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ADHD in Primary School

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Teaching students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can be challenging. In the classroom they can struggle to focus and stay on task and often display behaviour that is considered socially inappropriate. They also tend to underperform academically - the Australian child and adolescent survey of mental health and wellbeing (2015) found 50% of students with ADHD achieved less than the national minimum standard during NAPLAN testing.

Behaviour modification strategies based on discipline are ineffective when teaching students with ADHD as punishing students for behaviour that is a symptom of their developmental delay and lagging self-regulation skills only crushes their self-esteem, self-worth and love for learning, fosters shame and exacerbates their challenges. It can also contribute to them becoming oppositional and defiant.

This NESA accredited workshop is designed to help teachers develop a good understanding of ADHD, the executive function deficits implicit in the disorder and the role interest plays in self-regulation. The workshop will also assist teachers to:

  • foster self-awareness, self-understanding and self-compassion as well as the desire to participate and learn in students with ADHD
  • identify why students with ADHD may be struggling academically, socially and emotionally when challenges arise
  • put in place inclusive classroom accommodations and interventions that aim to prevent or support the challenges students with ADHD may experience, as well as gently foster in them the knowledge and skills they need to negotiate school successfully, develop in a healthy manner and reach their full potential.

NESA accreditation

Completing this course will contribute 4 hours and 30 minutes of NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Registered PD addressing 1.5.2 and 3.5.2 from the Australia Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.

About the presenter

Lou Brown is an ADHD Coach, Consultant & Advocate. She is also the author of ADHD in Primary School: a comprehensive guide to understanding and supporting students with ADHD in the classroom and the blog Thriving with ADHD.

Prior to becoming a coach, Lou worked as a registered nurse for more than seventeen years. She worked in a wide variety of specialities and held 3 senior nursing roles. When she and her son were both diagnosed with ADHD in 2016, Lou made the decision to fondly farewell her nursing career and launch into her ultimate passion – improving the lives and outcomes of individuals with ADHD.

Lou now works one-on-one with parents of children who have ADHD, as well as with adults who are affected by the disorder. With a unique insight into both the symptoms of ADHD and what it feels like to experience them, Lou also provides ADHD education and workshops for parents, adults and teachers. As a tireless ADHD advocate, she frequently collaborates with ADHD Australia, Parents for ADHD Advocacy Australia, and the ADHD Foundation Australia and has appeared in multiple television interviews and in online and print publications, sharing her lived experience with the aim of fostering understanding and awareness around ADHD.

Lou is currently writing a book for parents of children with ADHD, and has recently commenced a Master of Research program. Her thesis aims to examine the correlation between self-compassion and symptom severity, self-esteem and quality of life in individuals with ADHD.

Workshop feedback 

I loved the workshop. Mostly I loved the way Lou changed my mindset about how even though many behaviours that are displayed in class can be seen as poor listening, misbehaving or frustrating that none of this is the child’s fault….even though I knew this is was just what I needed to give myself a swift kick. I just changing MY mindset and showing more positivity and praise has been enough to make an overall shift in the mood of the classroom. I have three little people, diagnosed and undiagnosed, who just lap up the praise. Thank you Lou for the new information and the reminders in helping to make me a better, more tolerant and understanding teacher!!

Deb Melville, John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School, Perth (March 2019).

Thank you, Lou for a very informative and enlightening PD on ADHD. I believe all teachers and EAs should have access to the information and first hand experiences you shared with us. The PD you provide equips teaching staff with a more comprehensive knowledge and understanding of ADHD. It also gave us practical strategies and processes to put in place in order to meet the needs of our students with ADHD. I really got a lot out of this PD and I highly recommend it to all teachers, EAs and Admin staff.

Janine Tindale, Palmyra Primary School, Perth (March 2019).

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