Talking to Teachers About Your Child's ADHD
Childhood ADHD plays a major role in your child’s education. ADHD children often are inattentive, display hyperactivity, and have difficulty controlling their behavior. That’s why it’s vital that teachers are not only aware of your child’s diagnosis, but help you create plans and strategies so your child can succeed in school and life. If you're unsure about your child's symptoms, try the Heads Up Checkup symptom checker for immediate feedback.
When it comes to ADHD children in school, it’s important that you as the parent take the initiative with your child’s teacher so together you can create plans and goals to ensure your child's academic success.
Below are five things to keep in mind when talking to teachers about your child’s ADHD.
Explain your child’s diagnosis in full, along with their current treatment plan
The more the school and teacher know of your child’s diagnosis and treatments/medications, the better plan you and the teacher can create for your child. Meet with the teacher before the school year and inform him/her of all the necessary information concerning ADHD children. This also includes discussing strategies that have/haven’t worked in the past with your child. In addition to the teacher, reach out to the school and learn what resources (counselors, school professionals, etc.) are available to your child that may be useful in creating your plan.
When creating this plan, set goals and map out what consistent things should be happening both at school and at home to help your child succeed in his/her education. The plan may fluctuate during the year, so it’s important to make sure the teacher is a part of the process and you’re not the only one calling the shots.
Know your resources
In addition to the people resources, there are learning programs in place to help aid students with disabilities, including 504 Plan and Individualized Education Plan. Your child may be eligible for either program. 504 Plan is a plan developed to ensure children with disabilities (identified under law) receive the necessary accommodations for academic success and access to the learning environment.
Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is a program that helps children with disabilities (identified under law) receive specialized instruction and related services. Both programs are a great way to ensure that your child is getting the proper accommodations necessary to help them achieve academic success. Be sure to discuss these programs with the teacher and the school to see which one would be best for your child.
Although you will be doing most of the talking when meeting with the school and teacher, it’s also important that in the meeting you take the time to listen to what the teacher has to say and give them time to ask questions and make suggestions. This skill will also come in handy during the school year if the teacher reaches out to you to discuss your child’s behavior and develop a new plan moving forward.
Remember to stay positive
When discussing your child’s ADHD, it’s important that you take the positive approach and stay in control of your emotions. Remember, the teacher and other school resources want the best for your child, so treat them as an ally and not as an enemy. The better your relationship with the teacher, the better strategies will be in place to help your child succeed both in and outside of the classroom.
Keep in contact and stay involved
After your initial meeting with the teacher, be sure to keep in close contact with the teacher and other school administration. Working as a team will improve your child’s educational experience. Be sure to stay involved by volunteering in the classroom (if possible) and join the PTA. By doing this, you can help create better strategies and plans to help your child succeed in school.