It’s not easy having ADHD – attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Even the happiest of children with ADHD can develop low self-esteem because they find certain areas of life more difficult than their peers. I have designed these ADHD worksheets for kids to encourage self-knowledge and empowerment in your child.
I’m Lucy Russell, a clinical psychologist working with children and families of all ages in my clinic, Everlief Child Psychology.
Many parents of children with ADHD tell me that if their child can understand themselves better, this will help them to feel good about themselves. I have seen this for myself too in my clinic.
Understanding what you find difficult or easy helps you play to your strengths and adapt to your difficulties, so that life gets better.
That’s why my mini ADHD workbook consists of 4 therapy worksheets focusing on ADHD strengths, problems, school adaptations and home strategies.
I am passionate about giving you the right tools to help your child thrive!
How to Download the ADHD Worksheets
Click below to download the ADHD worksheets.
As you will see, the ADHD worksheets are fillable pdf files which you can either fill out digitally or print.
Each ADHD worksheet is a tick list and is easy to complete, whatever your child’s age. Young children will, of course, need more support from you.
Two of the four worksheets focus on identifying children’s ADHD strengths and problems. The other two look at ADHD therapy activities and adaptations for both home and school.
Worksheets For ADHD
Below is a description of each worksheet. They are suitable for all ages including young adults.
Younger children will of course require more support from you, to engage with the worksheets and to reflect on them.
ADHD Worksheet 1: Strengths
The items on the list are based on common ADHD strengths. You can read more in-depth about this in my article: 5 ADHD Strengths To Harness In Your Child.
Strengths often associated with ADHD include:
- I am creative, I have lots of ideas.
- I’m not afraid to make quick decisions and take a risk.
- I am spontaneous (I try new things on the spot).
- I have lots of energy and enthusiasm.
- I’m resilient (I bounce back from difficulties).
- I can focus intensely on things that interest me.
- I can think outside the box.
Though these are common positive traits in ADHD, of course your child will not relate to all of them!
For example, not all children with ADHD have extra energy and enthusiasm.
Every child is different.
At the bottom of the list there are spaces for your child to identify their extra and unique strengths. This might include excellent social skills or communication skills, empathy, sporting talent, or any area unrelated to their ADHD.
ADHD Worksheet 2: Problems
The items in this worksheet are based on common ADHD difficulties. They include:
- I get easily distracted.
- I struggle to stay focused on a task.
- It’s difficult for me to plan and organise my time.
- I’m always losing or forgetting things.
- I struggle to sit still.
- I make mistakes because I forget to check details.
- I avoid things that might need a lot of concentration.
As with the strengths section, there is space for your child to add their own unique difficulties. This is a great way to start a conversation and increase self awareness.
ADHD Worksheet 3: School Adaptations
Is your child thriving at school? Perhaps their needs have not been fully understood. Or perhaps generally they are struggling with the effort of trying to keep up or fit in.
If your child isn’t happy or isn’t meeting their potential, something needs to change. This worksheet is a great tool to identify what could help, from your child’s perspective.
The worksheet contains some common methods that tend to help when children with ADHD struggle at school. Your child can also add their own thoughts about what might help them.
The ideas I have listed are:
- Help from an adult to stay on task.
- Help from an adult to organise my time.
- Movement breaks in the classroom.
- Time out from the classroom to regulate myself.
- Fidget aids e.g. Blu tak, wobble cushions.
- More understanding from adults.
- More understanding from people my age.
ADHD Strategies at School Case Example: Josh
Josh is a thirteen year-old boy. Like many ADHD students he has different needs at school to his neurotypical peers. Josh is academically able but he is not meeting his expected grades.
He struggles a great deal with organizational skills, particularly managing his time. Often he struggles to get started on a task. Josh finds this frustrating and embarrassing, and he can find emotional management at school difficult if he has had a hard time that day.
Josh completed the worksheet and it was clear he needed increased support from an adult to organise his time.
The school organised for Josh to have a learning mentor. The learning mentor met with him every morning to talk through a visual timetable of his day. She also helped him to identify study strategies, such as breaking essays down into small steps and completing them in a specific order (title, date, introductory paragraph, and so on).
Over time this helped Josh to be more successful in his studies. More importantly, he felt understood and supported.
The school also engaged their occupational therapist to implement some classroom movement breaks for Josh. The OT suggested 2-minute whole-class movement breaks at the start, beginning and end of lessons, including:
- Reaching up to your toes and down to the ground.
- Walking in a circle around the classroom.
- “Whole body shake”.
These movement breaks helped the whole class stay calm and focused.
The OT also designed a 10 minute exercise routine for Josh to do at the beginning of the school day in the learning support area. This included rolling on a yoga ball, press-ups against a wall, and falling on a giant bean bag.
These new activities regulated Josh’s nervous system, released stress and allowed him to start the school day feeling focused.
ADHD Worksheet 4: Home Strategies
In this worksheet, ADHD children will start to identify healthy ways to adapt life at home, to support their neurodiverse brain. Whatever your child’s age, they will need help with this.
Your child needs to understand that there is nothing wrong with their brain. It just works a little differently.
Simple adaptations can make a massive difference. They may make the difference between thriving and just surviving.
The ideas in the worksheet include:
- Lots of exercise.
- Calming my senses (e.g. soothing music, soft fabrics).
- Getting help to organise my time.
- Making sure I manage my energy levels and don’t do too much.
- Eating healthy foods with lots of nutrients.
- Sticking to a bedtime “wind down” routine.
- Using a visual planner.
ADHD Strategies at Home Case Example: Louisa
Louisa is an eleven year-old girl with ADHD and autism. Her mum Jemma found that having a snack as soon as she got home from school followed by an hour of screen time helped to calm her.
However, in the evenings Louisa seemed to have excess energy and found it hard to wind down for bedtime.
She had been prescribed melatonin to help her sleep, but Louisa just wasn’t ready for sleep. She was often up til midnight and was then exhausted the next day. This contributed to a lack of focus and impulsive behavior at school.
After completing the worksheets with Louisa, Jemma realised that Louisa didn’t do enough physical activity. Louisa loved team sports but found it too difficult to co-operate with her peers so she had given up soccer and netball clubs, which were her only after-school activities.
Together, Louisa and Jemma decided that martial arts might help Louisa. Jemma had read about studies showing that Tae Kwon Do can help kids with ADHD. Not only does it allow children to move and release energy, but the complex movements also help the brain to focus.
Louisa began attending Tae Kwon Do twice a week. Despite some fine motor skills difficulties Louisa took to martial arts straight away. She loved how it was a fun way to release energy and develop self-control.
Jemma immediately noticed a calming effect on Louise, particularly on the evenings that she went to Tae Kwon Do. Teachers also reported a reduction in Louisa’s attention deficits at school.
Jemma also decided to work on a bedtime wind-down routine. An hour before bed each evening, Louisa began having a bubble bath. Jemma turned the lights down and lowered the TV volume downstairs. Jemma then did some deep breathing with Louisa, sang her favorite song, and put on a gentle audiobook.
Louisa showed a very positive reaction to the new routine. Although it still took her a while to drift off to sleep, Jemma noticed that she was sleeping more deeply and was more rested in the mornings. This helped her remain focused at school.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Improve My ADHD Child’s Concentration?
Here are some of the most valuable techniques:
- Make tasks smaller and shorter.
- Use a visual planner that works for them.
- Ensure many movement breaks, especially before school or learning.
- Figure out their sensory profile (and ensure school staff know about it).
- Give them assistance with planning and organisation (even for teens).
- Don’t “flog a dead horse” (try again later if your child is not engaged, otherwise it will lead to conflict).
How Do You Calm An ADHD Child?
To calm an ADHD child, a multi-pronged approach is often effective. This could include a quick physical activity to burn off excess energy, followed by a focused activity that keeps their hands moving such as colouring or knitting.
A “cool-down” corner in the home with calming items like soft textures or coloring books can also help your child regulate. When they’re young, your child will need you to co-regulate them as they can’t calm down by themselves. Gradually over time they will build their self-regulation skills.
ADHD Worksheets For Kids: Related Articles
Dr Lucy Russell is a UK clinical psychologist who works with children and families. Her work involves both therapeutic support and autism assessments. She is the Clinical Director of Everlief Child Psychology, and also worked in the National Health Service for many years. In 2019 Lucy launched They Are The Future, a support website for parents of school-aged children.
Through TATF Lucy is passionate about giving practical, manageable strategies to parents and children who may otherwise struggle to find the support they need.
Lucy is a mum to two teenage children. She lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband, children, rescue dog and three rescue cats. She enjoys caravanning and outdoor living, singing and musical theatre.
Join They Are The Future’s free Facebook group for regular tips and great ideas to support teens and pre-teens with their mental health! Join the group: Parent Tips for Positive Child Mental Health UK.