenario




Did you understand the content in this course? This section will help you to confirm what you've just learned in the previous modules. Answer the questions to the best of your ability. A score of 80% or more is required for successful completion of this course. 

Good luck.

Generally, which characteristic do most youth with ADHD have?

  • very patient
  • impulsive
  • high tolerance for frustration
  • focused

Which child has physical signs of ADHD?

What kind of setting are symptoms of ADHD better?

  • artificial
  • stimulating
  • boring
  • toxic

Text matching question

  • Youth can't seem focus on working alone.
    Provide a teaching aid or assistant.
  • Youth is having trouble completing the full curriculum.
    Portion out the requirements.
  • Youth is having trouble grasping the complexities of instructions.
    Simplify the statements.
  • Youth is frustrated while given information.
    Explain information calmly.

Drag and drop text question

  • ADHD is a neuro-genetic disorder.
  • ADHD is a behavioural problem.

Fill in the blanks question

In the ADHD brain there can be problems with working memory, the part of     memory that is responsible for comprehension, and the ability to.

True / False Statement question

  • ADHD is an acronym for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disease
Choose whether the statement is true or false.