The Child with ADD and School Communication

add child, and school communication
Of all the accommodations recommended for the child with ADD, perhaps the most important is an established system of parent teacher communication. We all know of the school disasters and heart breaks that can occur as a result of faulty parent/teacher communications it is best to be proactive and as early as possible in the ADD child's diagnosis formulate a parent/school communication plan.

The best ADD school communication procedures are established every year before school begins. A phone or email exchange is often required to establish how best to pursue ongoing communication throughout the school year but it really never too late in the school year to begin. You may meet with some resistance as some teachers prefer to communicate only as needed but this may not be the best plan of action for children with ADD.

Ongoing communication is required for several reasons. When communication only occurs when there is a problem, teachers dread having to inform the parent of the problems and parents perceive the communication as a reprimand or a failing on their part. With an ongoing communication plan, these emotional exchanges between parent and teacher can be avoided.

Prior to setting up the ongoing communication procedure the parent and teacher should meet to discuss the areas of difficulties that the child has had in past school years. Behavioral, organizational, attention and social issues should be discussed. The parent and teacher should agree on a communication 'form' that addresses all these areas.

In addition the 'update' form should have information regarding the school work and homework that the child will be required to complete and the time frame that the child has to complete each assignment. Many teachers draft an outline of weekly work and the teacher need not redo this outline. Simply attaching the outline to the update form will be sufficient communication.

I feel as though the best communication system involves a preferably short weekly email updating the parent on:

Upcoming Assignments
Progress in ongoing assignment
Behavioral/Attention/Social issues Update
Organizational issues update

The form should be short in order that the teacher can complete it with ease and so that the parent will be continuously informed regarding the ADD child's most pressing school issues.

I have made a form in 'word' that addresses these 'update' issues but you can make one yourself or find forms that are adaptable for this purpose on teacher's sites. The Parent/Teacher communication form can be emailed on printed out.

In some schools the form goes home every Friday in a folder and is due back on Monday. Parents know to look for this form at the end of the school week. Other teachers prefer to send a similar form out at the beginning of the week reporting on issues encountered in the previous week. The latter gives the teacher time over the weekend to reflect on the week and then complete the form. Either method is fine as the important thing is that there is communication.

For the ADD Child, school communication can mean the difference between success and failure. A simple system of communication between parent and teacher is easy to implement and will, in the end, make the parent, teacher, student and school relationship, a much better one.

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  1. With my teen, I review the week with her on Friday. It gives her time on weekend to make up anything missed during the week. I established an email connection with all of her teachers. I also got a A.D.D. certified diagnosis letter from her psychologist & submitted it to the school so the can allow her extra time & quiet rooms to take her tests. Some schools will work with u if u have a doctors certified letter. Also she has an enclosed accordion file for a binder instead to keep things more simply organised as she had a problem losing papers & assignments. This works for us, hopefully what we do will help someone else.


  2. Britt, Thanks so much for these suggestions. The accordion file has been a life saver for my son as well.

    Thanks for these suggestions!!


  3. Thank you for your vidoe on Youtube. I have ADHD innatentive type and everything you said on your video was absolutely true. It is a cloudy foggy feeling. This is a very hard disability to diagnose. It often appears that I am paying attention and I am honestly trying but I was never able to process the information very well at all and often found myself far behind everyone else. It was always on ongoing struggle of exhaustion! I often felt dumb becaue I would study and try so hard only to get C's after studying hours upon end. The anxiety aspect is also very true in my case. What was different though is I was finally diagnosed at age 17 (Senior year h.s.) FINALLY after the whole struggle throughout my life I recieved medication and while on my medication the very next semester in H.S. I was on the merit roll for the very first time in my life! So, with the medication and my relentless studying work ethics I got all A's and B's after a lifetime of C's, D's, and F's. I then continued on to college to recieve a 3.3 GPA! Made the Dean's list Several times all while playing a high level of baseball in college atheletics! The medication has changed my life I am now 25 and am still on my medications. When I am not on them I can tell for sure. I go back the fogy, sleepy, groggy state of mind and I know then it is time to take my second dose of medications. It is not a miracle pill or cure all pill just an aid to help me through my struggle. Socially, it i still answer questions slowly as far as response time and it often appears I am quiet because when people are talking it just takes me a little longer to try to process the question and then I STILL have to think of my response. Thank you again for sharing this useful information to people and educating them. You may be helping parents, teachers, and students who may get the chance to be diagnosed at an earlier age when needed instead of waiting and going through the constant struggle of life as I did!!

  4. Thanks so much for your great comments. I am always so thrilled to hear of folks who found their way with Inattentive ADHD as you have because it gives all of us so much hope and inspiration.

    Thanks again!

  5. Anonymous, your struggles are exactly the same as my daughters. She is a junior in high school now & I feel so bad for her. She tries so hard. If you don't mind me asking, what's medication did u decide on? I'm so afraid to put her on medication. We are very new to this diagnosis. She has inattentive add as well. She is being tutored & she tries so hard only to get C's D's & F's & she says all the time she is "stupid" & I try to re-assure her but she just gets depressed.


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