Case Study: ADHD

Andrew is thirteen and is in year 9 in high school. He has been diagnosed as having ADHD and has been taking Ritalin for the last eight months. He is in your form class but you also teach him four times a week.  You have just begun the new academic year.

In class you quickly notice that Andrew often goes off-task very quickly and does not finish the work which has been set.  He can make careless mistakes and appears not to be listening when you are giving instructions.  When you ask him to complete any activity which lasts longer than five minutes, he becomes distracted and will often then distract the other pupils around him.  As a result of his lack of attention he rarely remembers the right books for your class and seldom completes his homework.  His school bag and homework diary are a mess. Image of Child getting card



1. What type of ADHD do you think Andrew has from the description above?

2. What could you do to help Andrew learn more effectively in your class and in his other classes?

Post your comments below:

30 comments to Case Study: ADHD

  • David Crothers

    It is clear from reading this short paragraph that Andrew has Inattention ADHD, this is simply because it states in the paragraph that he finds it hard to concentrate and goes off track very easily.
    Many strategies could be put in place to co-operate with a child like Andrew, like trying to sit Andrew away from doors and windows and keep him seated beside another pupil which could be a good influence on him.

  • Caroline Thompson

    From reading the case study I have come to the conclusion that Andrew has the inattention strain of ADHD. This is clear as he suffers from a low attention-span and finds it hard to concentrate.

    To help Andrew concentrate, I would seat him away from windows and put him at the front of the classroom surrounded by pupils who generally do well and behave in an acceptable manner. If I don’t think he’s listening to my explanations, I would cue him into the conversation by using his name. This makes him aware of the fact that he may not have been listening and brings his attention back to me.

  • Lloyd Gillespie

    From the information in the case study I feel that Andrew has Inattention ADHD. I have arrived at this conclusion as it is stated that he goes off-task very quickly and finds it hard to concentrate for more than five minutes on a particular task.

    I feel that there are a number of possible solutions which could be put in place to help Andrew with his education. Firstly as a form teacher I would would help Andrew with organising his school life, for example bringing his school books on the correct days and completing his homework on time. In relation to teaching Andrew I feel that a good classroom seating plan is vital, by placing Andrew close to the front of the classroom it would be easier to monitor his progress and help him organise things such as his homework which is to be completed. By doing this I feel that it would be easier to refocus Andrew on task and help him develop within his learning.

  • Christopher M

    Andrew clearly has inattention ADHD and finds it hard to stay focused on tasks for an extensive period of time.

    Possibly more visual aids in the classroom would help to benefit Andrew and keep his attention for a little while longer, and possibly more tailored tasks/worksheets to suit his needs.

  • Sean M

    ADHD seems to be a widely misunderstood condition and it impacts not only Andrew’s ability to learn but those around him. I will continue reading about the subject to expand my own knowledge and hopefully educate others at the same time.

  • jason nugent

    From the evidence that i have been given, I would assume that Andrew has inattentive ADHD. Due to this he misses intructions from the teacher given at the start of the lesson and hence finds it hard to complete work in class.

    I would try to improve his knowledge of what to do by supplying personal work time table possibly including picture to help improve his attention. I may also use the buddy system so as he always has someone to help him identify what work he shhould be getting on with. simply moving him closer to the teacher could also help improve his attention in class.

    Although i would have to have first hand experience working with the pupils to distinguish what strategies work best for him

  • Peter McHugh

    From the case study I think Andrew has inattention ADHD
    Being able to repeat the tasks that have been set is a simple way to help Andrew know what to do. Also to keep his attention during longer tasks the teacher could stop the class every 5 minutes or so just to refocus him!
    Other ways could be to get him a classroom assistant that would be able to keep him focused or even a buddy system with one of the other pupils in the class.

  • Adam Leahy

    From the case study it is clear that Andrew has the inattention form of ADHD. This is displayed throught as he finds it difficult to concentrate in class and pay attention to instructions.

    There are a number of approaches that could be utilised to help him learn more effectively in class. For example: It would be important to keep Andrew seated close to the front of the class, this way if his attention slips, it will be easily noticed by the teacher. Being near the front will also make it easier for the teacher to give him more attention and help hhim along with his work. There are also a number of alternative teaching methods that could be tried to see if he reacts better to, for example, a more kinesthetic approach.
    Other than this, it is important that this is carried through outside the classroom and that close communication is kept between the teachers and parents.

  • Niohmi Murray

    Andrew clearly has in attentive ADHD stragegies that could be used to help Andrews learning would include sitting him at the front of the class where the teacher can keep a
    Close eye on him. It may also be useful for the teacher to set a series of shorter tasks instead of one long task.

  • Becky Law

    Inattention ADHD. The teacher strategies which I would employ would be to move the pupil closer to the front of the room, give the pupil small pieces of work which don’t require prolonged attention and communicate with parents to make sure he has a set routine which emphasises good behaviour.

  • Helen Moutray

    From reading the description I would tend to think that Andrew has inattention in that he is unable to complete the set task in the time given as well as being hyperactive in that he becomes distracted very easily and therefore tends to distract other pupils in the class. In order to help Andrew learn more effectively, I would focus on the Andrew’s strenghts, such as making learning more interactive by using interactive whiteboards, allowing him to express himself by being creative and using art materials rather than having to write. To break information down into bite-size chunks so that it is more easy to digest. Not to clutter information and to label drawers and cupboards so that they know where everything has to go as well as providing a quiet area or a separate room in which the child and the assistant can go to relax so that they can then escape from the classroom environment.

  • Adam Baird

    Andrew is suffering from Inattention ADHD.

    As his Teacher I would aim to try and maintain him as being treated like a normal pupil so he does not feel I am descriminating against him pure becuase of his ADHD. I would perform a classroom seat shuffle so that he is not aware that I am just moving him closer to him, but rather so that he is aware that I am moving everyone.
    As for classroom work and activities it would be possible for me to create a separate worksheet to assist Andrew with extra explanations or others methods such as pictures to describe what I expect.
    A meeting with Andrew’s parents if possible could also benefit him with his studies. Just a thought.
    As for the buddy system I don’t have as much faith in this system as it could cause some behaviour to perhaps pass to other pupils that do not have ADHD, but they could start to display signs of ADHD, in an attempt to be treated slightly differently.

  • Amy Greer

    From reading the case study shown above, this suggests that Andrew would have the inattention form of ADHD. My conclusion of this form of ADHD was drawn from the case study suggesting that Andrew finds it hard to concentrate on certain activities for longer than 5 minutes and also due to his lack of organisational and planning skills.

    Teaching Strategies form an extensive part in how children with ADHD are able to cope within mainstream education. I would therefore aim to put strategies in place in order to predominately help Andrew, however these could also be used as standardised criteria to avoid the pupil feeling completely different from the rest of the class, and therefore to try to prevent any form of bullying occuring around the nature of Andrew’s ADHD. These would include:

    -The use of a seating plan in order to enforce stability and structure within the classroom environment. This then means that you can put Andrew in one of the desks at the front of the room without him being singled out in front of the whole class and being the only one asked to move. This gives the teacher the ability to keep an eye on Andrew and therefore be able to encourage and maintain his concentration throughout the lesson.

    -Watching Andrew write his homeworks into his diary and ensuring that it is regularly signed and check by his parents, encouraging them to also play a part in Andrew’s education. This should help with Andrew being able to complete homeworks and pack his bag correctly each day with the correct books, suggesting that the school’s strageties are influenced at home through the use of positive and negative reinforcement. This therefore aims to promote planning and organisational skills.

    -Children with ADHD and other Special Educational Needs often benefit from being able to visually see timetables in order to plan ahead for the day as a whole. In form time, the tutor could go through the timetable with Andrew ensuring he has the correct books in his bag and not in his locker and that he knows what time the lessons are at and where to go. Whilst teaching Andrew it would therefore be important to reinforce the form class structure by including a lesson timetable or on a longer scale a timetable of what will be covered in each class in a particular unit of work so that Andrew is aware of what will take place each lesson before he has even reached the classroom.

  • Eimear Hadden

    From reading the case study it is clear to see that Andrew has Inattention ADHD as he finds it difficult to stay focused and often goes off-task very quickly and does not finish the work which has been set.

    As a teacher you could set shorter tasks for Andrew to complete and ensure he is seated close to the front of the classroom to enable the teacher to observe him and also help him with his work. I also think it would be very important to get his parents involved and make them aware of his homeworks he has to complete and the books he has to bring to class. This would hopefully help resolve Andrew’s problems of always forgetting things and enable him to become more organised.

  • Rebecca

    It appears that Andrew has the Inattentive form of ADHD, as he goes off task very quickly, doesn’t finish the work set, he is easily distracted and gets bored and he is also not very organised causing him to forget books for school.

    To make learning more effective the following could be put into place:
    *Reward good behaviour
    *Set smaller pieces of work instead of one large piece
    *Inform other teachers and the SENCO
    *Develop a seating plan and have Andrew close to the front of the classroom.

  • Lauren Hamilton

    It is clear that Andrew has inattention ADHD due to the fact he goes off task easily and finds it difficult to concentrate for long periods of time.

    There are many strategies you could use. Andrew could be placed at the front of the class close to the teacher so as they can be watched and be in the teachers view all the time. I think a strong routine would be good for Andrew and perhaps may settle him as things are the same day in day out. Perhaps his activities should be adapted and broken down so each task is of the length and ability that he can manage. Perhaps there could be the option that his books are kept in school unless he has a homework or revision. It is important other teachers are made aware of Andrew’s condition and they are informed of his needs and routines so as to keep things uniform for him. I think a relationship and communication between his home life and school life is maintained as to again keep his discipline techniques routine and also the parents can support him.

  • Conal Kelly

    After reading the case study it is evident that Andrew suffers from the Inattention type of ADHD. This is due to how in class he goes off-task quickly and doesn’t finish his work; he is inattentive and cannot complete work that lasts over five minutes. Andrew is also disorganised, all these qualities point towards Inattention ADHD.
    Firstly I believe Andrew’s parents / guardians should be contacted and should be kept aware of the tasks Andrew has been set. Parent teacher interaction will be key to Andrew’s progress.
    There are many different ways to deal with this in the classroom. Andrew should be sat at the front of the class with a hard worker so the teacher can make eye contact and ensure he is paying attention. Tasks should be short and a system of rewards and privileges for goal accomplishment should be set up (positive and negative feedback should be given quickly.) A good balance between written and active activities should be established so Andrew is not on the one task for extended periods of time. Belongings, assignments and supplies should always be kept in the same place so a routine can be set up. Colour coding can be useful to keep documents in order. Andrew should be encouraged to take part in the lesson by doing something simple like using the interactive whiteboard.

  • John

    Andrew clearly has Inattention ADHD due to his inability to stay focused for a long period of time and forgetting to do his homework.

    As a teacher you could set shorter tasks and place Andrew at the front of the room near a positive role model. You should also monitor him whilst he is writing down his homework so he has a written record of what he has to do at home, for when he forgets.

  • Brian Simpson

    From reading the case study I believe Andrew to be suffering from the inattentive form of ADHD. However, he does not suffer from hyperactivity/impulsivity. There are a number of strategies a teacher could implement to improve Andrew’s learning. I will mention below what I believe could be most effective.

    In the classroom a good seating plan could prove to be very effective, e.g. placing Andrew at the front or whatever point closest to where the teacher is usually located. This would make it easier to observe Andrew and help him with his work. Furthermore, seating Andrew between two role models could be effective. In terms of Andrew’s learning the teacher should keep tasks short and perhaps use a timer stopwatch for each task as a means of maintaining Andrew’s attention. Outside of the classroom, the teacher should contact Andrews parents in order to try and solve the problem of books not making it to school.

    Teachers should always be trying and evaluating new strategies in order to try and improve Andrew’s learning experience.

  • Julie Willis

    From the Case Study it is evident that Andrew has inattention ADHD as he finds it extremely difficult to stay on task and he is easily distracted.
    In order to help and support Andrew so that he, along with the other pupils in the class, can reach his full potential I would carefully consider various strategies. I would try to incorporate more kinaesthetic learning activites for him, short activities to prevent him losing focus and have lessons planned clearly and in advance. Visual timetables, structured lessons and routine would help Andrew to develop a sense of familiarity in the classroom. Knowing what he should be doing at a certain time would raise his confidence.
    As Andrew’s form teacher I would see my role as important in ensuring staff are aware of his ADHD and senstive to his needs. I would ensure Andrew, and his parents, know that support is behind them and learning will be tailored to suit his learning style.

  • Lindsay,
    Great ideas! Yes, your role as a form tutor is also centrally important here. You will often have more time to get to know Andrew, to liaise with his parents and, perhaps with the guidance of the SENCO, to offer guidance to the other members of staff who have Andrew in their class. The strategies you outline are very appropriate: don’t forget too to seek/create opportunities to praise Andrew whenever possible, to reinforce the positive behaviour as much as possible. Finally, continual evaluation of the strategies is vital to ensure that you are meeting the needs of Andrew as an individual child: not all the ‘standard’ strategies will work for every child.

  • Carol Brown

    From the case study’s description of the pupil Andrew, I would be led to believe that he has Inattention ADHD. This is evidenced by his inability to stay focused on a particular piece of work.

    To help Andrew remain on task in my classroom I would create short and often active activities which the whole class will participate in. This breaks up the long time period where he struggles to stay focused. I would also stand near him when teaching so that I would be able to help him. Furthermore I will be able to keep a closer eye on him and see that he does not disrupt the rest of the class.

  • Lindsay Kelly

    Having just read over the case study on Andrew it is very apparent he suffers from the Inattention type of ADHD due to difficulties focusing in class (staying focused on task etc.), and the fact that he is disorganised, unable to complete classroom tasks and is always bored within a short period of time after being given a task.
    If I was Andrew’s teacher there are a number of strategies which I feel would be essential to implement within the classroom and outside of school in order for Andrew to achieve his full potential:
    -Firstly a visual timetable would be created within the classroom for all pupils to follow. This would mean placing the learning intentions and activities that are going to be carried out within the lesson on an Interactive Whiteboard for the pupils to follow and copy down, also benefitting Andrew.
    -All tasks would be planned and organised in advance so that they are ready for pupils to complete and all would be kept short and simple to prevent Andrew from losing focus while on task.
    -A seating plan would be put into action, in order for me as the teacher to have Andrew positioned near the front so a close eye can be kept on him at all times especially when completing theory work.
    -Parents will be kept in touch with on a regular basis to follow through on Andrew’s behaviour as well as to ensure that the parents are helping Andrew at nights to complete his homeworks and prepare for school the next day.
    -Finally as the form teacher I would ensure that all staff within the school are aware of Andrew’s condition to help the teacher if a difficult situation was to arise.

  • Kelly Andrews

    From the description in the case study I would agree that the type of ADHD Andrew has is inattention ADHD. This is clear in the case study as we are told he finds it hard to concentrate and goes off task easily.
    If Andrew was in my class I think I would use a number of strategies such as bringing him closer to the front of the room, either give him shorter tasks to follow or only give him a selection of instructions and then let him complete the task in stages. If Andrew had a visual timetable for each day this would give him structure and enable him to see what exactly the task is that he is being asked to follow; however it would be a case of trialling (and evaluating) these strategies as each child is different and one strategy which works for one child with inattention ADHD may not work for another.

  • Brian Lowe

    From the case study, it would appear that Andrew has Inattention ADHD. This is evident because he seems to find it hard to concentrate in class and forgets things.

    To help Andrew learn more effectively in general, I would use more visual aids to my advantage and possibly include a visual timetable at the start of every lesson. It may help Andrew to know what exactly is happening every day, so that it becomes routine. I would also consider placing Andrew around “good” pupils who would be more unlikely to get distracted. If he manages to distract them, I would move him to a table of his own.
    I also think it would be very important to get his parents involved, especially with homeworks and books that he has to bring in. This would hopefully help resolve Andrew’s problems of always forgetting things.

  • Carolyn Rea

    In my opinion it is evident that Andrew has the Inattention form of ADHD. This is due to the fact that he has difficulty staying focused and attending to tasks, he is easily distracted and appears to be forgetful.

    If Andrew was a pupil in my class I would possibly seat him at the front of the class, as close to the teacher as possible. This will allow the teacher to monitor him and keep him focused on the tasks. I would also seat Andrew away from any distracting influences or else place him between positive role models within the classroom.
    Due to the fact Andrew often goes off-task very quickly and does not finish the work which has been set, I would possibly break long tasks into shorter, more achievable tasks.

  • Andrew Nicholl

    After reviewing the Case Study I feel it is apparent that Andrew has the Predominantly Inattentive type of ADHD. I feel this is apparent for the simple reason that Andrew seems to be constantly unsettled and often goes off-task very quickly, not finishing his classwork.

    As Andrew’s teacher I would, at the beginning of each lesson, clearly identify what the lesson will consist of through the use of a visual timetable. This timetable will be displayed on the board so at all times pupils, especially Andrew ,can refer to it and know how the lesson will be structured. Also I feel keeping in contact with Andrew’s parents may ease his organisational issues, in terms of having his parents both checking for homework and helping him with homework. Also I feel Andrew’s parents could really help Andrew improve his routine by helping him prepare for the following day in school.

  • Sinead Grant

    From the evidence provided it could be said that the form of ADHD that Andrew has would be the Inattention form. This is due to the fact that Andrew finds it difficult to concentrate and due to this his school work is being affected in various different ways. Andrew is missing out on the instructions that the teacher is providing due to his lack of concentration and so it evidently having a negative impact on the rest of his work as without these instructions he is unaware of what to do.

    If Andrew was a pupil in my class, I feel it would be necessary that he is seated near the front of the class so that he is less likely to be distracted. Andrew must be positively reinforced and his strong points must be made obvious to him, so I would focus on the tasks that he can complete. This positivity towards Andrew will help to enthuse him for learning if he knows he can do it. As Andrew’s teacher I would ensure that I am willing to accommodate his anger and the frustration that he can adopt in a classroom situation. Strategies with other teachers should be put in place, so that when Andrew gets frustrated there is a procedure in place so that there is a consistent plan to deal with his outbursts. This will help Andrew as there will be structure in place for him. Andrew will need his lessons to be shorter and in bite size bits: this will allow him to be more focused by quick fire activities. Andrew needs to have his needs accommodated in the classroom to allow him to perform to the best of his ability, so it is vital that all teachers put in place strategies that are specific to Andrew and not tasks that are just suitable for any child with ADHD. Each child is unique and so requires different strategies to meet their needs.

  • Jill Frazer

    From this case study it is clear that Andrew has the inattention form of ADHD. His inability to stay focused on tasks for any length of time proves this.

    As the teacher I would try to adapt my lessons to his needs. Instead of giving the pupils a sheet of reading to do I would maybe organise short activities that give the pupils the information quickly and in active activities so that Andrew does not lose focus. In some cases where work may appear longer and require more focus, I would perhaps move Andrew to a table near the front where I can keep an eye on him to make sure he isn’t distracting any other pupils and to give him encouragement to stay focused. Furthermore I would try to organise meetings with other members of staff and try to organise our lessons with the same layout. The familiarity of the same routine in each class should help Andrew to settle better into work.

  • Matthew Dickson

    From the description I would say Andrew has Inattention ADHD, due to how he finds it hard to concentrate on tasks for a prolonged period of time and also shows this lack of concentration through forgetting to complete homeworks.

    As a teacher I could move him closer to me and to a table on his own so that he would not be distracting other pupils. I could get together with his other teachers and agree to some sort of timetable for lessons that remains consistent in all classes, as this routine may help him concentrate more.

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