Updated: Mar 30
Is your child having difficulty succeeding in school due to a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)? If so, you are not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 6 million children between the ages of 4 to 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD.
The good news is that there are many ways you can help your child succeed in school despite their diagnosis.
Let’s take a look at some effective strategies for helping your child reach their full potential in the classroom environment.
#1 Understand the Symptoms of ADHD
While it’s true that it’s important for schools to know how to handle students with ADHD, it is also crucial for parents to be aware of the symptoms of ADHD. This way, parents can effectively assist their children in managing their dysfunction in school.
Children with undetected or untreated ADHD are at greater risk of difficulty in performing to the best of their ability and have higher rates of school failure, defined as having to repeat a grade level.
As a result, understanding signs such as impulsivity, hyperactivity, inattentiveness and poor organization is essential to detect early on to provide an effective treatment plan. Knowing what strategies suit them best allows children with ADHD to maximize success and work around any potential obstacles caused by the disorder.
#2 Create a Positive Home Environment
As a parent of a child with ADHD, creating an environment that fosters positive growth and achievement is incredibly important. While every home will have a unique approach to this, there are some universally helpful strategies that can be employed.
Parents should ensure their child has an organized workspace to do homework that promotes focus and distracts them from the chaos of the household. Regularly scheduled breaks in between tasks can also help children stay focused when it comes time to get back to work.
In addition, encouraging constructive dialogue between parents and children about struggles and successes will create an open dialogue that nurtures trust and understanding.
Lastly, establishing consistent expectations for school performance can help set clear goals for your child as well as determine what support you or other resources may need to be utilized for success.
#3 Create a Routine
Establishing a routine can be incredibly beneficial for children with ADHD trying to stay on track in school. Parents should first establish a nightly routine and make it as consistent as possible, such as going to bed at the same time each night, setting up the next day's clothes the night before, and making breakfast the next morning.
Establishing a manageable list of tasks and activities that need to be completed throughout the day is also important; this will help ensure all subjects are given sufficient attention while also allowing your child to take necessary breaks.
Additionally, having individualized conversations with your child's teachers about their learning process and expectations can help keep them accountable and motivated.
#4 Encourage a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep plays a major role in children's cognitive and emotional development, especially those with ADHD. Without adequate restful sleep, children are more likely to become easily distracted and lack focus during school hours.
It is essential that parents of children with ADHD promote good quality sleep to assist their children in thriving and succeeding at school. This can be accomplished by establishing consistent bedtimes and wake times, limiting caffeine and sugar intake during the day, avoiding screens for a few hours prior to bedtime, and providing calm activities like reading before lights out.
When these strategies are followed consistently, children with ADHD can get the best possible sleep they need, which will help them stay on task during class while helping them reach their full academic potential.
#5 Set up a Distraction-Free Study Space
By turning off any source of background noise, such as the television or radio, and eliminating clutter in a common study area, parents can give their children the focus they need.
Children should also be seated at comfortable desks or tables in an adequately lit area, which will help them stay engaged for extended periods and feel supported in their learning pursuits.
Equipping the study space with helpful tools such as fidget cubes, visual lamps, or blue-light-blocking glasses can make a difference for those more easily distracted by stimuli.
#6 Work on Organizational Skills
Teaching organizational skills to children with ADHD can be challenging, but parents who are able to implement consistent and effective strategies can create long-term positive benefits for their children.
With an understanding of the common traits of ADHD, such as difficulty regulating emotions and maintaining focus, parents can identify potential obstacles and work around them through modifications to existing organizational methods.
For example, breaking tasks into smaller chunks or providing visual cues or verbal prompts have proven effective for staying on task.
In the end, empowering children with ADHD to take control of their lives through developing organizational skills will lead to more successful outcomes both socially and academically in the long run.
#7 Inform Teachers of the Child’s Needs
It is vital that parents keep teachers informed regarding the specific instructional approaches for students with ADHD in the classroom, classroom modifications, and organizational strategies that have been most effective for their child so that those same methods can be applied in the classroom.
Additionally, informing teachers about effective behaviour management strategies will help create a supportive and motivational learning environment since the teacher will be prepared to handle possible issues quickly and efficiently.
Last but not least, it is important that parents explain any medication taken by the child as it may affect their performance during particular tasks. Keeping teachers up-to-date on these areas not only provides protection for our children but also grants invaluable insight into their individual strengths and weaknesses.
#8 Enlist Professional Help
Parents of children with ADHD may want to enlist the help of professionals such as a clinical psychologist, an ADHD therapist in Toronto, or a school counsellor for a variety of reasons.
Professionals can provide an accurate diagnosis of their child’s condition and can work with them to develop an individualized treatment plan that is geared toward helping the child in managing their symptoms more effectively.
Furthermore, these professionals will be able to provide important advice related to educational accommodations that could greatly benefit the student, from providing them with extra time on tests to working out a system for them to better manage their homework assignments.
Perhaps most crucially, partnering with outside professionals offers great support for the child and their parents by having trustworthy individuals they can rely on when seeking advice and resources.
We’re Here to Help!
While it’s true that children with ADHD may need some extra assistance, they can perform in the classroom just as well as anyone else. At Shlomo Radcliffe & Associates, we know how to work with children and students with ADHD. Contact us today to learn more.