Teaching a child with ADHD symptoms in Madrassah can be quite challenging due to limitations of time, space and resources. However, the affected child is intellectually capable, so there is a great potential in exerting patience to give him or her the best opportunity to learn their religion. Indeed, much patience and creativity will be required of the teacher, but as our beloved Prophet peace be upon him taught Aisha ‘your reward will be according to the extent of the hardship you endure’

[Bukari:1787], so long as there is benefit that does not compromise obligatory priorities.  

The advice below provides some guidance on how you could best manage a child with those symptoms. And all tawfeeq is from Allah.

Tracey Lawrence, assistant headteacher and specialist leader of education in social, emotional and mental health, answers your questions on behaviour

The answer:

Finding strategies that work for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can be an unpredictable process. The signs, symptoms and behaviours that children exhibit vary hugely and are individual to each child. Getting the right kind of bespoke support in place will happen only as you begin to build a stronger relationship with the child. But, in the meantime, there are strategies that you can embed to provide immediate support.

   1. Get to know the pupil

Getting to know the child and the way they react will be your golden ticket to effective support. You can use the “2 x 10” strategy to develop this relationship. This means trying to have a two-minute conversation on 10 consecutive days that doesn’t involve anything to do with learning.

   2. Offer a quiet space

For a child with ADHD, the busy classroom can be overwhelming. Some children will be able to communicate this to you, but others will only be able show this through their behaviours. Children need access to a quiet space. For older children, this may be a quiet reflection room; for younger ones, I have used tents inside the classroom to great effect.

   3. Be open with the child

A child with ADHD needs to have a consistent approach, so ensure that you work alongside parents. Most importantly, be open with the child and involve them in strategies. Not only will this improve your relationship by allowing mutual respect to develop, it will also show that you are taking their opinions on board and demonstrate your high expectations.


Further guidance from helpguide.org:

  1. Sit them in front of your desk away from windows and the door.
  2. Sit them in rows -not around tables or facing one another- with focus on the teacher.
  3. Give instructions one at a time and repeat as necessary.
  4. Work on the most difficult material early in the day.
  5. Use visuals: charts, pictures, colour coding.
  6. Create a quiet area free of distractions for test-taking and quiet study.
  7. Reduce the number of timed tests.Test the student with ADHD in the way he or she does best, such as orally or filling in blanks; give frequent short quizzes rather than long tests.
  8. Let the student do as much work as possible on computer.
  9. Have the student keep a master binder with a separate section for each subject. Provide a three-pocket notebook insert for homework assignments, completed homework, and “letters” to parents.
  10. Signal the start of a lesson with an aural cue, such as an egg timer, a cowbell or a horn. (You can use subsequent cues to show much time remains in a lesson.)
  11. Establish eye contact with them and list the activities of the lesson on the board.
  12. In opening the lesson, tell students what they’re going to learn and what your expectations are.
  13. Vary the pace and include different kinds of activities.
  14. Have an unobtrusive cue set up with the student who has ADHD, such as a touch on the shoulder or placing a sticky note on the student’s desk, to remind the student to stay on task.
  15. Allow a student with ADHD frequent breaks and let him or her squeeze a rubber ball or tap something that doesn’t make noise as a physical outlet.
  16. Summarise key points.If you give an assignment, have three different students repeat it, then have the class say it in unison, and put it on the board.
  17. Be specific about what to take home.


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