Teaching Students With ADHD

Teaching Students With ADHD

Learn the simple and practical steps you can take to help children with ADHD thrive in their school environment. This course will teach you how classroom space, structure, rules, and expectations can be adapted to suit the needs of students with ADHD and help them manage their own behavior.

6 Weeks Access / 24 Course Hrs
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In this course, you will discover practical ways to help children with ADHD control their behavior and succeed in school. You will be learning from the real experts: the children themselves. You will find out how Kristi controls her behavior and how Wanda handles boredom. You will see how Adam jump-starts his thought processes, how Harry satisfies his need to move without bothering his teacher, and how Darren aces his homework.

In addition, you will hear from parents and teachers about the amazing benefits of simple adaptations in space, structure, rules, and expectations. You will also explore some myths and facts about ADHD and see how this condition affects motivation, activity level, attention, and memory. By the time you're done, you will have the skills and knowledge needed to help students with ADHD achieve their full potential.


Teaching students with ADHD presents challenges and opportunities. This lesson introduces ADHD and how it impacts children and their ability to learn in a classroom environment. You will learn the reasons for many behaviors associated with ADHD, some myths about ADHD, and how ADHD impacts skills.

This lesson explores the diagnostic process. A teacher takes many steps to document a student's behavior, consult with school personnel, and communicate with a student's parents or guardians. You will learn these steps, as well as how a pediatrician and a clinical psychologist evaluate a student.

Students with ADHD are often accused of being lazy, or simply not trying. This lesson focuses on the issue of effort, and how students' perception of effort may be different from what others observe. You will learn how effort problems impact school performance, and how brain chemistry relates to effort.

Students with ADHD often have trouble activating their brain. This lesson introduces three activation problems: overarousal, underarousal, and impulsivity. You will learn about the relationships between activation, motivation, and brain chemistry, as well as strategies to help students with these problems.

Sometimes, students with high activity levels can't seem to keep still in the classroom, and this can be extremely taxing on a teacher. This lesson explores why some students need to move and how movement is helpful to them. You will also learn how to help these students manage their movements.

Students with ADHD struggle with attention. Often, their mind wanders and they can't control this the same way an average student does. This lesson explores attention, how it needs to be regulated, and strategies that can help your students successfully control internal and external attention.

This lesson focuses on ADHD's impact on emotions. You will learn why this occurs neurologically, three common emotional patterns in students with ADHD, and specific interventions. You will also meet three students who are dealing with some significant emotional challenges as a result of their ADHD.

Want to better understand the memory process? This lesson explores why memory is so important, how memory works, and what happens when memory breaks down. You will also learn about the three types of memory: working memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory.

Now that you understand how ADHD affects activation, attention, impulsivity, and memory, you can focus in on how ADHD impacts school performance. In this lesson, you will learn more about this issue, and explore a strength-based problem-solving model that you can use across the curriculum.

How do you incorporate learning strategies for students with ADHD while still addressing the other students' needs in the classroom? This is what this lesson focuses on. You will learn how to create an inclusive classroom that accommodates every student's needs and treats all students fairly.

This lesson focuses on specific materials teachers can develop prior to the opening of school, to prepare for the effective inclusion of students with ADHD. Then there are the teaching tools to use during lessons, to help students with ADHD stay engaged and on task.

In your final lesson, you will learn how students can take all of the tools you teach them and use them to their advantage. You will also meet a high school junior, who will share how he improves his self-knowledge, how he compensates for his ADHD, and the strategies he uses to succeed in school.



There are no prerequisites to take this course.


Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC, Mac, or Chromebook.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 8 or later.
  • Mac: macOS 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.


Ellen Arnold

Ellen Arnold has been a reading specialist at the primary level, a social studies and reading teacher at the middle school level, and a special educator at the high school level. A veteran instructor, Arnold has taught hundreds of teachers the secrets to creating highly effective classrooms. She holds a bachelor's degree in secondary education and a master's degree in special education.


I cannot tell you how much I have enjoyed this course. I have struggled for years to make headway with this topic. I bought books (that I couldn't get myself to read), I watched videos (during which I tuned out), and I attended workshops (which were all style and no substance). All this, despite having a very real need and desire to learn more about how to help kids with ADHD. This course was enjoyable, informative, and engaging. It was the first course I opened when I got online and the one for which I was most eager to complete assignments. You made the material accessible without "dumbing it down," and offered lots of practical tips along the way. It was also very interactive and I appreciate that you read our posts and responded to them.

Thank you so much, Ellen for a great course. Even though this was an online course, your kind and approachable manner all made us feel as if we were in a classroom with you. We really appreciated your timely replies to discussion topics and assignments. Thank you for sharing all your personal insights and strategies, they will definitely be used by all of us on our teaching journey. I think if we strive to be half the teacher you are, we'll be touching childrens' lives in the same positive way.

Your course has given me tools that help me feel empowered. I often cry out loud (half laugh, half cry) as I read your lessons as I can relate to so many examples and you make me feel so hopeful for my own children and for my students. After almost two years of continually trying and searching for strategies to help my 6-yr old son (even with medication and multiple adjustments for him), I have often felt ready to give up. I have been using many of your suggested tricks (multiple dining room table seats and guided questions) and feel you have given me ideas for strategies to use as he grows and becomes more able to self analyze. Thank you.

Ellen, I loved this course! You brought so much light into a dark and unknown world. I can not thank you enough for all your dedication to such a difficult disorder and for sharing all of your knowledge with your class. I knew nothing about ADHD and now I feel as though I have the tools to help my son succeed and become the best person he can be, despite having ADHD.

Thanks so much. I am almost ready to take my final exam. This has been such a valuable course for me. I have taken many courses over the past 20 years, and this has been my favorite because I actually learned real-life practical strategies to use with my son and in my classroom. This is what professional development is supposed to be!

This is an excellent class. I learned so much about ADHD and was able to use the knowledge immediately in my class. I was so excited about what I learned that I asked my principal if I can share some of the classroom strategies during one of our teacher inservice sessions. My students with ADHD will have a much more knowledgeable teacher who will use the strategies taught to make my classroom more friendly and appropriate for all my students. This is one of the best classes I have taken. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise.

Thank you for developing such an excellent course. Although I am not a teacher, as a parent of a 15 year old son with ADHD, I found this information to be invaluable! My son read every lesson and learned a lot...we are both in a much better place as a result of this information.

Thank you, your materials and references are superb...At the beginning I said I felt frustrated, now I feel empowered with knowledge that both my son and I can use to help him.

Thank you for creating such a wonderful course, Ellen. I have read countless books/articles on ADHD, but this course was by far the best resource. From the detailed lessons with concrete information and practical strategies, to the discussion groups and additional sources to explore, I am thankful to have participated in this meaningful and pertinent course.

This was so awesome. I started the class extremely frustrated with my ADHD sons and homeschooled students ages 14 and 7...Now I feel so encouraged and have already used strategies I learned in this class. I have a whole different attitude. My sons are so thankful! This instructor has been the greatest for her practical examples, and quick yet thoughtful responses to all questions and comments posted in the discussion area...Thanks so much!

Thank you, Ellen, for creating an outstanding online course. You modeled how lessons should be presented for an ADHD student, whether elementary, secondary, or college age.

Thank you, Ellen, for providing a very rich learning opportunity. This is by far one of the best courses I have taken! The content is relevant to today's students' needs; I appreciate the plethora of new strategies I can use for working with these students and provide in my coaching/collaborations with teachers and teams. I can't say enough about how beneficial this course has been to my work and my perspective on individuals with ADHD. Thank you!

Self-Guided Course Code: T9287
Instructor-Moderated Course Code: 4ad