Back to School Tips for ADHD Students – Heading back to school can be a stressful time for any family; even more so for those families who have children diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Consider the following tips as the school year begins. As always, remember that consistent parenting is crucial!
Back to School Tips for ADHD Students – Home
- Get a routine started at the beginning of the year and try to maintain it -i.e. bedtime and homework
- Schedule frequent breaks during homework which will help prevent meltdowns and temper tantrums. Consider giving your child a timeframe to finish their homework such as by 5:00 pm with the incentive to earn extra play time, computer time, or television screen time. This tends to keep ADHD kids motivated and on task.
- Avoid doing homework in high traffic areas at home and with limited distractions (i.e. TV, video games, toys, etc).
Back to School Tips for ADHD Students – School
- Meet with your child’s teacher at the beginning of the school year to share any concerns.
- Children who have been diagnosed with ADHD by a professional may be eligible for special educational services provided by their school district through either a Section 504 or an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). I often recommend that parents obtain a letter from their provider to assist in the process.
- What is a Section 504?
- It is a federal civil rights statute ensuring that students with disabilities such as ADHD have the educational opportunities equal to those who are not disabled.
- Qualifying for Section 504
- The child must have a physical or mental condition that substantially limits a major life activity, which includes but is not limited to learning and behavior. Therefore, an ADHD child whose disability is substantially affecting/limiting their ability to learn would be entitled to the protections of a Section 504.
- The school district will conduct an evaluation to determine eligibility
- What are the Eligibility Requirements for an IEP?
- The main difference is that IDEA mandates that a child must have a disability requiring special education services while a Section 504 occurs when the child needs special education or related services.
- The process to qualify for an IDEA involves a team of professionals often consisting of social workers, school psychologists, the special educational department, teachers, parents, and administrators to determine eligibility.
- ADHD children often fall under the category entitled “Other Health Impairment” (OHI).
- What does an IEP provide?
- Annual goals, short-term objectives, and safeguards that are not covered under a Section 504.
- Parents can request an evaluation of their child to determine qualification of a 504 or an IEP at any time. The request needs to be in writing and given to the school’s administration.
- What is a Section 504?
More Back to School Tips for ADHD Students
- Work with an ADHD coach to help your child get organized and learn the tools needed for continued success
- Meet with a medical profession to seek information about ADHD medications to help your child
- Work with a counselor to give your child and parents the support system he or she may need.
For more back to school tips for ADHD Students, Contact the Mental Fitness Center at 248-601-3111 and ask about affordable home consultation program.