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 Special Education Needs

Types of Special Need

ADHD (Attention Deficit, Hyperactivity Disorder

ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)

  • Affects children at all stages of education.
  • More common in boys.
  • Suffers often also suffer from Dyspraxia (problems in motor co-ordination)

What to look out for: 

The child doesn't seem to be able to control his activities or attention.  He/she has poor concentration, finds it hard to settle down and is always on the go.  He/she is not good at organizing things, finds it hard to take part in anything requiring sustained effort and will not wait for others.  He/she often acts without thinking; has difficulty following instructions or completing tasks. 

Children who have significant problems in concentration and attention, without the over activity are often described as ADD rather than ADHD.

The behaviour will occur in more than one situation, e.g. at home and at school.  He/she may also have poor sleep patterns and difficulties interacting socially.  Due to his/her inattention he/she often underachieves and reading difficulties are common, although his/her academic ability can be low, average or high.


ADHD is considered to be a medical condition and should be diagnosed by the GP/other medical referral.

Ritalin or similar medication can be used in some cases to reduce the number of neurotransmitters in the brain.  The effects of these medicines only last for a few hours and it is likely that at some time during the school day, the medication will need to be administered according to the school policy.

Stratera is an alternative medication sometimes used instead of Ritalin. It is slower acting. There are claims that it causes weight loss.

There is also some suggestion that dietary care may help in some cases.  Reducing the number of additives might be useful. Recent concerns over the use of Sudan 1 in foods is discussed at

 It is important though to remember that the use of medication alone is not enough to modify the effects of ADHD; there must also be a behaviour modification plan. Attendance at a sleep and behaviour clinic might suggest behaviour strategies. CAMHS is an agency run as part of the Dr Barnardo's organisation. They can also help with approaches to helping behaviour..

An Article Explaining Why It Seems They're Not Listening

Case Studies

Teaching Strategies

People who can help: SENCO/Resource Teacher; Outreach Support


Further Information


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