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Should I Tell the Teacher About My Child's ADHD?

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Updated August 02, 2013

Should I Tell the Teacher About My Child's ADHD?

Partnering with your child's teacher - now and throughout the school year - is an important part of any educational treatment plan.

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Question: Should I Tell the Teacher About My Child's ADHD?
“My child is starting at a new school this year. Part of me knows I should tell the school about his ADHD, but the other part hopes he can start at the school with a clean slate and maybe I shouldn’t say anything. What should I do?”
Answer:

Back-to-school means a new year, new teachers, new situations...and for your child, a new school. In the excitement, hopefulness and anxiety of a new year, sometimes parents may neglect to openly communicate with the teacher about their child’s ADHD. This communication, however, is key. Your child’s teacher needs to know about any issues that can impair his learning, social situations and general school life. The teachers needs to know about your child’s interests and strengths, too. Your collaboration and open rapport with the teacher is vital.

Without information about a child's ADHD, teachers are left to make assumptions. They can only guess what may be causing the problems. It becomes more and more likely that your child may be labeled in negative ways as a “difficult student” or “behavior problem.” When there is understanding and knowledge about the ADHD, teachers can respond and intervene in ways that are helpful and productive.

As this new school year begins (or even before it does), talk with your child’s teacher about the ADHD. Share about the strategies that worked in his previous school - as well as those strategies that did not. If your son had a 504 plan or IEP in place at his previous school, make sure the new teacher has all of this information, too. Start the year out on the right foot. Don’t withhold information in hopes this year will be a better one. Be proactive. Establish a trusting and open relationship early on. This partnership with the teacher - now and throughout the school year - is an important part of any educational treatment plan.

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