Understanding ADHD & Academics

How does your medical report help my child in school?

School-based academic accommodations are helpful if the child has difficulty finishing exams due to ADHD symptoms. Parents can request a letter to the school for special accommodations (known as “Access Arrangements”) to support the child’s learning needs and optimize the chance of academic success. These include time extension for major exams (PSLE and GCE ‘O’ levels) and arranging for the child to take exams in a less distracting and more conducive setting.
We will also suggest classroom management strategies (e.g. allowing short breaks during lessons and sitting nearer to the front of the class). A letter from our psychiatrist or psychologist will help the teachers understand the needs of the child better and provide more effective learning support in school.
The decision to inform the school lies with the parents.

If my child receives a special arrangement for his PSLE, will it appear on his result slip?

Yes, there will be a symbol (“+” sign) next to the subject which the child had received access arrangement for. Examples of access arrangements include time extensions and being allowed to take the exam in a separate room from the cohort.

Are my child’s medical records confidential?

Yes, at Private Space Medical, privacy is part of our core values. Rest assured that our clinic’s medical records are confidential and not connected to any school system or public health information system.

If my child is applying for Direct School Admission (DSA), should I let the school know that he or she has ADHD? Will my child be disadvantaged if the school is informed of the diagnosis?

We are not privy to the selection criteria used by secondary schools for DSA. However, the choice to disclose the diagnosis is entirely up to you.
There are many reasons why parents choose to disclose or not disclose the diagnosis to the school. Some parents prefer to be open and transparent about their child’s needs so that teachers and staff will understand and support them better. The school can also allocate resources such as learning support or counselling if necessary. Other parents choose not to disclose due to the fear or perception that it may lead to prejudice and disadvantage their child. Our psychiatrist and psychologist will guide you through these matters during the consultation.

My child did well for PSLE. Does that mean he/she does not have ADHD?

It is not true that a good PSLE score negates the possibility of ADHD. Students can do well for PSLE despite significant ADHD symptoms if they are provided with intensive supervised tuition or parental supervision. Some students are exceptionally bright and can do well despite their short attention spans. However, they may start to struggle academically in secondary school and beyond as the syllabus becomes more varied, challenging, and complex, and when learning is more self-driven because less structure and supervision is provided by the school faculty.

What does it mean to be “double exceptional”?

“Double exceptional” is a term coined for children with high IQ and ADHD. Unfortunately, the ADHD symptoms may negate or “cancel out” the high intellectual ability, resulting in an average academic performance but not meeting their full and true potential. It is also less likely for parents and teachers to suspect ADHD as their high intellectual ability masks the ADHD-related impairments.

Seek Help Today

Thank you for taking the time to read about ADHD. If you or someone you know is struggling with symptoms like those mentioned, don't hesitate to reach out to our expert clinicians. Understanding, support, and proper treatment can make a significant difference in managing ADHD and improving quality of life.

Your well-being matters, and we're here to help every step of the way.

Dr Victor Kwok
Senior Consultant Psychiatrist
Private Space Medical
Dr Tay Kai Hong
Senior Consultant Psychiatrist
Private Space Medical