Make no mistake. If your child has ADHD, you are their best advocate.
You understand the issues they face, the difficulties they encounter at school and in making friends. There is no one in the world who can do a better job helping your child with ADHD succeed in school.
A Child with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
A child with ADHD faces many challenges. It is difficult for them to focus and concentrate, which make it hard to pay attention in school. Kids with this behavioral disorder are easily distracted and their memory can be a problem. Worst of all for them, they find it difficult to socialize.
The earlier and more consistently you address your child’s problems with ADHD, the better chance you have for them to succeed in school and in the rest of the world.
Educate Yourself and Know the Law in northern Virginia.
There are federal programs in place that direct schools to offer programs to help all students learn.
One such program is IEP or Individualized Education Program. This is a written plan of goals for a student and the specific techniques teachers will use to support their progress. It will explain different ways a particular student learns, expectations for them to meet, details on the services and resources provided by the school, and how progress will be measured.
If a child with ADHD does not need the IEP, the 504 Plan puts children in class with their grade level peers. Parents can send a written request to the principal for an evaluation of the child and a full list of the school’s available services.
Find out if there are social skills groups led by a specialist or school psychologist. These are small groups to help children learn about and improve their social skills.
Communicate with Teachers
As your child’s main advocate, be sure to schedule times to speak to their teachers. Important topics should include:
- Talk with them about how your child learns best.
- Create specific and realistic goals.
- Communicate your child’s needs to all the adults your child interacts with.
- Remain positive in all your communications with teachers and administrators.
- Listen. This is particularly important.
- Begin a back and forth folder for daily communication between parent and teacher(s).
At Home Strategies
There are multiple strategies you can implement at home to help your child with ADHD succeed at school. Begin with setting up a daily schedule with consistent rules and consequences, and post it somewhere prominent in the home so your child can see what is expected of them.
Have routines at home such as a time and place for homework to be completed. Your dedicated homework space should be in a quiet area with as few distractions as possible.
Allow activity time after school and before homework to give them an opportunity to run, play, or just be outside. Physical activity will help reduce ADHD symptoms, improve concentration, and enable your child to sleep better through the night.
Feed your child nutritious meals without sugary snacks in between. Reduce caffeine and carbonated drinks, though treats in moderation are never a bad idea, especially when used as an incentive for good behavior.
Take Care of You
As a parent of a child with ADHD, much is expected of you and the stress can quickly become overwhelming. Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Eat nutritious meals every day, get sufficient sleep, and find support from loved ones or others in your community. Remember you are the role model for your child.