Children with ADHD face many challenges during their school years- this can be tricky for a parent to deal with. However, working closely with their teacher and finding effective ways to keep your child interested in learning, whether it is inside or outside the classroom, can relive the stress your child may go through during school.
A child with ADHD may find the classroom environment overwhelming and a challenging place. ADHD causes students to find sitting still, listening intently and concentrating difficult- these very tasks are the ones that school requires them to do all day every day. Most of these children want to be able to learn and behave like their unaffected peers, which is most likely the most frustrating aspect of the condition for them. Neurological deficits keep kids with attention deficit disorder from learning in traditional ways.
As a parent, you can help your child cope with these deficits and meet the challenges school creates by providing the most effective support, teaching your child learning strategies for the classroom and communicating with teachers about how your child learns best.
Working in partnership with teachers
Being a teacher is a difficult job- they have a classroom, of usually around 30 children, that all have different and distinct personalities and learning styles, that all require his/her attention at some point. It is, therefore, difficult when a child has ADHD in the classroom, as they require more attention that other children, but it is challenging to provide this. This means that parental involvement is extremely important in improving your child’s education. By working with and supporting you child’s teacher, you can directly impact the experience your child has in the classroom.
There are a various ways you can work with in partnership with the teachers to keep your child on track at school. Together you can help your child with ADHD learn to become comfortable within the classroom and find strategies to work effectively and efficiently through the challenges of the school day.
Your child’s advocate is you- as a parent. For your child to flourish through their school years, his or her needs must be communicated with everyone within the school. However, on the other hand, It is equally important for you to listen to what the teachers and other school officials say about your child and his or her needs.
These are some tips in order to help working in partnership with teachers successful and effective…
Firstly, plan ahead. Even before the school year starts, make arrangements for meetings and speak to the school officials about your child- this way when your child does start the school will be aware and everything will be in place.Once the year has started, plan to speak with a teacher or counsellor at least once a month.
Secondly, stick to the plans. Work with your child’s teacher and find a time that works for both of you, and stick to it. Furthermore, if it is possible, a meeting within your child’s classroom would help you understand where your child would be all day learning.
Also, listen carefully and share information. Both you and your child’s teacher wants your child to succeed in school. By listening to them, you will be able to understand what your child finds challenging in school, and how this may impact his learning. Therefore, you will be able to talk through some solutions with your child. Your child’s history is important for their teacher to understand them in more depth. Furthermore, their teacher sees them all day every day, therefore they have a fair amount of information on your child that they could share. A combination of this information could lead to a much better understanding of your child and what they struggle with.
Managing symptoms at school
ADHD affects every child differently and this causes a range of symptoms- some are hyperactivity and bounce off the walls, some daydream constantly, and others just can’t seem to follow the rules.
This behaviour can be reduced by the help of you, as a parent. Once you are aware how the ADHD affects your child, you can find effective strategies for tackling the issues.
Some students with ADHD become easily distracted by noises, passers-by, or their own thoughts and therefore they often miss vital classroom information.
In order to avoid getting distracted easily, more movement and breaking the work up is needed. Furthermore, these are some other tips to reduce the distraction from your child:
- If your child has ADHD, ensure he or she is away from doors and window and any other
- Ask your child’s teacher to, whenever possible,incorporate physical movement into lessons
- If your child has a big assignment to do, ask your child’s teacher break it into smaller ones, and ask whether he or she would be allow frequent breaks.
Sometimes, ADHD can cause children to struggle to control their impulses and therefore will speak when it is not their turn to. These outbursts could to some people come across as aggressive or even rude, which can cause social problems as well.
Attempting to get your child to control these impulses should be done carefully so that the child’s self-esteem is maintained, as it is often very fragile,especially in front of others. A solution may be to develop a “secret language” with the child with ADHD, whereby you can use specific gestures or words you have previously agreed upon to let the child know they are interrupting. It is vital you reward and praise your child for interruption-free conversations.
“Thinking before you act” is difficult for children with ADHD, which could create difficult social situations as well as problems in the classroom. Kids who have trouble with impulse control may come off as aggressive and is perhaps the most disruptive symptom of ADHD, particularly at school.
Methods for managing impulsivity include behaviour plans, and ways to give children with ADHD a sense of control over their day.Any behaviour plans, write them out and ensure the child can see them all the way through the day. Misbehaviour must immediately be punished- explain to them what was wrong with their behaviour and what the consequence is now. However, on the other hand, good behaviour must always be recognized too- explain why you are praising them and ensure they understand what was good about their behaviour. Lastly, ask your child’s teacher, to write a schedule for the day on the board or give them it on a piece of paper and every time an item has been completed, cross it off. This allows the child to feel as if they are in control of the day and feel calmer as they know what to expect of the day.
ADHD may cause many students to be constantly fidgeting and moving. Children with ADHD may jump, kick, twist, fidget and this makes them difficult to teach.
In order to reduce this issue, ask your child’s teacher to allow your child to move in appropriate ways at appropriate times; this therefore will allow them to release energy and make it easier for them to sit still and be calmer when they are working. For example, your child could complete a task for the teacher such as walking across the room to sharpen pencils or put something in the bin. Furthermore, giving your child a stress ball, small toy, or other object for the child to squeeze or play with discreetly at his or her seat will massively improve his concentration. This will release energy and allow him or her to stay focus on the teacher.
Homework and ADHD
Homework is something that everyone dreads. However, for a parent with a child with ADHD it is a golden opportunity to provide support that directly impacts your child. With your support, children with ADHD can use homework time for adapting new organizational skills that may be needed in the classroom.
Here are a few tips to help your child succeed in doing their homework. Firstly, ensure you encourage exercise and sleep. Any form of Physical activity improves concentration and promotes brain growth. Furthermore, it helps with getting a better sleep which in turn can help reduce ADHD symptoms. Secondly, provide regular nutritious meals. Any snacks, junk food or sugary foods must be cut back. However, it is not just about your child- you must take care of yourself so you’re better able to care for your child, therefore don’t neglect your own needs.