Navigating life with a child that has ADHD: Stories from our MSA families
In 2019 ADHD Australia reported that ADHD was “the most prevalent mental disorder affecting children in Australia” with approximately 281, 200 Australian children aged between 0-19 affected. ADHD stands for Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and is a chronic condition. A child with ADHD can experience attention difficulty, impulsiveness and hyperactivity. These symptoms can affect a child’s learn ability, as they often get distracted and struggle to retain attention in the classroom.
[Kyle] is a Mastery Schools Australia (MSA) student. He was diagnosed with ADHD at a young age, which affected his ability to concentrate in the classroom. His mum Chantal knew [Kyle’s] struggle to concentrate in school was impacting his ability to read. He was losing interest in school and falling further behind. The pace, level and demand of [Kyle] in the classroom was too much for him to keep up with.
Chantal said, “I could just see him falling further and further behind, and I felt I couldn’t do anything to help him. The school tried, but they didn’t have the resources to help him.”
[Kyle] also has dyslexia, which contributes to his learning limitations at school. He was beginning to lose confidence in himself and the belief that he could ever achieve anything.
Kids with ADHD are often labelled “bad,” “naughty,” “poorly behaved,” or judged because “they can’t sit still.” Whilst kids with ADHD can behave in such a manner, it can often be their way of expressing their frustration when they cannot effectively communicate it. If they struggle to read, write, maintain attention, and keep up with the class and their peers, they may behave in a way that shows they are not coping and need help. If they do not get the right support, this behaviour can escalate.
Kids with ADHD need support, structure and people around them that are invested in guiding them on their learning journey, no matter what level they are at.
Mastery Schools Australia creates an environment that supports kids with ADHD. MSA implements specific structures and systems that help the child succeed based on their own belief in their learning capabilities.
In 2021, Chantal found MSA and decided to enrol [Kyle]. He enrolled at a level one reading level with minimal confidence, and after six months at MSA, Chantal said, “[Kyle] could finally read what he was writing and understand it, which was a big improvement.”
[Kyle] is now excelling at MSA and says, “I used to get side-tracked, but now I can focus and concentrate better. This school has helped me so much, and I couldn’t be happier at MSA.”