Helping a child with ADHD
is an organized effort.
Parents, caregivers, healthcare professionals and educators: Each and every one is an important part of the team. That core group, plus a comprehensive treatment plan, can lead to successful management of your loved one's ADHD.
ADHD Support Options
Find the right fit for your child. Interview potential ADHD specialists. This group can include doctors, therapists and counselors. Visit with other ADHD caregivers about professionals they've seen. Use their feedback to create a list of what is important for your child.
Behavior therapy, or behavior modification, is often part of an ADHD management plan and can help increase positive behaviors and decrease the frequency of negative behaviors, thoughts and feelings that occur with ADHD.
A professional ADHD coach offers skills and strategies to help manage daily tasks. Coaching provides structure, support and accountability and empowers individuals to thrive on their own.
Your loved one's doctor can work with you to create a management plan. Several medications have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat ADHD. However, medicine may not be right for everyone and is not a cure.
ADHD & School
Help students with ADHD at school
Build a healthy relationship with the ADHD support team at school. This group may include teachers, counselors and other key staff. Forge a good partnership and an open dialogue.
Get started with these key steps
- 1 Contact teacher
- When you first notice that your child's ADHD symptoms are affecting him or her at school, set up a parent-teacher conference to discuss.
- 2 Partner with school
- You can work with teachers, principals and other school support team members to determine whether additional support may help your child. You may try giving your child a quiet place to work, letting the child have extra time to complete his or her work, or having your child work with a study buddy.
- 3 Monitor progress
- Work with the teacher to evaluate progress. If your child needs more help, you may want to change the approach or ask for a formal evaluation for learning accommodations and services.
- 4 Ask for additional assistance
Have an open and honest dialogue with a healthcare provider about any symptoms your child may be experiencing, like inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. Discuss how those symptoms may be affecting your child at home, at school and/or in social situations. You will need to request formal documentation of an ADHD diagnosis from the doctor in order to obtain learning accommodations at school. Healthcare professionals may ask to see the following:
- School report cards that show grades and teachers' comments
- Other official school records (e.g., achievement tests or discipline reports)
- A description of how your child has performed in school
- Notes on your child's behavior in the classroom
ADHD at Home
Student support from family
ADHD can make school more difficult. Chances are good your child has mixed feelings about school, which is why what you do and the way you talk about school at home can help in school.
Here's some homework about homework
Children with ADHD may have trouble completing homework. They may often have difficulty paying attention to details, may be forgetful, may avoid tasks requiring sustained mental effort, or may get easily distracted.
To help with this, remind your child to review a checklist or ask a friend for help before leaving school for the day to make sure everything that is needed to do homework is brought home. If your child doesn't have this type of list, create one.
To help your child keep track of school supplies, consider color-coding supplies by subject. Write your child's name on school materials.
Have your child prepare the night before to ensure a positive start of each school day. For example, at the end of each day, have your child review his or her assignment book, prepare his or her backpack and place everything by the door for the next school day.
Routine is king.
Be your child's biggest fan
ADHD can be a challenge for kids in school. Be positive. Talk about how important school is. Help your child learn to take responsibility for schoolwork. Play to your child’s strengths. Set goals and track progress. Praise accomplishments.