Thursday, 2 August 2012

Find Your Island

I'm breaking my self-imposed summer holiday hiatus from blogging to mention an interesting article by Patrick Barkham published in today's Guardian newspaper - "What can athletes with ADHD teach us about the condition?"

The article is a well-balanced look at possible links between the condition and sporting success. Although, through my own work as SENCo in a large secondary, I would disagree with the comment that teachers 'scoff' at the disorder. My over-riding experience is that colleagues respond compassionately when a student is identified with an underlying learning difficulty - and simply want to know what they have to do make life and learning easier for them.

SEN teachers may sometimes apply a critical eye to ADHD but this focuses on legitimate questions around mis-diagnosis (because dyslexic-type difficulties, speech & language issues, attachment difficulties - and lifestyle - can all lead to low concentration) and the impact of medication used to increase attention / reduce impulsivity on the young person as a whole. Again, this is with a view to making life and learning easier for them.

The standout quote from the article comes from Andrea Bilbow, chief executive of ADDISS - a charity and support service for ADHD, who advises, "Find your child's island of competence and invest in it heavily."

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