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Parents, Teachers Key To Success for ADHD Students

Armen Hareyan's picture

ADHD in Children

Finding ways to help a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder succeed in school can be challenging for parents.

Experts say one of the best strategies involves combining the efforts of the parents, the teacher and, of course, the student.

"Kids with this disorder, also called ADHD, are often talkative, unorganized, impulsive and easily distracted," said Dr. Diane Treadwell-Deering, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. "As a result, school time can be extremely difficult for them."

Many parents choose not to inform teachers of their child's ADHD disorder for fear of negatively labeling the student, a decision that could actually hinder the treatment process.

Instead, parents should ask teachers to make a few classroom modifications:

  • Sit the child at the front of the classroom, where distractions are less likely to occur.

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  • Implement a system to help the student copy homework assignments accurately and gather the appropriate materials.

  • Schedule frequent breaks for the child throughout the day.

  • Divide work into smaller chunks and do not keep the child performing one task for long periods of time.

As the child grows older, the demand for organization in school increases. Multiple teachers and classrooms, as well as extra curricular activities, can make it more challenging for him or her to stay on track. While it is important for parents to continue to help their ADHD child prioritize and organize, they should resist the urge to "baby" the teenager.

"While ADHD children will likely need extra assistance from teachers and parents, they will have to learn ways to compensate for the disorder as they grow older," said Treadwell-Deering.

Although the transition into the new school year might be rough for the first few weeks, parents should remember that this is often the case with all kids.

"Families need to expect that every year they will spend time figuring out new schedules, developing a routine that works and going through a period of adjustment," said Treadwell-Deering. "Parents should use the new school year as a chance to reassess and reevaluate organizational strategies used at home and school, as well as treatment options."