Empowering Teachers to realise the full potential of students with Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in an Education setting


This self-paced online course is designed to provide teachers/educators in mainstream educational settings the knowledge and skills required to support the educational and social needs of students with ADD/ADHD in order to achieve their full potential.

Empowering teachers to realise the full potential of students with ADD/ADHD in an Education setting consists of five modules. Each module has a specific aim and learning targets and ends with a self-assessment ‘quiz’ to enable the easy review of the overall learning before the learner moves onto the next module. Each module will conclude with further reading or resources which the learner may find helpful. Each module builds on what was learnt in the previous module. This results to a broad knowledge of ADD/ADHD by the end of the course and enables the learners, that is, teachers/educators, among others, to meet the needs of all the students with ADD/ADHD within a classroom setting.

More specifically, the course covers the Special Educational Needs (SEN) area, in general, and ADD/ADHD and their key areas of strengths and weaknesses. The in-depth knowledge acquired by the learner will enable him/her to recognize the signs and symptoms of ADHD and co-occurring conditions as well as to respond to the impact of ADHD on a child’s education and wellbeing. This is extremely important as the earlier the difficulty is CORRECTLY identified, the earlier it can be addressed appropriately and this is highly beneficial for the student.

Moreover, the course focuses on the in depth understanding of the definition of ADD & ADHD and how to operationalize this in a school setting. In this way, the learner will acquire the necessary expertise not only to understand the process by which a child with ADD & ADHD is diagnosed but the ability to recognize and respond to the impact of ADHD and co-occurring conditions on a child’s functioning as well.

Furthermore, the course aims to develop learner’s understanding and recognition of the specific learning difficulties experienced by students with ADHD. This, in turn, will provide learner the expertise to respond using appropriate educational strategies to enable students with ADD/ADHD and co-occurring conditions to reach their full potential, though individualized education programmes that are trans-disciplinary, innovative and aspirational.

The course places emphasis in providing the learners with in-depth understanding of the range of behavioural and emotional difficulties students with ADD/ADHD experience. This provides the learners with the expertise to develop strategies to support pro social behaviour, teach friendship skills and enable children to manage their behaviour and emotions.

Finally, this masterclass course provides valuable knowledge to the learner with regards to Special Educational Needs (SEN) and the law, what a good inclusive teacher looks like and how to apply this in practice. The aim is to promote the concept of an inclusive school infrastructure and the strategies to support students with ADD and ADHD.

Empowering Teachers to realise the full potential of students with Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in an Education setting is a masterclass course on ADD/ADHD and an indispensable tool for all teachers who wish not only to understand the cause and implications of ADD/ADHD but to create an educational environment that will allow the potential & skills of students with ADD/ADHD to be fully developed.

All presentations in this course are both visual and audio. The course is being developed by highly experienced tutors with vast expertise in the area of Special Educational Needs (SEN).

This course is part of the Special Educational Needs (SEN) online academy of ShipCon.


  • Understand the terminology related to ADD/ADHD
  • Recognize early signs of ADD/ADHD
  • Understand the causes of ADHD and how the brain functions
  • Acquire in depth knowledge of co-occurring conditions and the difficulties students with ADD/ADHD may experience.
  • Comprehend the routes to identification and diagnosis of ADHD and ADHD as a continuum condition
  • Acquire knowledge & expertise on various assessments to identify Specific learning difficulties and educational skills and comprehend on how these assessments can shape teaching strategies.
  • Understand learning difficulties of students with ADD/ADHD and the reasons for the discrepancies in educational performance
  • Provide in depth knowledge of IEP’s, levels of support and classroom management
  • Acquire knowledge of the various specialist teaching programmes and routes towards Inclusive Education
  • Provide detailed reference to practical strategies for teachers, as well as coping mechanisms for students and teachers
  • Understand the ADD/ADHD anti-social behaviour and strategies for supporting behaviour within a classroom setting
  • Understand the concept of self and positive self-perception and mental health in relation to ADD/ADHD
  • Recognize, assess, plan and deliver appropriate education for students with ADD and ADHD
  • Address the social, academic and emotional needs of students with ADD and ADHD to enable them to be fully included in all aspects of society.
  • Provide the skills for learners to promote the concept of Inclusive Education.

WHY this course?

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a complex condition and so called ‘bad behaviour’ may often be the ‘outward sign’ seen by people but the core difficulties are poor attention (or inattention) and lack of impulse control (impulsivity). This behaviour may be caused by inactivity in the areas of the brain that control concentration and impulsive behaviour. So, when does it start? The behaviours associated with ADHD become apparent during early childhood, before the age of five years. 

5–8% of children and 4–7% of teens have ADHD (as do 3–5% of adults). The sex ratio of ADHD is 3–4:1 (males to females) in children, 2–2.5:1 in adolescence. The prevalence of ADHD therefore declines somewhat with age, which implies that some children with ADHD will recover from the disorder by adulthood (estimated to be 10–34% depending on one’s definition of recovery). Hyperactive symptoms decline more steeply with age than do the inattention symptoms. But the number of areas of daily life impacted by ADHD can increase with age because more areas of life become available for participation than in childhood (e.g., driving, work, managing money, cohabiting with a partner, sex, raising children, etc.). In some regions, the prevalence of ADHD may be higher, such as in dense urban centres with higher rates of poverty, blue-collar or lower-middle social class neighbourhoods, areas surrounding military bases, or regions that have more of the factors that can cause ADHD (toxins, poor prenatal care, more smoking or alcohol use during pregnancy, etc. The reason ADHD may be more common among the children of certain occupational groups is because more adults with ADHD are likely to be in those occupations. Given the high genetic contribution to ADHD, those adults are more likely to have children with ADHD.

ADHD is usually inherited – but environment is important too. Research has shown that ADHD is one of the most strongly inherited of all the specific learning difficulties. Children from families where there are several members with ADHD are very much the problems are coming from helps parents to understand better why their child behaves the way he or she does – and will inform interventions. That is not to say that environment is not important: it is. There are a number of ways in which a child’s environment can affect ADHD: Low birth weight and birth complications can affect brain functioning (and so cause ADHD). Family stresses and strains can ‘feed in’ to make the problems worse (it is harder for parents to cope with a child’s troublesome behaviour when they are trying to solve their own life crises).  Children with ADHD are more likely to upset and annoy others by the irritating things they do and say. This has a knock-on effect on how people react and relate to them. Teachers in particular may become angry when a child distracts other children and disrupts the class – because they find it hard to control such children. Being able to make friends (and keep them) can be affected by having ADHD. Many children do not want to be associated with a child who is often in trouble, and they may even be frightened by the unpredictability and aggression of such Youngsters with ADHD find themselves facing not only a barrage of criticism from teachers but also rejection by other children. This is very likely to make a child’s behaviour even worse. All these have an impact on teaching and learning and therefore a child’s education.


  • Teachers in mainstream education
  • SEN Teaching Assistants
  • Educators working in SEN field and want to polish their knowledge and skill
  • Coaches/mentors/professionals working on SEN and/or with pupils with ADD/ADHD


Empowering Teachers to realise the full potential of students with Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in an Education setting is an online self-paced (asynchronous) course. All presentations are both visual and audio.

It consists of 11.5 hours of video covering five (5) distinct modules. Highly experienced tutor goes through the whole course, providing ample explanation – in an easy-to-follow manner – to all the areas & concepts covered by the course. Moreover, the tutor will provide a significant amount of useful background information and explanations throughout the course and in a way which is easy to follow and understand.

Each module has a specific area to cover and consists of various learning Units. Each Unit has its own distinct objective (Unit Learning Objective). Finally, each Unit has its own topics, each one with a specific objective (Topic Learning Objective). 

Therefore, each Module has its own distinct aim/outcome, which is being served by distinct Units and Topics.

In this way, the attendee can easily follow the tutor as he/she goes through the whole material of the course.

The attendees of the course will be hugely benefited from the fact that they can have a 3-month online support by the responsible tutor of the course. This is very important to all those with busy working or personal schedule who need to go through the material at their own pace. 

The methodology of the course is based on a combination of three important elements:

  • Provision of knowledge required
  • Use of training tools, such as case studies, videos, games, animations & exercises (practice – hands on experience)
  • Feedback/reflection (review)


  • Certificate of attendance/competence (skills & competences acquired) by ShipCon with CPD units


Module I: Signs and Symptoms

                 Unit I: Understanding ADD & ADHD

                             Topic I:  Understanding Special Educational needs (SEN)

                             Topic II: Facts about ADD/ADHD and risk factors

                             Topic III: How the ADD/ADHD brain functions

                  Unit II: Theoretical knowledge of ADHD

                             Topic I:   History of the development of understanding

                             Topic II:  Key areas of difficulty

                             Topic III: Terminology

                  Unit III: How to recognize ADHD

                             Topic I:    Early signs of ADHD

                             Topic II:   ADHD strengths and weaknesses

                             Topic III:  Co-occurring conditions and the need for diagnosis

Module II: Informal assessment and diagnosis

                  Unit I: The definition of ADHD

                             Topic I:  The importance of a definition in education

                             Topic II: The main components of a definition

                             Topic III: Routes to identification and diagnosis of ADHD

                  Unit II: The assessment and diagnostic process

                             Topic I:   Diagnosis of ADD/ADHD

                             Topic II:  Teacher’s understanding of assessments

                             Topic III: Assessments to identify SPLD’s and co-occurring conditions

                   Unit III: Diagnostic signposts for teachers

                             Topic I:    ADHD as a continuum & co-occurring conditions

                             Topic II:   Why teachers may fail to pick up signs of ADHD

                             Topic III:  How assessments can shape teaching strategies

Module III: Educational support and strategies

                  Unit I: Extend and develop teacher’s understanding of the specific learning difficulties of students with ADHD

                             Topic I:  Why students with ADHD may not thrive in school

                             Topic II: Learning difficulties and the impact thereof

                             Topic III: Difficulties students with ADHD may experience

                    Unit II: Educational strategies required

                             Topic I:   Main educational difficulties for students with ADHD

                             Topic II:  Specialist teaching programmes

                             Topic III: Routes towards Inclusive Education

            Unit III: The development of teacher’s abilities to respond to individual student educational needs

                             Topic I:     Strategies to develop

                             Topic II:    Practical strategies for teachers

                             Topic III:   Coping mechanisms for students and teachers

Module IV: Social support: Understanding self and others

              Unit I: ADHD and social difficulties

                             Topic I:   The impact of a lack of diagnosis

                             Topic II:  ADHD and the socio emotional impact thereof

                             Topic III: What is it like to have ADHD?

               Unit II: ADHD as a catalyst for emotions

                             Topic I:   Do emotional disorders cause ADHD?

                             Topic II:  ADHD behaviours commonly seen in the classroom

                             Topic III: Strategies to support behaviour

             Unit III: The importance of social understanding,  friendship and self esteem in fostering wellbeing

                             Topic I: ADHD and Social understanding   

                             Topic II:    ADHD and friendship skills

                             Topic III:   ADHD and emotional wellbeing

Module V: Inclusive Education – Best practice

                  Unit I: Understanding the infrastructure underpinning Inclusive Education

                             Topic I:   What is Inclusive Education?

                             Topic II:  The SEN Code of Practice

                             Topic III: Educators as catalysts for success

                  Unit II: Routes to Inclusion

                             Topic I:   Factors that impact on inclusion

                             Topic II:  SEN provision

                             Topic III: SEN teaching methods

                  Unit III: Pathways to an inclusive adulthood

                             Topic I:    Strengths and attributes of people with ADD and ADHD

                             Topic II:    Educational strategies to prepare students with ADHD for the future

                             Topic III:   The gifts of people with ADD & ADHD and role models


Jacqui Ashton Smith (Dr) has over 35 years’ experience working in the field of education, autism and SEN. She has presented at numerous conferences world wide, delivered international training and consultancy and post graduate training at a number of universities in the UK, Europe and Japan.

Jacqui is a qualified teacher with post graduate qualifications in SEN and autism. She has a Doctorate in Education and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and has undertaken a range of training in the field of autism and education. Her specialist areas are Educational Leadership, the identification of Girls and Women on the autism spectrum, autism specific quality assurance and autism specific education. She was a lead trainer for the National Autistic Society in the UK and has had her research and papers published in professional journals.

For 25 years Jacqui was Principal then Executive Principal of specialist residential schools for autistic children and for the past 9 years has led the Education Division of a national organisation which runs eight schools as Head of Operations then Director of Education. She led all aspects of strategic development, business development and operations. As the Director of Education Development she has recently been involved in the opening of 4 specialist schools and has gained valuable expertise in this field.

Jacqui is a member of the Autism Education Trust Expert Reference Group and a member of the Expert Advisory Panel of Autism Accreditation, a UK quality assurance system run by the National Autistic Society for autism specific schools and adult services. She is an Associate Consultant for AT-Autism and has provided specialist consultancy in the UK, delivered management and autism training in the middle east and involved in a number of research projects.


  • ShipCon Head Trainer, 2019 – Present
  • Director of Education Development. National Autistic Society Academies Trust, (NASAT) UK. September 2017 – July 2019
    • Responsible for the opening of Autism specific free schools for children and young people on the autism spectrum. Primary and Secondary ages and specialises in meeting the needs of able students on the autism spectrum with complex needs including mental health needs.
  • Executive Director of Education. National Autistic Society and National Autistic

Society Academies Trust, UK. January 2014 – August 2017

  • Strategic lead of the education division and managed the 8 specialist schools for students

on the autism spectrum UK wide. All aged and residential schools specialising in

the education of the full spectrum of need.

  • Head of Operations. National Autistic Society, UK. January 2011 – December 2013
    • Operational management of 6 specialist independent residential schools for students on the autism spectrum UK wide All aged and residential schools specialising in the education of the full spectrum of need.
  • Executive Principal. Helen Allison & Robert Ogden Schools, NAS. January 2007- December 2010
    • Strategic leadership and operational management of specialist ASD primary and secondary schools, further education colleges, weekly and termly boarding schools and children’s home. Specialising in the education of the full spectrum of need including a specialist unit for students with Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome.
  • Principal. Helen Allison School. NAS. May 1993 – December 2007
    • Specialist all age residential school and FE college. Catered for students on the autism spectrum
  • Principal: Glendale School (Autism & SEN), Cape Town. 1987 – 1993
    • Specialist SEN all age school with specialist provisions for students on the autism spectrum and those with mental health and/or social/behavioural needs.
  • SEN Teacher SEN and Autism, 1981-1986 Experience in the full range of special needs including SLD, ADHD, Dyslexia and a range of specific learning difficulties and behavioural and social difficulties.
  • Personnel Officer. Unilever, Johannesburg. 1979 – 1981
  • Mainstream Primary, Middle and Secondary ages. 1977 – 1979

Achievements & awards:

  • Appointed as one of the youngest and female Principals in South Africa.
  • Headed the first special school in South Africa approved by the government to admit all children.1991
  • Merit award- Exceptional Ability and Service to the Teaching Profession – Department of Education (RSA) 1988
  • Runner up: Lifetime Achievement Award- Autism Professional awards 2015. ..\Lifetime achievement award.doc
  • Part of the team who developed the SPELL framework.
  • Part of the team who developed the Autism Accreditation standards.
  • Opened 4 all aged SEN schools and 3 specialist units attached to mainstream schools to support students on the autism spectrum.


  • How do we attract the right people to work in the field of autism- the identification of the personality characteristics, skills and leadership styles of effective staff in residential schools for students on the autism spectrum. Journal of Research in Specialised Education. 2016
  • Mutual attraction? How do we identify, recruit and retain the right people to work with people on the autism spectrum. Good Autism Practice Journal. Volume 12, Number 2. October 2011
  • Miss or Missed Diagnosis: Girls and Women on the autism spectrum. Ashton Smith, J & Gould, J. Good Autism Practice Journal. Volume 12, Number 1. P 34-41. May 2011
  • Developed the full teaching curriculum (Primary and Secondary) for the new schools I developed including all policies and procedures.

Training: United Kingdom:

  • Lead trainer in Autism, Asperger syndrome and Education for the National Autistic Society (NAS).
  • NAS accredited SPELL trainer, Training the trainer
  • Trainer for Canterbury Christchurch University course: Post Graduate Certificate in Education- Autism & Asperger Syndrome in your school.
  • Co leader/ tutor- Sheffield Hallam University: Post Graduate certificate in Asperger Syndrome.
  • Kent County Council – delivered a range of courses on SEN, Autism, Asperger Syndrome and Education
  • England– Local authorities: training in the autism spectrum, challenging behaviour, neurodiversity.
  • Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales – a range of training delivered.

International training and consultancy:

  • Universities of Athens and Thessaloniki: Autism, Asperger Syndrome and Education.
  • Tokyo, Japan. Taisho University – A course on the identification and education of girls on the autism spectrum.
  • Amman, Jordan – Led a team to deliver 5 days training for the British Council & Jordanian Government on Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Education, Leadership, Management, Organisational Structures and Autism specific Quality Assurance Systems.
  • Oslo, Norway – 4 day training delivered to schools on education strategies in autism specific schools
  • Zurich, Switzerland – 2 days training on the Identification and education of girls and women including social understanding and mental health issues.
  • Saint Helier, Jersey – Consultancy and training delivered in autism and gender identity.
  • Israel. Parent training in SEN and autism, education and challenging behaviour.
  • The Republic of Ireland: Middletown Centre for Autism. Training courses on:
    • Girls on the autism spectrum
    • Autism and Transition
    • Accreditation – Autism Specific Quality Assurance Systems.

United Kingdom Conference presentations:

  • Presented at National Autistic Society International conferences:
    • Quality assurance in autism specific schools and services
    • Transition planning and managing change for people on the autism spectrum
    • ASD and problem solving and decision making.
    • Girls and women on the autism spectrum (annually)
    • Miss or missed diagnosis – with Dr Judith Gould (annually)
    • Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome (annually)
    • PDA and diagnosis with Dr Judith Gould (annually)
  • Autism Scotland Conference: Girls and women on the autism spectrum
  • Queens University, Belfast: Leadership and management of SEN & ASD schools
  • BELMAS (British Educational Leadership, Management & Administration Society)
  • Kings College London: Asperger Syndrome – Innovative methodology in educating students with Asperger syndrome
  • Exeter University. Annual conference for SaLT Doctoral students:
  • New Schools Network, Brighton UK: How to successfully open a new autism specific school.
  • Birmingham University Conference with Theo Peeters and Rita Jordan on Asperger Syndrome
  • Autism Education Trust: Asperger Syndrome – Innovative methodology in autism specific education.
  • Research Autism UK –
    • The first conference on the identification and education of girls on the autism spectrum
    • Information Technology and autism
    • Autism/AS and SEN
    • Gender identity.- presentation & led an interactive brainstorming professional workshop.
  • CoSPPA Professional Conferences-
    • Person Centred Planning and autism
    • Transition Planning and autism
    • Feuerstein methodology an autism
    • Leadership and management of SEN and autism specific schools
    • Cutting edge practice in autism and education
    • Identification and education of girls and women on the autism spectrum
    • Taking Heads: what is innovation in the field of autism
  • Durham University Research Conferences
    • Baseline assessments and autism
    • Transition planning and autism
    • Challenging behaviour and autism

International Conference Presentations:

  • World Autism Congresses:
    • Melbourne, Australia 2000- Autism Specific Quality Assurance Systems,
    • Cape Town, South Africa 2006 – Autism and Transition, Quality Assurance
    • Monterrey, Mexico 2010 on Autism & Girls and Women.
  • Autism Europe Conferences:
    • Glasgow, Scotland – Best Practice in autism and Asperger syndrome
    • Lisbon, Portugal – Transition planning and the autism spectrum
    • Budapest, Hungary – The identification and education of girls on the autism spectrum
    • Catania, Sicily – The identification and education of girls on the autism spectrum
  • Dubai Autism Society Conference: Quality assurance systems in autism specific education
  • Japanese Autistic Society, Tokyo: Autism specific education strategy and systems in the UK
  • Spain, Autismo Burgos Conference: Girls and women on the autism spectrum
  • Malta Conference: Postponed to 2020 Girls and women on the autism spectrum

Research programmes and collaborative work:

  • Ground breaking work with Dr Judith Gould (Wing & Gould) on the Identification, Diagnosis and education of girls and women on the autism spectrum.
  • HANDS project: EU funded to develop smartphone technology to support autistic pupils in social situations. Other participants- Norway and Hungary.
  • MBA: Evaluation of the effectiveness of quality assurance systems in SEN education
  • EdD: The identification of the personality characteristics, skills and leadership styles of effective staff in residential schools for students on the autism spectrum.
  • Hosted and participated a range of research programmes eg Bridges in Social Understanding, Universities of Birmingham, Kent and London School of Education and the Tavistock Clinic
  • Worked with a range of local authorities in their development of education provision.

Memberships & Collaborations:

  • Autism Accreditation- Standards Body & Expert Advisory Group: 1994 – present.
  • AET (Autism Education Trust) Expert Reference Group
  • Autism Accreditation- Lead Panel member: 1998 – 2015.
  • CoSPPA (Professional Autism Association) 1996 – current. Chair for 5 years
  • NASS: National Association of Special Schools.
  • BELMAS: British Educational Leadership, Management & Administration Society
  • PDA (Pathological Avoidance Syndrome) Research lead group

Consultancy roles:

  • Affinity project in collaboration with Scottish Autism.
  • Associate Consultant: AT-Autism. UK
    • Autism and education consultancy
    • SEN consultancy
  • Education Consultant: Bridges in Social Understanding, Singapore/UK
    • International programme development

What is included?

Life time access 11.5 hours of video 5 Modules,

 15 Units,

45 Topics

Three months online support Certificate/CPD