My vision: Inclusive education in Kuwait
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Education in our country should include all people, including students with learning disabilities like ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder). In the past, children with ADHD were often dismissed as “uncooperative” or incapable of learning. Today we know that this is not true. Unfortunately, students with ADHD often do not get the support they need. ADHD is a medical condition with symptoms often including hyperactivity, difficulty paying attention and impulsiveness. Because these symptoms conflict directly with the requirements of excelling in a traditional classroom environment, children with ADHD frequently have a lot of trouble in school. That’s why it is so important that students with ADHD and other learning differences get help.

However, helping these students requires resources such as training for counselors to help them recognize ADHD and refer students for testing and diagnosis, training for teachers to help them work with students with ADHD, and standardized support plans and accommodations. That way, when children with ADHD need extra time on tests or for submitting work, different testing environments (such as taking tests in oral form), or additional help in understanding course material, there will be a system in place to make that happen — so they do not get forgotten or passed by, unable to achieve their full potential.

Techniques such as behavioral classroom management and organizational training have been shown to help kids with ADHD learn and thrive, but instituting these measures requires a focused solution to be implemented consistently in all schools, for the sake of all children with ADHD. That is why I urge the National Assembly, the ministry of education, school officials and educators to join hands together in taking action to make sure that a consistent approach to helping both public and private school students with ADHD, at all grade levels, is put in place and is followed. I believe, in the right school environment, all students are very eager to learn and excel in the classroom. With the appropriate support, every Kuwaiti student can do that regardless of ADHD and other learning differences.

NOTE: Danah Nawaf Al-Bahar is a Grade 11 student at Al-Bayan Bilingual School (BBS)