Students at SSFS with ADHD

Lilly Kaufmann, Staff Writer

This article will be focusing on students at SSFS with ADHD. I have interviewed multiple students at SSFS with ADHD, asking them how the school accommodates them so that they can thrive academically, and what SSFS could improve on when helping students with ADHD. I also asked what they feel the pros and cons to having ADHD are for them. This topic especially interests me as someone with ADHD. 

One student said that the small class sizes make it much easier to learn concepts especially when compared to their previous experience at public school. As it is common for upper grades to have one free block in a student schedule, one student claims that having a free block throughout the school day, which allows for a set time to get work done, helps lower their work load immensely.They are thankful for this aspect of the SSFS schedule. Students also stated that the flexible timeline on assignments is accommodating. Shannon and Ebe, the learning specialists at SSFS, are accommodating and helpful when it comes to catching up on assignments, getting extra time on assessments, etc. A common praise amongst the students is that they greatly appreciate the built-in academic help time at the end of the day. This thirty minutes allows for meeting with teachers one on one for extra help on a concept they didn’t understand or reviewing assessments or assignments. Academic Help also offers an opportunity to finish timed assessments, as many students with ADHD have extra time on timed exams. Overall, SSFS has many elements in place to help students with ADHD thrive academically. 

Like any institution, SSFS does have areas they could improve in. One student stated that they feel that many classes are too “lecture-heavy.” Lectures are specifically difficult for students with ADHD because often the brain cannot process the information at the same speed that the teacher is delivering it. Students would prefer it if there was more project-based learning because it’s easier to understand the material if you’re moving around and interacting with the concepts. Teachers could incorporate projects into their lesson plans more frequently and try to only lecture when necessary. 

Because of the demands of ADHD, students struggle with getting work done efficiently as well, causing work to pile up which can be very anxiety-inducing. Some tactics that students use to solve these issues is working for 25 minutes and then taking a break for 5 minutes. Another student mentioned that when they are working they try to find a location away from all distractions and keep their phone away from them so that they are not tempted to use it.

Aside from making life more challenging, ADHD also has its benefits! One student explained how ADHD made them a terrific multi-tasker and it allows them to take in more information around them. They feel it makes them a more resilient, creative, and energetic person. Another student added that it raises their energy and makes them a more sociable person. It is a common perception that ADHD only has negative effects on people, however as you can see, it can have many benefits as well. 

Students and teachers must understand that some students require different types of learning. ADHD can make everyday life very difficult and students have curated their own solutions to the challenges they face. Besides the challenges, ADHD also has its benefits. I hope this article gives a better understanding of how ADHD is not necessarily a bad thing and the strengths and weaknesses of SSFS when it comes to accommodating students with ADHD.