A Parent's Guide to ADHD

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3 min read

While there are many reasons a child may face educational challenges, ADHD (or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) is one diagnosis that may hinder a student’s ability to pay attention at home or in the classroom, as well as to reach their full academic potential. As a parent striving to understand ADHD, it can be very useful to recognize the signs associated with ADHD and to establish ways to promote your child’s academic and personal success. If your child has recently been diagnosed with ADHD, continue reading below for a brief parent’s guide to ADHD.

ADHD symptoms

According to the CDC, the average age for an ADHD diagnosis is seven, and about 11% of school-age children have received such a diagnosis. Some of the most common signs of ADHD include:

  • Avoiding complicated tasks that take time to complete, such as homework or projects
  • Difficulty waiting their turn
  • Difficulty sitting still, including fidgeting or leaving their seat
  • Forgetfulness
  • Having trouble following directions
  • Interrupting others
  • Leaving tasks like homework assignments and chores unfinished
  • Making careless mistakes
  • Struggling to focus on a single task
  • Struggling to stay organized

Recognizing ADHD in your child

While some signs of ADHD, such as daydreaming and disruptive behavior, can be common in all children, an individual with ADHD will demonstrate multiple signs of the disorder. These signs will also occur in different settings, like the classroom or your home.

If your child regularly shows several signs of ADHD across multiple settings and is having trouble succeeding in school, you may want to schedule a visit to their pediatrician. Your child’s pediatrician can draw on ADHD rating scales to determine whether your student has ADHD or whether something else is at play. Your child’s physician can also answer any questions that you might have.

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Succeeding with ADHD

ADHD is a diagnosis that children can learn to live with and can receive treatment for. It’s important to remember that having ADHD does not mean your child can’t thrive in school and in life.

If your child is diagnosed with ADHD, their doctor may recommend that they take a medication to help them remain focused. Other common treatments include behavioral therapy, dietary modifications, and social skills training.

Some good strategies to help your child include:

  • Giving simple directions at home
  • Being patient with your child, and identifying the situations where they may need extra help
  • Keeping an open dialogue with your child’s teachers and tutors to monitor how your child is coping with ADHD in the classroom
  • Maintaining a regular home and school schedule for your child, which can make it easier for children with ADHD to succeed
  • Utilizing the assistance of private ADHD tutoring, which can help your student stay on track and remain motivated to complete homework

[RELATED: 3 Benefits of Tutoring for Students With Learning Differences]

Talk to your child’s doctor or teacher to learn more about your options, and consider reaching out to local support groups for additional suggestions. And remember, success is possible!