ADHD Support at School: Strengths & Limitations
Implementing the correct ADHD support in the classroom will help your child achieve his or her educational goals. By federal law, kids with diagnosed disabilities (including ADHD) have the right to additional educational services and supports. These accommodations take many shapes and forms, but are almost always outlined in a 504 or IEP Plan (for definitions and descriptions, check out this glossary).
Your child’s school will likely have some ideas as to which accommodations (supports and interventions) will benefit your child. Yet, your input is critical to ensuring a strong plan. Remember, some educators have had no training on ADHD and may not know how to help your child. Your ideas and suggestions can help them provide an appropriate education for your child.
Creating ADHD Support Systems as Unique as Your Child
ADHD is a spectrum. No two children are the same. When you’ve seen one child with ADHD, you’ve seen one child with ADHD. There is no one size fits all plan for kids with ADHD in school.
Children with ADHD face a wide range of challenges. These challenges depend on which aspects of Executive Functioning are impaired or delayed. Executive Functioning means the brain processes the allow you to control your behavior, especially behavior related to meeting goals.
Just as each kid with ADHD is different, so too is each school district, school, classroom and teacher. There may be different interpretations, available resources, and ADHD-specific knowledge within the same grade level in a building. Putting together an ADHD support system that works can be complicated business!
Parents need to provide additional information about how ADHD shows up for them in the home and school environment. As students get older, they can do this themselves more and more. This way, everyone is clear on what kind of ADHD support accommodations are needed and why. For example, teachers need to know that, “When Sam swings his legs a lot, it may look like he’s not paying attention. Really, that physical movement is helping him focus.”
Frequent check-ins with teachers and staff will be needed throughout the school year. Advocating without alienating will be critical to success. Everyone needs to work together for your child. Over time, involving your child in the process is critical to long-term success in higher education, and in the workplace. This helps your child develop self advocacy.
Make the Most of Your Time with Their Teachers
Understand how to create ADHD support systems that work. Decide what to say to your child’s education team. Know how to say it. Get advice for all this and more from ExceptionALLY. Log in to get FREE personalized tips, strategies and guidance for your child with ADHD.
We help parents who are frustrated with schools and the world of special education.
Could this help anyone you know?