Ahmed is a 6-year-old boy who attends a local primary school. He enjoys sports and music. Ahmed is very energetic and finds it hard to sit still and maintain his concentration during class time. As a result, Ahmed struggles to complete tasks, has difficulty managing his emotions and can lash out when frustrated or stressed. He is starting to fall behind his peers across a range of learning areas.
The school psychologist was asked to advise Ahmed’s classroom teacher on strategies to help him regulate his behaviour and his ability to focus on his learning. The teacher noted that she had already consulted with Ahmed’s parents and was implementing various adjustments to support Ahmed’s attention and focus on tasks.
The school psychologist gathered detailed family and developmental history and completed classroom and playground observations. A Conners Comprehensive Behaviour Rating Scales questionnaire completed by Ahmed’s teacher and parents indicated very elevated scores in the areas of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity. As such, further investigation through a paediatrician is warranted. Ahmed has been referred to a paediatrician, but the waiting list is lengthy and Ahmed will not be seen there until towards the end of the year.
The school team, together with the school psychologist and Ahmed’s parents, agreed to implement a range of educational adjustments as part of his personalised learning plan including:
- visual supports
- timers for tasks
- positive reward system
- preferential grouping and seating in the classroom
- regular brain and movement breaks – supervised by a senior staff member
- individual literacy remediation with a teaching assistant, three times per week for 40 minutes
- small-group interventions to support learning strategies relating to emotional regulation 3 times per week for 45 minutes.