School and a Child with ADHD

By: infoserv
What teacher an ADHD child has is critical to their success in school. As a parent, you want to research what teacher your child will have to see what their background is. You want a teacher who understands the disorder or who is willing to learn about ADD. You want a teacher who will keep in regular contact with you, the parent. You will want a teacher who is encouraging, motivating and has clear and consistent rules and goals. 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 you definitely need to have a teacher who will not undermine treatment your child is getting outside of the classroom.

Keep in mind that under federal law, a handicapped child must have whatever modifications that are needed. With ADHD, a child is often handicapped in many ways in the school environment. But often, the disorder is overlooked and children with ADHD suffer from this oversight in education. Because there is not enough funding and people to help, ADD is ignored unless parents step up and advocate for their children.

Parents need to be the main ones advocated for their child. They should not rely on teachers, social workers, psychologist and other personnel at the school. Because of this, 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 child's education, and you have a right to speak up.

If it is difficult for you to speak for your child, it is possible to get a school advocate. This is 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) or the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund.

Specifically, for the teacher, there are a few tips that will help in teaching a child with ADHD. The main thing is you want to minimize any distractions that will catch the child's attention. Do not use bright, shiny colors on the walls; this will distract the child. Put the child up front to decrease their straying attention. Write the rules of classroom and display it clearly. Help the ADD child know that it is ok to ask for additional help. Positive encouragement works wonders, especially with children with ADD. In regards to projects, allow more time for ADD children. Let the ADD children have frequent breaks to give their attention span a break.
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