Parents of children with ADHD need to know what specific directives are offered to them so that they may be able to provide their child with further educational support, in collaboration with the child’s school.
In order to support the teachers, parents must communicate with their child’s school administrators and educators. The following are some suggestions to enhance the overall quality of this communication:
- Encourage and support the teacher’s efforts.
- Make yourself available for regular conferences in person or on the phone.
- Educate yourself on ADHD and how it affects school performance.
- Check your child’s notebook everyday for homework assignments, communiqués from the school, and documents that require your signature.
- Get involved with the school’s psychologist, social worker and other incumbent team members.
- Communicate your child’s needs to the adults at school. It is equally important to listen to what the teachers and other school officials have to say.
- When you communicate (talk over the phone, email, or meet in person), be open and make an effort to remain calm, be specific and above all, be positive as a good attitude can go a long way.
- Make meetings happen; you have to agree on a time that works for both parties (parents and incumbent staff) and stick to this time. Avoid cancelling meetings. In order to get a sense of your child’s physical learning environment, the meeting should be in your child’s classroom.
- Devise goals with your child’s teachers. You should discuss your expectations for your child’s success in school. Together, write down specific and realistic goals and talk about how these can be attained.
- Share information: teachers know your child’s history since they see him/her every day. Together, you’ll get a better understanding of your child’s overall needs. Therefore, you have to share freely your observations so that the teacher can do the same.
- Make sure that your child has a quiet, uncluttered place to do homework
- .Break down assignments into smaller tasks. This will help your child to focus.
- Parents need to reinforce study skills such as highlighting, note taking, and reading out loud.
- Praise you child for well-done work and remember, “good” is not necessarily the same as “perfect”.
- Double-check that completed homework and other materials are packed in your child’s bag before they leave for school.
- Establish a reward system for good days / weeks at school.
- Praise your child for good behavior at school.
- Encourage and help your child develop social skills (e.g. taking turns, sharing, asking for permission).
- Collaborate with the teacher when planning, implementing and assessing behavior intervention.
- A master notebook should be kept by the student; a three-ring binder with a separate section for each subject so that everything goes in the correct section.
- Provide a three-pocket notebook with inserts for homework assignments, completed homework, and “mail” to parents (permission slips, PTA flyers).
- Materials could be color-coded for each subject. Help to organize loose papers by color-coding folders and showing your child how to hole–punch and file appropriately.
- The child may be encouraged to make and use checklists, crossing items off as they are accomplished.
- Whenever possible, an extra set of textbooks and other materials may be kept at home.
- Allow time to organize materials and assignments for home.
It's hard for children with ADHD to learn social skills and social rules. You can help your ADHD child to become a better listener, learn to read people’s faces and body language, and interact positively in groups.
You can help your child by:
- Speak gently but honestly with him/her about his or her challenges and how to make changes.
- Role-play various social scenarios with him/her. Trade roles often and try to make it fun.
- Invite only one or two friends at a time at first. Watch them closely while they play.
- Have a zero tolerance policy for hitting, pushing and yelling in the house.
- Make time and space for play time and reward good play behaviors often.
All children benefit from fresh foods, regular meal times, and limiting junk food. These tenets are especially true for children with ADHD, whose impulsiveness and distractedness can lead to missed meals, disordered eating and overeating.
Eating small meals more often may help your child’s ADD/ADHD
Children with ADHD are notorious for not eating regularly. Without parental guidance, these children might not eat for hours and then binge on nutrient-deficient foods. The result of this pattern can be devastating to the child’s physical and emotional health.
Prevent this pattern by scheduling regular healthy meals or snacks for your child.
Physically, the child with ADHD needs a regular intake of healthy food.
As a parent you need to be aware that saying no to junk food or overeating is quite acceptable.
- Processed and packaged foods to be reduced, and food coloring and additives also need to be minimized.
- Parents should ensure that an adequate intake of key minerals, vitamins and essential fatty acids (omega 3).
- Soft drinks and other packaged foods need to be limited.