What teachers see: How ADHD impacts learning in middle school

Middle-schoolers with ADHD may have a hard time organizing and completing more complicated work. They may also struggle with peer relationships. Here’s what your child’s teacher may be seeing.

Has trouble switching gears

  • Your child does the daily problem on the board but then forgets to hand in homework.

  • Your child comes to class after socializing in the hallway and can’t settle down.

  • Your child moves from one subject to the next and can’t remember what was read last.

The issue: Kids with ADHD might have trouble multitasking and switching focus to new activities (even if they’re part of a daily routine).

Doesn’t know how to fit in

  • Your child doesn’t know how to enter a group conversation and stands off to the side.

  • Your child gets told by other kids that what's being shared is “TMI.”

  • Your child shows off or clowns around in class in order to get noticed.

The issue: Kids with ADHD often have trouble judging other kids’ reactions, which can lead to awkward social interactions.

Does things halfway

  • Your child writes three paragraphs of a five-paragraph essay.

  • Your child joins a club, but only shows up for a few meetings.

  • Your child is enthusiastic about an exciting long-term project but never turns in the final product.

The issue: Kids with ADHD often have difficulty following through and maintaining interest.

Doesn’t know how to get things done

  • Your child has trouble with long division and word problems even while knowing calculation facts.

  • Your child's book report is missing important details.

  • Your child’s science fair project is too simplistic and doesn’t follow the guidelines.

The issue: Kids with ADHD have difficulty with planning, breaking tasks into smaller steps and handling multi-step activities.

Key takeaways


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