Your child’s ADHD, schools and teachers

ADHD

Finding a school where your ADHD child will be successful depends largely on your child. Many ADHDers are capable of coping in a mainstream school if their treatment is successfully managed. Some ADHDers though, manage far better in a small, specialised school. If you are looking for a school like this, check that they are registered with the department of education and don’t assume that small classes and individual attention automatically mean they are equipped to help a child with ADHD and LD.

Once you find a school, the first thing to do is tell your child’s teacher he or she has been officially diagnosed with ADHD. So often we as parents don’t tell our ADHDers teacher about his or her diagnosis and treatment because we want to “see if she notices anything” first. Not telling your child’s teacher to try and prove a point, or to avoid the school “labelling” your child means that your ADHDer doesn’t benefit from concessions they are entitled to- like extra time in tests and exams- from day one!! And it’s unfair to the child and the teacher to expect them to fumble through several weeks of drama before telling the school what’s up. If your child was diabetic or asthmatic, not telling the school would not even occur to you! And it has been proven that children with ADHD have a worse quality of life than asthmatic children!

If the school knows early on that your child- who is most likely just one of several special needs children in his class- is neurologically-atypical, his teachers will be able to focus on him from day one. When it comes to special needs children, teachers need the parents’ help. They are a part of your treatment team and are often the first people to pick up that something is wrong.

The important thing to remember is that you want the teachers on your side, and you want them to know that when you enter their classroom you are respectful of their training AND you are your child’s advocate. It’s a tricky line to walk but if you prepare for meetings it is possible. Make notes before you go to the school, and take a notebook with you to meetings. Give the teacher a copy of your notes afterwards so you have something to follow up on when next you meet. And taking minutes in your parent-teacher meetings is immensely (and surprisingly) empowering! Give out your email address and contact numbers and stress that you are open to communication from the teacher.

And of course, speaking to the school from early on means you can ask for things like:

  • Emailing homework assignments to you.
  • Not writing letters to you in your child’s homework diary.
  • Allowing your child to do the running around and board cleaning and book collecting, aiding in getting rid of some of his hyperactive fidgeting and making him feel useful and important.
  • The teacher’s contact details!

Be open to communication from the school and keep calm!

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Author

Angel Conradie

Angel Conradie

Angel Conradie loves her cellphone, camera and notebook; has 8 tattoos, 5 cats, 2 dogs and an ADHD son. She believes she is married to the most wonderful man, bakes for a living,

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2 Responses

  1. I must say that I’ve always been open about my sons condition to his teachers – I usually visit them within the first week of the new school year to let them know what the situation is. I am usually the parent with the teachers cell phone number and I really try to build a good relationship. Having a good understanding with your childs teacher and being on the same page as them will make the biggest difference ever. This I can absolutely guarantee. In our history we only had one teacher who was absolutely the wrong teacher for our son. I do think that the teachers are becoming more and more educated and aware of ADD/ADHD and that we sometimes need to give them a chance to find their feet with the child instead of just imposing what we feel will work in their classroom environment with our kids.
    Great article.
    x

    1. Hi Angel , Julia
      I think from a fathers perspective that yes Teachers are not given the correct tools to help our very bright and intelligent children that have ADHD. All they want is for you to understand them , yes you sometimes want to climb the walls, but its not that bad ,they have their good days and bad just like we do. I deal with parents on a daily basis with our product. And the stories will make your neck hair raise up. Teachers battle with 25 to 35 kids in a class then add a kid that`s ADHD you have cause for your kid to be labeled as the naughty one the one that does get bullied and singled out. Dont keep it as a secrete you do more damage there is nothing wrong with ADHD children if you know how to give instructions talk to them play with them and guide them. IN MY EXPERIENCE TEACHERS DON`T GET TAUGHT THEY HAVE TO GAIN THE EXPERIENCE AND THIS COMES WITH TIME AND KNOW HOW , and very few teachers know how to handle ADHD children

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