Fintan O'Regan, Sara Cave

ADHD and Attention Difficulties: How to Help


A complete, straightforward guide to the issues and challenges commonly faced by children and young people with ADHD and attention difficulties at home and at school – and the practical ways in which parents, carers, teachers and schools can help.



Part of the How to Help series of books exploring issues commonly faced by children and young people at home and at school, ADHD and Attention Difficulties offers a complete introduction to this complex and sensitive topic. While there is no one ‘best’ strategy for managing ADHD, many of the most problematic issues spring from an inability to manage distractions – so young people tend to do best when provided with a consistent, structured environment. Placing at the heart of the work the premise that those who struggle with attention difficulties respond best to people who understand that it is neurological deficits, not unwillingness, that prevent them from behaving and learning like their peers, Fin O’Regan and Sara Cave explore the issues, challenges and experiences commonly faced by a young person with ADHD – and how parents, carers, teachers and schools can help.


FIN O’REGAN is a Behaviour and Learning Consultant and Trainer who works nationally and internationally with schools and support systems to design management strategies for children and families struggling with special educational needs and behaviour issues. From 1996-2002 he was Head Teacher of the Centre Academy, the UK’s first school to specialise in issues related to ADHD, Autism and ODD. Fin has written books and articles on a range of learning, behaviour and socialisation issues.


SARA CAVE is a SENCO in a village primary school in Kent. She qualified as a teacher in 2001 and has since taught across the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stages 1 and 2. She has also worked as a specialist lead for literacy, reading and phonics. Sara has extensive classroom experience working with children with attention difficulties, as well as leading support and provision in an advisory and leadership capacity across the school.


ISBN: 9781913414122
Publication: Dec 2021

Publishers: Pavilion Publishing and Media Ltd


Series Preface; About the Authors;

Authors’ Preface; How to Use This Book


Part 1: Introduction

  1. What is ADHD?; 2. Causes and consequences; 3. Assessment and diagnosis; 4. Overlapping issues; Ten key things to know about ADHD


Part 2: How teachers can help

  1. Why are they bored?; 6. How can I create a class that’s ready to learn?; 7. Why can’t they remember and how do I support them?; 8. Organising the disorganised; 9. Promoting positive behaviour; 10. Why don’t they listen?; 11. Self-regulation; 12. Developing effective rapport, relationships and resilience


Part 3: How parents and professionals can work together

  1. The importance of parent-school collaboration; 14. Support through referral and assessment; 15. The role of medication; 16. Coaching, counselling and CBT; 17. Diet, sleep and exercise; 18. ICT and Speech and Language Therapy; 19. Transitions; 20. Adults & ADHD


Part 4: How parents can help

  1. What does ADHD do to a family?; 22. Diagnosis: the facts; 23. Working with schools; 24. Working with teachers; 25. Activities outside school; 26. Discipline and behavioural changes; 27. Social skills and situations; 28. A typical day


Part 5: Conclusion and resources

29. Summary; 30. Advice for parents and carers; 31. Advice for teachers; Appendices

About the Topic

ADHD is a condition that impacts behaviour. Those affected often seem restless, struggle to concentrate and act impulsively. ADHD affects around 5% of school aged children, especially boys. As many as 75% of individuals with ADHD have at least one other diagnosable condition.


The exact cause of ADHD is not known, but it is thought to have genetic and neurological factors. Researchers have found a range of possible differences in the brains of people with ADHD compared to those without ADHD. The child’s environment can also play a part, as can developmental injury to specific brain regions, drug use during pregnancy and premature birth.


There is no ‘cure’ for ADHD; however it can be managed with appropriate educational support, advice and support for both parents and children, alongside medicine, if necessary.


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