How to Successfully Prep You and Your ADD/ADHD Child for Back to School

16498787_sWith the back to school season comes a flood of emotions. Some parents and children are very excited to get back into the swing of things while others are quite apprehensive. Summer with its laid back schedule can create for a difficult transition into the structured nature of classes and homework – particularly for those with ADD or ADHD.

But beginning the year anew doesn’t have to feel like groundhog day – with previous year’s issues repeating themselves. Start the school year off fresh and productive with a few simple tips from child psychologist, Dr. Robert Myers.

Collaborate with your child to come up with a set daily routine.

  • Choose school outfits, make lunches, and pack book bags beforehand.

  • Create a list of things that need to be done each morning and how long each task should take.

  • Do a test run of the morning routine with a stopwatch to ensure it is workable and that everyone can get out of the house on time.

  • Discuss a framework for homework and free time.

Post the finished schedule for everyone to see, and celebrate weekly successes.

  • Set goals and expectations for the year.

  • Convey clear expectations regarding completion of homework, sticking to the morning routine, behaving at school, and maintaining a set bedtime.

  • Hold regular family meetings and have children create some of their own goals.

  • Have motivators for reaching set goals such as a pizza party or bowling night for a positive report card.

Have a sit down with your child’s teacher.

  • Discuss upcoming homework assignments, projects, and teacher expectations.

  • Find out how best to communicate with the teacher to ensure your child stays on track.

  • Talk to the teacher to find out how you can help your child be successful in the classroom as well as meet their IEP or 504 plan if they have one.

For over a century, Family Guidance Center has been working with children and their families to create change and promote mental health as an integral part of total well-being. These changes translate to more positive home and classroom experiences. For more information on ways you can help your ADD/ADHD child have a successful year at school, contact Family Guidance Center.