Molly Love, Coordinator of Social-Emotional Programming

All About ADHD

Creative. Able to hyperfocus. Known for thinking outside the box. Enthusiastic, imaginative, and innovative. Students with ADHD often have tremendous strengths, but they may also have difficulty regulating attention, which can make school especially challenging. A biological condition, ADHD presents differently depending on age, setting, situation, and circumstance. As students mature, we help them to understand ADHD and utilize a toolbox of strategies that will best help them; things like mindfulness, effective organizational systems like the use of planners starting in Middle School, and age-appropriate learning and study habits. We are proud of the ways McLean School supports students with ADHD, throughout the Lower, Middle, and Upper School:

We provide multisensory instruction. There’s no one way to learn, and there is certainly no one way to teach. By coming at lessons in a variety of ways, with many different modalities, we give each and every student the opportunity to engage with the content in a way that works best for them.

We understand the importance of self-regulatory skills. In addition to mindfulness education, we work closely with students on goal setting and integrate opportunities for self reflection, review, and recalibration when needed. We also provide positive, visual, and interactive behavior management support to all students.

Every classroom offers flexible seating options, fidgets, and opportunities for frequent breaks. All students, but especially those with ADHD, need to move and have productive outlets for excess energy. It’s why we provide Physical Education five days a week, too, for kindergarten to grade 8.

We work with students to develop good systems and habits with regular check-ins. Backpacks, binders, and lockers can be black holes for children dealing with executive functioning and attentional challenges! We help our students stay on top of these things by working alongside them to build basic organizational skills that will serve them as they get up in grades and go off to college.

Most importantly, we just “get it.” Every child at every grade level deserves compassion, patience, and understanding. As faculty and staff, we believe in supporting our students in their social-emotional learning as well as academic learning.

School should be an enjoyable experience, and McLean goes above and beyond to make it that way for all our students, including those with ADHD. Our research-based best practices plus a deep desire to know our students, combine to create a positive educational environment essential to building skills, mutual trust, respect, and our students’ confidence as learners and people.

Molly Love, Coordinator of Social-Emotional Programming