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101 Reasonable Adjustments for ADHD

This is a 'must have' for all families and young people with ADHD who want their schools be better informed about how support them. Produced by Richmond ADHD, this guide provides bullet point suggestions for children and young people to give their teachers. Simple, effective strategies!


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Reasonable Adjustments for ADHD

Schools have a statutory duty under Equality Act 2010 to take such steps as is reasonable to have to take to avoid substantial disadvantage to a disabled child caused by a provision, criterion or practice applied by or on behalf of a school. Most if not all children with ADHD will be deemed disabled under the Act. This is an anticipatory duty and the school is required to take positive steps to ensure that disabled pupils can fully participate in the education provided by the school. The Act permits more favourable treatment of disabled pupils. The requirement applies irrespective of whether a child has a Statement/EHC plan or not. What is “reasonable” varies according to the circumstances. The variables to be considered in assessing this include but are not limited to:

  1. Existing provision being made under the SEN framework

  2. School’s resources including financial and others

  3. Financial cost of making the adjustment

  4. The likely effectiveness of adjustment in overcoming the disadvantage

  5. Practicability of the adjustment

  6. Effect of the disability on the individual

  7. Health and Safety requirements

  8. Need to maintain academic, musical, sporting and other standards

  9. Interests of other pupils and prospective pupils

Further useful guidance is available from the EHRC: http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/publication/reasonable-adjustments-disabled-pupils Here are some examples of adjustments that have proved helpful with ADHD children. They are grouped under general heading albeit there is plenty of cross over.

Cognition and Learning

  1. Classroom positioning (front to avoid distraction or back to avoid need to look around or close to peer role models)

  2. Break larger tasks down in to chunks in class and for homework

  3. Accepting less or no homework

  4. Providing facility for homework to be done at school

  5. Provide sample work to model what is required

  6. Reduce length of assignments required

  7. Provide list of steps to complete task

  8. Provide sample work to model what is required

  9. Reduce length of assignments required

  10. Provide list of steps to complete task

  11. Provide reader

  12. Provide scribe

  13. Provide prompter

  14. Allow extra time for exams/testing

  15. Allow rest breaks

  16. Allow use of lined answer sections

  17. Allow peers to share notes

  18. Allow use of ear defenders to reduce distractions

  19. Allow testing in separate distraction free room

  20. Allow extra time in class and in exams

  21. Use timers

  22. Give single step instructions

  23. Teach specific memory techniques

  24. Provide memory aids

  25. Provide white noise

  26. Provide headphones

  27. Provide individual specialist teaching

  28. Providing specialist computer programmes

  29. Provide privacy partition

  30. Personalising work topics to increase pupils level of intrinsic interest


Physical and Sensory


31. Provide with fidgeter 32. Provide with a stress ball 33. Provide with wobble cushion 34. Provide with weighted lap or shoulder ‘hug’ or blanket 35. Allow regular movement breaks 36. Allow touch typing instead of writing (handwriting/fine motor skills difficulties *)

37. Provide with sloping board 38. Allow dictation * 39. Allow photos with phone/iPad of written work instead of copying from board * 40. Provide with copy of power point notes * 41. Relax uniform requirements 42. Allow high calorie snacks if appetite issues 43. Provide adult support to supporting eating and hydration if needed 44. Allow oral presentation of work 45. Provide pencil grip 46. Use busylegs or equivalent 47. Use weighted blankets and other aids 48. Administer top-up medication 49. Allow gum chewing for hyperactivity in place of fidgeter so hands available to work 50.Provide occupational therapy 51. Provide sensory diet

Social Emotional and Mental Health

52. Provide ADHD and equality training to staff

53. Plan to catch student doing the right thing and reinforceSeek out opportunities for child to show strengths

54. Provide opportunities for pupil to have positions of responsibility

55. Provide opportunity for pupil to develop relationship with those with responsibility for discipline

56. Provide counselling

57. Arrange structured activities during break time

58. Provide adult support for predictable trigger situations

59. Provide social skills training

60. Provide problem solving training

61. Provide conflict resolution training

62. Administer top-up medication

63. Depart from standard rewards policy to specifically reinforce progress in areas of difficulty

64. Depart from standard sanctions policy apply different sanctions

65. Disregard some behaviours

66. Teach emotional literacy 1:1 and small groups

67. Have calm space

68. Have nominated key worker

69. Provide counselling

70. Give child opportunities to be responsible

71. Use individualised reward system

72. Provide quiet place for lunchtimes

73. Pair with role model buddy

74. Provide extra support for changes e.g. trips, plays, supply teachers

75. Agree secret communication for behaviour feedback

76. Agree /plan alternative to calling out

77. Extra warnings for transitions between activities

78. Additional adult support for transition times

80. Provide anger management therapy 81. Raise peer awareness of ADHD 82. Provide play therapy 83. Provide nurture groups 84. Provide structured behaviour management programme 85. Provide additional adult support during less structured time

Language and Communication

86. Actively teach social skill 87. Teach child active listening skills 88. Directly teach non-verbal cues 89. Provide speech and language therapy

Self-help and independence

90. Teacher/TA check homework diary or provide written HW slips or emails 91. Provide reminders regarding work completion or organisation 92. Arrange homework handing in buddy 93. Arrange study buddy with contact details 94. Provide email access to subject teachers 95. Do not penalise for executive function related difficulties e.g. organisation forgetting things 96. Provide organisational skills training 97. Provide pupils with reading material with important points already highlighted 98. copy parents into work/organisation/trip emails/team sheets 99. Provide spare set of books equipment 100. Provide visual timetable

101. Provide visual checklists



Collated by Eva Akins for ADHD Richmond. Visit our website: adhdrichmond.org Facebook: facebook.com/AdhdRichmond YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/AdhdRichmond Tweet @AdhdRichmond Email: info@adhdrichmond.org

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