If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, classroom time can be a real challenge, especially if the teacher isn't prepared. Unfortunately, IEPs and 504 plans don't always go far enough where teacher instructions are concerned. To make sure that your child has a successful school year and that their teacher is able to provide the best classroom environment, here are steps you need to take as a parental advocate.
Ensure Use of a Schedule
If your child has ADHD, unexpected changes can cause serious problems for them, especially within the classroom. To ensure a comfortable learning environment for your child, ensure that their teacher makes use of daily educational schedules. Using a schedule for educational activities will help your child maintain focus throughout the day.
Encourage the Use of Fidget Toys
If your child has ADHD, they may struggle to sit still through an entire day's worth of lessons. Fidget devices are one way to avoid this frustration and to help your child stay focused. Fidget devices are small objects that your child can keep with them throughout the day. These devices allow your child to reduce their nervous energy without being disruptive. One type of fidget device is a thick rubber band that fits around the legs of a desk. Your child can fidget with their feet whenever they feel the need.
Provide Short Instructions
If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, they may not do well with large chunks of instructions. However, this is often how classroom instructions are provided. Unfortunately, children with ADHD can't always process those large chunks of information. To make sure that your child has the best chance for success, encourage their teacher to provide instructions in smaller, easier-to-manage bits. That way, your child can process the needed information a little at a time.
Ensure Preferred Seating
If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, their classroom seating assignment needs to be carefully monitored. Some children with ADHD do best when they're in the back of the class, where they're free to stand up and move around when needed. However, other children with ADHD need to be near the front and closer to the teacher. If your child is having trouble in the classroom, ask their teacher to provide their preferred seating.
If your child has ADHD, it's up to you to become their most vocal advocate. The tips provided here will help you ensure that your child is receiving the assistance they need for a successful school year. To learn more about getting ADHD help, be sure to consult a counselor near you.