Helping our ADHD students

Jessica McCabe has chronicled her lifelong struggle with ADHD on her YouTube channel where she demonstrates the struggles of ADHD (neurodivergent) people and how neurotypicals can help.

ADHD and neurodiversity

Neurotypicals are those who’s brain functions at what society calls normal, while neurodiverse people are those whose brains work differently. ADHD is one of the neurological conditions under the neurodiverse umbrella, joining other conditions such as autism and dyslexia.

Being neurodiverse doesn’t mean the person is not as intelligent or capable as a neurotypical, but they do have trouble working in a neurotypical world. And if you are a teacher working with neurodiverse students but you are neurotypical yourself, you may not understand why a student is having trouble.

If you’ve ever said to a student things like:

  • If you only tried harder…
  • If you stopped making careless mistakes..
  • How many times do I have to tell you…
  • Why can’t you remember your homework?
  • You’re smart, you should be doing better.
  • Stop tapping your pencil/rocking in your chair/kicking your neighbors chair…

Then you may be a neurotypical teacher dealing with a neurodiverse student.

Understanding neurodivergent students

Jessica’s YouTube channel is a gold mine of good information, but can be overwhelming. The videos are nice and short, she rarely has a video over 10 minutes long.

Here are some of my favorite videos to get you started.

Why I Can’t Remember Things — How ADHD Affects Working Memory

You Have So Much Potential (ft. Twice Exceptional)

Why are we called such “bad students”?

ADHD and Motivation

Why Is It So Hard to Do Something That Should Be Easy?

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