Children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) often face many challenges at school. It’s typical for children with ADHD to have trouble sitting still, listening, being quiet, paying attention for extended periods of time, following instructions and concentrating on certain tasks. For a child with ADHD, succeeding in school can be difficult.

However, there are several strategies both parents and teachers can use to help children with ADHD do well in school. These methods can significantly help a child with ADHD have a positive and successful grade-school experience:

  1. Team up with your child’s teachers
    For children with ADHD, it’s important to communicate with their teachers about their ADHD or other learning disabilities. Frequently discuss your son or daughter’s progress and struggles with their teachers, along with what you as a parent are doing at home to help your child.

    Suggested strategies for children with ADHD:
  • Use a journal that your child takes back and forth to school and home each day. This makes it easy for teachers to jot down notes about your child’s behavior and school performance that day.
  • Maintain a daily report card. This is another good system for keeping track of how your child is doing in school day-to-day. List specific goals that your child should accomplish and also establish a reward system.
  • Focus on positive feedback, not negative. In school, children with ADHD often get scolded or receive a lot of negative attention for their behavior. Positive reinforcement can be crucial to your child’s self esteem and progress. For school-age children, rewards can be very motivating. 
  1. Establish solid routines and stick to habits
    All children benefit from a set schedule and regular routines. For children with ADHD, having structure can help them to feel less anxious and might also curb some of their hyperactive tendencies.

    Suggested strategies for children with ADHD:
  • Make a daily schedule (one for weekdays and one for weekends) and post it where you child can see it. Do your best to stick to the schedule as much as possible, or even write in “playtime” or “fun time” with your kids.
  • Have your child wear a watch. This can help a child with ADHD learn to manage time and stick to a schedule. Make buying the watch a fun activity — let your child pick out a watch they’ll want to wear often.
  1. Get organized
    Many kids with ADHD have trouble with organization, like forgetting where they put their homework, which can lead to poorer performance at school.

Suggested strategies for kids with ADHD:

  • Make “there’s a place for everything, and everything in its place” your household motto. As a parent, it’s not always easy to stay organized and maintain an orderly household. For families with a child with ADHD, staying organized can be a learning opportunity for the whole family.
  • Have a designated place for your child’s toys, clothes and school materials. Notebooks and organizers make it easier to keep track of homework assignments. Color-coded storage containers can help keep your child’s room tidy.
  • Schedule “organizing time” for your child every day. Talk to your kid with ADHD about where they put things and where they should be if they’re out of place. 
  1. Help your child with their homework
    School-age children with ADHD often need help getting started with their homework. It can also be helpful to break down large assignments into smaller, more manageable tasks. 

Suggested strategies for children with ADHD:

  • Create a schedule and routine for doing homework. Kids with ADHD should do their homework in a place that’s free from distraction.
  • Monitor your child, but don’t do the work for them. A child with ADHD may get frustrated easily when working on a hard assignment, but parents shouldn’t complete the assignment for them. 
  1. Utilize the support of special services
    There are many resources for children with ADHD that parents can take advantage of. Over the past several decades, legislation has been enacted to provide specialized academic support and services for children with ADHD. There are laws which state that child with a learning disability is entitled to a free academic evaluation to determine whether he or she qualifies for special support. Ask your kid’s teacher or school counselor for more information about these services for children with ADHD.