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How is it possible to sit still and concentrate when your mind is racing and your fingers 'itch and twitch'? This is the question at the centre of one of the two youth made animations we're launching today as part of our Future Storytellers project.
During spring 2018, the Future Storytellers project worked with two groups of young people, including those with characteristics of, or a diagnosis of, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Guided by professional animators, they created films that gave us a unique insight into their minds and illustrated how they feel when trying to concentrate.
Through filmmaking workshops, the young people on the project explored the major features of ADHD - impulsive behaviour, hyperactivity and inattention - from the universal angle that everyone has a different way of interacting with and understanding the world about them, and that everyone has times when they are more or less able to concentrate. Their resulting films playfully explore, through their own words and pictures, the challenges that young people with ADHD have staying focused when their minds and bodies just want to move on.
We would happily recommend the films as effective and inclusive classroom tools for thinking about and exploring how other people might think differently to us.Emily Aston, Assistant Headteacher and SENCO, Liss Junior School
The films are accompanied by our new Future Storytellers resource, which includes activities to help young people think about how they behave and react in different environments, to give them a language to express how they feel, and to provide a stimulus for them to come up with strategies to help with concentration, relaxation and ‘being the best they can be'.
Our students particularly liked the way that thinking was so cleverly visually represented and that the films had been made by other children. Using the activities in the resource they were keen and able to articulate their own experiences of navigating the school day and of dealing with their friends and families through using colours and animals.Adam Stanley, Assistant Headteacher, Liss Junior School
The films and resource are being shown at the ADHD Foundation annual conference in Liverpool.
Future Storytellers was kindly supported by a private donor.
A film discussion guide exploring what it's like to have ADHD.
Film can be a wonderful tool for developing emotional understanding and mental wellbeing.
A selection of films that Into Film recommend as good for engaging pupils with varied special educational needs (SEN).
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