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Communicating With the School About Your Child's ADHD

 
ADHD affects children both at home and at school. To ensure your child with ADHD does as well in school as he can, you need to build a solid relationship with your child's school. To do this, you need to communicate clearly and often.

Communication helps to:

  • share initial concerns about the child's symptoms
  • develop school-based intervention strategies
  • monitor the child's progress 
  • make sure you and your child's teacher are using the same strategies to help your child 
  • share information about medication and other treatments

What your child's teacher needs to know

During assessment

While your child is being assessed for ADHD, let your child's teacher know that:

  • your child is being assessed
  • the doctor or psychologist may need information from the teacher to help with diagnosis

After diagnosis

After your child has been diagnosed, you should meet with your child's teacher to:

  • discuss the treatment plan
  • explain the medication your child is taking, if any, and what to look out for
  • explain what other interventions your child is receiving
  • discuss changes the teacher can make in the classroom to help your child
  • discuss how the teacher can help monitor the success of the treatment plan
  • discuss what you are doing at home to help your child

What you need to know from your child's teacher

During assessment

A child's teacher may be the first person to suspect that a child has ADHD. Your child's teacher can help the doctor or psychologist assess your child's behaviour and academic achievement. The teacher can provide:

  • a description of your child's symptoms in class
  • how long your child has had these symptoms
  • whether symptoms are better in some contexts than in others
  • how your child is doing academically
  • your child's language abilities
  • how your child is doing socially

After diagnosis

After your child has been diagnosed, your child's teacher can provide important information about his progress, including:

  • how well the treatment is working
  • what strategies the teacher is using at school to help your child
  • what strategies you can use at home to help your child with schoolwork and homework

Communication strategies

There are many ways for parents and teachers to communicate. When your child is diagnosed with ADHD, or at the start of the school year, talk to your child's teacher. Together, you should decide how often you need to communicate and what types of communication will work best.

Options include:

  • phone calls
  • newsletters
  • daily log books or notebooks that travel from school to home in the child's knapsack
  • notes
  • informal visits
  • scheduled conferences
  • report cards

 

 Academic Enablers – Daily Report Cards

 

​​Click on "CC" (closed captioning) for subtitles.​​


For more information about teaching children with ADHD, helping children with ADHD do homework, and giving medication at school, please click the links on the left.

Tara McAuley, PhD, CPsych

Peter Chaban, MA, MEd

Rosemary Tannock, PhD

11/20/2009




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