Studies show that between five and seven percent of children are affected by attention deficit symptoms. However, the National Resource Center on ADHD suggests that among children aged 6-11 the almost nine percent are affected. Additionally, their research states that ADD affects almost twelve percent of adolescents. Of these, almost a quarter will receive no treatment at all to combat their symptoms. Conversely, 69% will opt for medicinal strategies to help with ADD-related problems. All of these issues combine to make the school setting a difficult one for children affected by ADD. Maybe the question that you have been asking is “How do I help my ADD child in school?” Below you will find several strategies to help your ADD child in school.
Love on Your Child’s Teachers
One way to help an ADD child in school is by focusing on his or her teachers. It is possible that your child’s teachers are as frustrated as you are. They are your partners, Love them for what they do for your child. It is easy to think that it is their job to help the children in their class. Go the extra mile. Do something for them on teacher appreciation day. Send them something for Christmas. Wish them a happy spring break. Having an ADD child in the class is just as difficult as having one at home. However, your purpose is to be on the same page with the teachers on how to best help your child at school. No one has more of a stake in your child’s success at school than his or her teacher.
Be a Problem-Solving Advocate
Attention deficit problems at school include not only academic problems but social ones as well. My experience with my own children has been that some teachers were well aware of the symptoms of ADD and some weren’t. In my own case, my children’s teacher happens to be a problem-solving maniac. However, not every teacher is going to be that. You and the teacher need to remember that your purpose is for your child to succeed. This means working together on any potential accommodations. This is not always easy. Some such accommodations require implementation at home and at school and that is easier to do if you are partners together to accomplish your child’s educational goals.
Be a Homework Organizer
ADD children are affected in dramatically different ways. There is a significant difference in the experience of the severely affected child and moderately affected child. However, many ADD children struggle with getting homework done. In many cases, an ADD child will need parental help staying organized. That may mean they need help in completing assignments. It may also mean communication with teachers and the school on what homework is given and what assignments are due. It also may require implementing the use of assignment organization strategies to keep assignments straight. ADD children may also be prone to forgetting things required to complete assignments at school and even forgetting to turn in assignments that have been completed.
Reinforce your ADD Child’s Self-Worth
The effects of ADD symptoms impact many children socially, at home and at school. These experiences can affect a child’s self-esteem and self-image. These experiences can lead a child to adopt a negative perspective on school. As a parent, you can combat these thoughts by countering them with encouragement for every single thing they do that is praiseworthy. Encourage them for anything they do at school or home that is even the least bit positive. Many times ADD children feel everything they do is negative and they are overwhelmed by that. This may be one of the reasons there is a correlation between attention deficit problems and later substance abuse disorders. You can combat some of this by encouraging them.
Focus on the Good, Minimize the Bad
One of the most difficult experiences a parent of an ADD child can have is a parent-teacher conference or report card day. We all want our children to do well in school. As a parent, it’s easy to focus on the types of grades you want them to make or the behaviors you want them to have. It is hard to do, but try to focus on the positive, whatever it may be. At the same time, minimize the negative. Clearly, this is a parental balancing act. There are some things that a good parent will not let go. Nor should they. Apart from critical issues, focus on the things that they do well, even if those things are small. Conversely, although we might want our children to have a good experience at school, find ways to communicate support. Part of this is having realistic expectations of the ADD child.
Fill Their Love Bank
Every person has a love bank. When our love bank is full, our self-worth increases. When others do things that make us feel valued and loved, our love bank is full. So do the things that make your child’s love bank full. In regards to your child at school, if their love bank is full at home, they may be more able to function academically. I hug my kids every day. I tell them I love them every day. The last things I do when I leave the house is to remind them that they are loved and are precious. Click here to read more about how love banks work.
For many ADD children, school and academics is a struggle. However, there are things that parents can do to reinforce ADD children’s ability to function in academic settings.