Paying Attention to Pupils with ADHD: A Guide for Teaching Assistants

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    Educational teaching assistants (ETAs) who work with children with ADHD, most commonly on a one-to-one basis during curriculum time, are the primary focus of this article, and more specifically those who support pupils within PE lessons. In order to facilitate inclusion ETAs need to fully understand the condition, its effects on the child, and possible strategies to help reduce the severity of symptoms during PE.


    A considerable amount of research is necessary to determine the most effective exercise strategies (for example intensity, frequency and duration) to help manage symptoms of ADHD. Current evidence suggests the application of simple skill sessions that are easily mastered will help prevent a reduction in confidence. Short bouts of exercise are also recommended (5-30 minutes) especially when the pupils possess irregular sleeping patterns as a comorbidity. Aerobic-type sessions possibly reduce severity of ADHD and depressive symptoms, thus improving behaviour, learning and self-confidence. The inclusion of reward schemes to enhance positive social behaviours during PE sessions has been shown to promote a greater sense of social acceptance and improvements within social situations.

    Period4 Apr 2017

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