School Success Tips For Your ADHD Child
By Eric Yunker
The type of teacher a teenager suffering from ADHD has can be critical to his or her success in school. Consequently, as a parent, it is crucial that you find out which teacher your child will have and check their background. The teacher you are looking for will understand the ADHD or will be willing to learn about the disorder. You want a teacher who will maintain regular contact with you, the parent. You want a teacher with clear and consistent rules and goals, and is encouraging and motivating. You want a teacher who is dynamic and switches their teaching up quite a bit (ADHD children are much more prone to boredom). You want a teacher who will teach slowly and clearly, and who will repeat things if necessary. ADHD children often need to have things repeated because their minds wander. And, very importantly, you need to have a teacher who will not undermine treatment your child is getting outside of the classroom.
Keep in mind that in the USA, under federal law, a handicapped child must have whatever modifications he or she requires. In the case of ADHD, while a child is often handicapped in many ways in the school environment, their disorder is overlooked, resulting in children with ADHD suffering from this oversight in education. As funding is inadequate and there are not enough people to help, ADHD is ignored unless parents demand the help their children need.
It is important for parents to be those most actively involved in ensuring their child gets what they need in the school environment. They should not rely on teachers, social workers, psychologist and other personnel at the school. Therefore, parents need to be educated as to what they can do for their children. If the school does not listen to your demands or talks down to you, do not give in. This is your teens education, and you have every right to speak up. You owe it to your child.
If it is difficult for you to speak for your child, you may get a school advocate – a person who knows how to deal with schools and can help your child out. To find out more about this, contact CHADD (a national support group for people with ADD operating in the USA) or the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund.
Teachers may benefit from a few tips that will help them when teaching a child suffering from ADHD. The key is to minimize any distractions that will divert attention. For example, refrain from using bright, shiny colors on the walls. Seat the child up front to decrease their straying attention. Write the rules of the classroom and display them clearly. Help the ADD child know that it is OK to ask for additional help. Positive encouragement works wonders, especially with children with ADD. When working on projects, allow ADD children more time. Allow them some time out frequently, in order to give their attention span a break.