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Back to School – Talking to Teachers

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A Successful School Year Starts with Strong Parent-Teacher Partnerships – Helping Kids Navigate the Classroom with ADHD.

You helped your child complete their online ADHD assessment and have a confirmed diagnosis in hand. Often, there is an immediate sense of relief as you and your family finally have answers and access to ADHD resources

As you begin navigating tips and tricks at home, remember that your child’s ADHD symptoms won’t disappear when they enter the classroom.

Managing ADHD at school can be challenging, but strong parent-teacher partnerships can help your child succeed in the classroom and improve academic performance. A candid and open relationship with your child’s teacher helps you tackle concerns together.

When to reach out and what to say

Don’t wait until parent-teacher conferences to have a conversation about your child and ADHD. Reach out early and often to help your child stay on track throughout the year. Request an appointment with the teacher rather than trying to catch your them before or after school. If your child has more than one teacher request for a team meeting, perhaps even virtually. Having something scheduled will give you time to talk without interruption. 

This likely won’t be the first time your child’s teacher has had a student with ADHD in the classroom, but it can still feel intimidating. To keep your conversation on track, have the following ready: 

  • Specific examples of how ADHD impacts your child both around the house and while doing schoolwork 
  • When, where and how your child thrives
  • Areas where your child struggles and any solutions you’ve tried
  • How your child interacts socially with others
  • Any medication your child takes for ADHD and how it affects them 
  • Any Individualized Education Program (IEP) your child currently has

Good teachers get to know their students; great teachers use what they know to help students excel. The more information you can share about your child and their ADHD symptoms, the better. And the sooner you can talk with your child’s teacher, the sooner they can maximize support. 

Become a team

Kids spend 6 to 8 hours at school each day – even longer if they participate in extracurricular activities. This means that your child’s teacher will see firsthand how ADHD impacts their learning and development. After your first meeting, schedule regular follow-up discussions to review what you’re both noticing at home and in the classroom. Work as a team to identify anything that positively or negatively influences your child’s ADHD symptoms. 

“As the school year progresses and you learn more about how your child copes with ADHD symptoms, don’t be surprised if learning strategies change,” says Dr. Dr Jensen-Savoie, Division Chief Psychology at ADHD Online.  “The discovery phase takes time, but it can also provide the best insights for parents and teachers.”

It’s also important to include your child in the parent-teacher partnership, when appropriate. Learning doesn’t happen in a vacuum and the more you can get everyone on the same page, the smoother the school year will be. 

Utilize ADHD Online for support

Your ADHD Online team is here to support parents, teachers and students thrive alongside ADHD. Our clinical experts can make sure that everyone involved in the learning process has access to critical resources. At times, ADHD can be demanding but having a community of support along the way will ensure success for your child.

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