Powerlifting: Overcoming ADHD

Over the weekend, I attended a talk organised by the Society for the Promotion of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Research & Knowledge (SPARK) and got to hear an inspiring account of 19-year-old Ezra Tan and how he triumphed over ADHD.

In school, his ADHD caused him much trouble and due to his short-term memory, he would frequently forget to complete his homework. As a result, he would be punished by standing outside the classroom. A caring form teacher eventually decided to buy him a notebook and ensured that he would write every homework item assigned to him by checking with his various subject teachers. For this, Ezra is still very grateful to him.

In addition, because of the side effects of taking the medication, Ritalin, he would often be very tired in class. This made learning in the classroom ineffective and he didn’t manage to do well in his O Levels.

However, upon signing up and doing a course with Kaplan he decided that change was in order.

He realised that he was not able to study for 2 hours straight, instead he would set himself up for a 10 minute study session and then would take a 10 minute break.

After this proved to be effective, he reduced the break time to 8 minutes, and subsequently 5 minutes.

Eventually, he was able to complete a 20 minute study session with only a 5 minute break. This he did repeatedly.

Also, it was with his discovery of powerlifting that helped him better cope with his ADHD.

After being introduced to the sport by his friend Melissa, he soon developed better discipline as he needed to complete a set number of sets of reps per session, and also had improved concentration as he needed to focus his full attention to the task at hand.

Eventually, with much hard work, he was placed 1st in the Singapore Powerlifting Invitationals 2016. Because of this, his confidence and self-esteem was boosted because for once, he felt like he could achieve something instead of always placed being at the bottom of his class for doing poorly academically.

During the Q&A he also shared that because of his ADHD, his tutors would often quit after the first or second session.

It was only after finding an understanding tutor that he was able to continue for a longer period of time.

If your child has ADHD and you are looking for an experienced tutor for English and Maths at the primary level and English, Maths and Science at the secondary level, feel free to call us at 8749 2441 or email the.alternative.edu@gmail.com to for more details.

Teaching the ADHD child

Children diagnosed with Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) often have short attention spans which makes it hard for them to stay still in a traditional classrooms. I’ve had many parents tell me about how they keep receiving phone calls from teachers who complained that their child isn’t paying attention in class and being disruptive.

Having taught many students with ADHD, I have discovered some techniques that work well with these kids.

A great way to incorporate a perennially effective method would be through the use of games. By simply turning questions in an assessment book into a game-like format (as shown in the picture below), I managed to motivate one of my students into completing three times as many questions as before. Having him mindlessly going through assessment books won’t help as his interest wasn’t sustained.


One-to-one sessions usually help because attention is given to them and the teacher or tutor is able to modify the task at hand to sustain the interest of the child. When I sense that my student is switching off, I often tend to change what we are doing in order to ensure that he or she remains interested in the activity.

If you’d like to register your child for classes with us, do drop us an email at the.alternative.edu@gmail.com or text us at 8749 2441 and we can sign you up to help your child learn with a difference.