Last updated:

October 12, 2023


 min read

How does ADHD Affect School Performance?

If your child is suffering from ADHD, this article can help you understand how the disorder impacts academic performance at school, as well as give you suggestions on how to help them with ADHD.

Reviewed by
Reyana D’Souza
Written by
Malvika Rathi

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and is characterised by inattentiveness, and impulsivity. At times, children are misdiagnosed with ADHD, especially in elementary school. However, we must note that kids not only have a lot of energy, but they can easily get distracted or upset when they are overstimulated. If a parent or teacher notices that a student struggles in class and can't seem to sit still, they frequently seek official diagnoses.

The Impact of ADHD on Academic Performance 

Classroom with multiple distractions

The design of primary school classrooms emphasises colour, stimulation, and an excess of fun and activities. But with so many distractions in one place, kids with ADHD can easily get overstimulated and overwhelmed. Any classroom at a school is noisy, and a child with ADHD may find it difficult to maintain concentration on their work. 

Kids are taught how to utilise technology in today's classrooms, which further distracts students who are already faltering. By disabling alerts on computers and tablets and providing breaks throughout the day, teachers and parents may avoid these distractions.

Perpetual need for movement 

Children with ADHD struggle to regulate and control their bodily movements. They appear to be constantly moving, making it difficult for them to remain motionless for long periods. This can distract the other students in the class in addition to making it challenging to complete a course or test. Due to their frustration, students frequently try to leave class, missing important information that may have made it simpler for them to finish their homework.

Parents and instructors can assist these students by giving them strategies to direct their urge for movement while staying seated. Some tools which work brilliantly are fidget spinners, standing workstations, and wiggle chairs. 

ADHD Student’s thoughts outpace their bodies 

Children with ADHD typically don’t face issues when it comes to learning. But, because their bodies and minds move at different speeds, there is sometimes a disconnect between what they have learned and how they apply it to their homework or other schoolwork. This frequently causes kids to struggle with writing assignments, forget assignments, and flunk tests. 

ADHD students frequently experience frustration over the discrepancy between their academic performance and their knowledge. By boosting a child's self-esteem by encouraging reinforcements and assisting them in developing more self-awareness, parents and teachers can help to counteract these frustrations. Try demonstrating to your kid how to relax when under stress by taking deep breaths or thinking happy thoughts.

Learning Disabilities 

People with ADHD might have a learning disability or some limitations. If a student is to function to their full capacity, these impairments must be identified and treated. Common impairments include difficulties with writing (transferring ideas from the brain to text), auditory processing issues (challenges in hearing what was said), reading (changing or reversing letters or numbers), and visual processing issues.

Timed Conditions 

For those with ADD, timed testing settings are frequently disastrous. Whether it's brief mathematics "drill" activities, classroom writing tasks, or routine tests, the more time pressure these children are subjected to, the worse things seem to get for them.

Working with Teachers to help your child through ADHD 

Teachers have a lot on their plate and it might be difficult for them to pay individual attention to each student. The teachers do try their best to assist your child but the results can dramatically improve if there is involvement from parents. The following are certain strategies for supporting children with ADHD in the classroom which require involvement from both parents and teachers:  

Make a plan

Before the start of the academic year, you can make an appointment to talk with administrators or teachers. If the school year has already begun, schedule monthly conversations with their teacher or guidance counsellor.

Set realistic goals together

Talk about your expectations for your child's academic progress. Set concrete, attainable objectives, and then discuss the trajectory of achieving them.  


Your child's teacher shares your desire for them to do well in school. Even if it's often difficult to hear and pay attention to what teachers have to say, understanding your child's academic issues is essential to coming up with effective solutions. Therefore, it is imperative that you listen to your child’s teacher. 

Provide valuable information

You are familiar with your child's past, and their teacher sees them daily. Together, you have access to a wealth of knowledge that may help in designing effective solutions for your child. However, the conversations around sharing information must be open and honest. 

Make learning fun for children with ADHD

Learning is much more enjoyable when children are provided knowledge in a way that makes it simple for them to assimilate. You can design engaging lessons with a lot of information if you know how your child learns best.

Visual Learners

Reading and observation are the best ways to learn for them. Let children experiment with various computer typefaces and utilise coloured flashcards for studying. Additionally, you could give them a paper on which to sketch or write their thoughts.

Tactile Learners

Learning is more effective when it involves physical contact or movement. Give these students outfits to dress up as characters from literature, or allow them to create collages with clay.

Auditory Learners

They learn best through talking and listening. For instance, you could help them learn a lesson by letting them collaborate with others while acting like they are on a radio programme. 

Final Word 

Children with ADHD can perform wonders in the classroom with the right strategies and adequate support. As a parent or educator, it might be difficult to navigate how these strategies should look, and sometimes might lead to additional stress. While helping your child, you must take care of yourself and be surrounded by love, and care. 

Our community CancelStigma offers a safe space for anyone and everyone to share their experiences, receive social support, and feel heard. We’re rooting for you, always! Click the button below to join!