Helping Your AD/HD Child Through School

School is a struggle for most children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. One reason: about half of AD/HD kids also have a related learning disability - such as dyslexia or impaired auditory processing. Also, traditional classrooms are not "ADD-friendly;" the curriculum, teaching methods, physical environment, and rules make ADD-related problems seem worse, not better.

The solution, say experts, is multi-dimensional and requires parent-teacher cooperation and understanding.

Here's what ADDitude Magazine recommends for AD/HD students who aren't making the grade:

• Arrange for a psycho-educational evaluation. This battery of tests will help determine whether your child has a learning disability in addition to AD/HD.

• While medications help with symptoms of AD/HD, they do not have an impact on learning disabilities. Learning disabilities need to be addressed by learning specialists in the affected areas.

• Know your rights. Children with AD/HD and learning disabilities are entitled to special educational accommodations mandated by federal law. For information on educational rights, contact the National Learning Disabilities Association at www.ldanatl.org

• Communicate with the teacher. Parent-teacher communication is critical to the academic success of AD/HD students. Be proactive. Meet with your child's teacher at the beginning of the year to discuss particular behavior and academic problems and how they can be managed. Don't wait for a problem to arise and make you into adversaries instead of allies. Parent and teacher should correspond daily in writing, if possible.

 

• Find out what works best. Sometimes, minor classroom modifications will create a better learning environment not just for AD/HD kids, but also for others. In addition, parents are entitled to ask for - and receive - special accommodations that other students don't get - things like lighter homework loads, preferential seating, un-timed tests and note taking help.

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